Former Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith had an impressive final season in 2017, but another SEC linebacker wants to do even better.
Smith was one of the key components of UGA’s run to an SEC championship, and a pivotal reason why the Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl.
Smith totaled 137 tackles for the year, won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and became the No. 8 overall pick of the Chicago Bears the following spring.
UGA coach Kirby Smart summed up Smith’s value perfectly after the Bulldogs 38-7 victory over Georgia Tech in the regular season finale.
“He’s a tackling machine,” Smart said. “The guy’s sideline to sideline, relentless, athletic, tough, competitive, [he] leads, [he] talks when others need talking to, quiet when he needs to be quiet. He has impeccable character. I’m just proud of the way he works and buys into what we believe.”
That would seem to be the perfect blueprint for other linebackers to want to follow, but last year’s Butkus Award winner — LSU’s Devin White — wants even more.
That’s the subject of today’s edition of DN90.
White’s remarks about Smith probably shouldn’t be taken as a jab. Apparently the two linebackers have a longstanding relationship.
“Me and Roquan, we have the same agent,” White told NFL.com. “We talk all the time.”
Given the fact they know each other well, Smith probably won’t be bothered about what White had to say. However, Smith would be correct in pointing out that matching his success as an NFL rookie won’t be easy.
Smith collected a sack on the first snap of his NFL career, recorded seven tackles and an interception in his first career playoff game and appeared on numerous all-rookie teams.
Take a look at today’s DN90 linked above to see what else White had to say about Smith.