ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart updated the status of senior Natrez Patrick, indicating the often-troubled linebacker is on pace to compete for playing time in fall camp.
Patrick’s legal issues and inpatient treatment stay have been well documented but his status with the team has been somewhat murky.
Patrick was enrolled in classes in the spring, and Smart said at SEC Media Days that he remained with the program.
On Friday, Smart said Patrick continues to work to compete for playing time.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Smart said. “I’m proud of the progress he’s made.
“All decisions will be handled internally.”
Smart did not specify what decisions might remain where Patrick is concerned, nor did he allow time for a follow-up question.
The Bulldogs missed Patrick during their College Football Playoff run.
As close as the margins was in the 26-23 loss to Alabama in the title game, it’s fair to wonder if his absence cost Georgia the national championship.
Patrick served a four-game suspension during the 2017 season after violating the UGA student-athlete drug policy.
Georgia desperately needs its front seven to step up with SEC Defensive Player of the Year Roquan Smith moved on to the NFL.
Patrick started in 18 of the 30 games he has played, recording 116 career tackles, including 9.5 tackle for loss.
Rising sophomore Monty Rise and senior Juwan Taylor are other candidates to start at inside linebacker.