ATHENS — Georgia has received some stunning, but extremely good, news when it comes to next year’s team.
Star tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will return for their senior years, head coach Kirby Smart announced after Thursday’s bowl practice. Both are juniors who were mulling entering the NFL draft.
Outside linebackers Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy also announced they were returning.
The decisions were announced following Smart’s regularly-scheduled post-practice press conference. When asked during that press conference about the looming NFL decisions, Smart said “we may have something for you here soon.”
Then Smart grinned slightly.
When the press conference ended, the four players walked in, and Smart announced they were staying.
“I told you it would be soon. It’s now,” Smart said as the players walked in. “It’s really special when you get around a special group that care about a place that I really care about, and regardless of their decision – which all four of them have decided to stay, and want to come back – it means a lot to me when guys do that. …
“I think each one would tell you they handled it the right way. They got a lot of information, they used all the resources that our university provides, and they made the decision. I particularly tried to stay out of the decision-making, and just get these guys information, and I think they did a nice job about that.”
Then each made a short statement: Michel, then Carter, then Bellamy, and then the most surprising decision of them all, Chubb.
“The last game didn’t go the way any of us wanted it,” Chubb said, alluding to the one-point home loss to Georgia Tech. “So I couldn’t have that be my last memory of Georgia.”
More from each player in separate stories.