ATHENS — Mike Bobo and Kirby Smart couldn’t be more competitive on the football field or the recruiting trail. Off of it, though, they couldn’t be closer friends. So Smart’s thoughts were with his buddy and former teammate after Georgia finished up its 11th practice of preseason camp on Wednesday.
In his fourth year as head coach at Colorado State, Bobo remained hospitalized Wednesday night as doctors continue to evaluate treatment options for a nerve disorder in his legs.
“I’ve talked to Mike probably more than (his wife) Lanie just out of our friendship,” said Smart, referring to the weekly phone calls they have. “Thoughts and prayers go out to George and Barbara (Bobo, Mike’s parents) and their family. He’s got five kids I know he worships and cares about so much. They’re a tight-knit family.”
Bobo, 44, had been complaining about numbness in his feet for the last two weeks, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. The condition worsened to the point that he was watching practices from a golf cart. He finally had to be admitted to the hospital after the Rams’ scrimmage at Canvas Stadium this past Saturday night.
Bobo issued a statement via his Twitter account on Tuesday saying he has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and is undergoing a “multi-day treatment.” The nerve disorder is not thought to be related to the knee replacement surgery Bobo underwent in April.
— Coach Mike Bobo (@CoachBobo_CSU) August 15, 2018
“If I know Mike Bobo, whatever he’s dealing with, it ain’t too strong for him,” Smart said. “He was built rock-solid. I know he’ll fight his way through it.”
The problem for Colorado State is there currently is not a timetable for Bobo’s return. The Rams open the season against Hawaii on Aug. 25. So plans are being discussed of Bobo possibly coaching from the press box or the team proceeding without him. Bobo, who was Georgia’s offensive coordinator from 2007-2014 and quarterbacks coach going back to the 2001, is Colorado State’s play-caller and usually coaches from the sideline.
“There’s a plan in place; we’re carrying out the plan,” said Rams offensive coordinator Dave Johnson, who coached tight ends at Georgia from 2001-07. “(The game plan has) already been structured. … So, we’re just following the plan right now.”
Bobo said he remains in close contact with the coaching staff and watches practice video “every day.” Former Georgia linebackers coach John Jancek (2005-09) is the Rams’ defensive coordinator. He and Johnson are running the team in Bobo’s absence.
“We just pray for Coach Bobo, and we want him back,” Jancek said told reporters in Fort Collins on Wednesday. “We miss him. He’s a great leader, has a tremendous impact, has created an outstanding culture here.”