ATHENS — Micah Morris doesn’t mince words when discussing why he likes playing football.

And his description fits everything Kirby Smart has built the Georgia program to be.

“I like running into people, I like running over people. It’s just a mentality,” Morris said. “Their mouthpiece better be in because mine is in and I’m coming for you. That’s pretty much it.”

Morris is entering his fourth season in Georgia’s program. He emerged as a real contributor for the Bulldogs last season, working his way into the rotation at left guard.

Morris was a top-tier offensive line talent coming out of Camden County High School in Kingsland, Ga. He’d likely start for 95 percent of the teams in college football.

Yet he’s content to grind away as a guard on Georgia’s offense.

“Micah’s a very veteran physical presence,” Smart said. “He gives us a toughness and just an identity on offense of contact striking. Guys on defense know when Micah comes up on a double team or Micah pulls, he’s coming with bad intentions. And, he’s good to have, in terms of that group, creating an identity.”

Morris isn’t guaranteed to start this season, with Dylan Fairchild, Tate Ratledge and Xavier Truss all returning in 2024. Georgia has so much talent at guard it will certainly employ a rotation this season in order to get everyone on the field.

At practice this spring, Morris has been working with the first team at left guard, an encouraging sign for his role with the team this season.

Morris usually answered questions with a smile, giving off a gentle giant persona. But his tone changed when asked about the Alabama game from last season.

After Amarius Mims went down with an injury, Morris was thrust into the game at left guard, with Truss moving out to right tackle. After scoring a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, the Bulldogs wouldn’t find the end zone again until midway through the fourth quarter.

The team pushed hard, but it couldn’t come away with the win.

Hearing Morris speak about the game, it’s clear the loss still motivates him and his teammates.

“No matter who was in, the preparation that we did throughout the week and really the whole season building up to that point was going to have to show,” Morris said. “Obviously, it didn’t end how we wanted to. We definitely use that for fuel now. Just knowing that if we want to cross that barrier, it’s going to take more.

“Just working harder with the mindset of knowing what we want to get done at the end.”

Hard work doesn’t fluster Morris. If you want to be the biggest and baddest guy on one of the biggest and baddest teams in the sport, you’re going to have to put in a lot of blood, sweat and time.

Morris has done that throughout his career at Georgia and the 2024 season figures to be no different.

“The type of players that we want to have here is the type that works hard, whether you’re in the rotation right now or a freshman coming up,” Morris said. “Coming in with a mindset to get better every day, going back to our core principles, we’re trying to stay consistent with that and work as hard as we can to get each other better, thus making the games much easier while allowing us to reach our true potential.”

Micah Morris shares how Alabama loss motivates him