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Richard LeCounte is a senior at Georgia.

Richard LeCounte makes his status clear following recent South Carolina opt-outs

Since the firing of Will Muschamp, South Carolina has seen its top two defensive backs opt-out on the season in Jaycee Horn and Israel Mukuamu.

Georgia safety Richard LeCounte though made it very clear he will not be doing the same thing, as he announced in a tweet on Tuesday night.

LeCounte is one of the top players in the country and was playing at an All-American level before suffering injuries in a traffic accident following the Kentucky win. LeCounte had three interceptions on the season and in his last game out against Kentucky posted a career-best 13 tackles.

The Georgia safety was discharged from the hospital and began working in an attempt to return to the field. LeCounte suffered a concussion, a shoulder injury as well as some scrapes and bruises following the accident.

Related: Georgia captain Richard LeCounte released from hospital, rehabbing in football building

CBS reported that LeCounte’s injuries were expected to take four-to-five weeks to heal, which could potentially put him back on the field for the game against Vanderbilt on Dec. 5.

LeCounte was draft-eligble last season but he along with a handful of other Georgia defenders elected to return to school this year.

Players opting out has become a trend in recent seasons, though it traditionally has been before the bowl game. Last season, Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson both opted out for Georgia before the Sugar Bowl. But both of those players went on to become first-round picks.

There have been a number of opt-outs this season due to the uncertainty around COVID-19. One of those was Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman, who opted out to begin prepping for the 2021 NFL Draft shortly before the start of the season.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about the opt-out trend on Tuesday night and gave a lengthy response.

“If you’ve got a bonafide first-rounder, that’s a completely different subject, but that’s not the case in the case of a lot of these opt-outs,” Smart said. “Our kids care about each other. They want to win. They want to have a productive season and, at the end of the day, they want to improve their draft stock. How does that really look upon you that you opt out to go train and not play if you’re a first-round pick? That’s an easy decision. But when you’re not, they take thought into that.”

Smart went on to stress that the NFL evaluators factor in these opt-out decisions into the draft stock and futures. He also added that there is some uncertainty around whether or not there will be an NFL combine or even pro days this year. Newman, defensive lineman Malik Herring and Tre’ McKitty have all accepted bids to the Senior Bowl, where they will get a chance to showcase their talents.

LeCounte will not play against Mississippi State this weekend. But the Bulldogs do expect to get back safety Lewis Cine, who was in concussion protocol following a hit against Florida. The Bulldogs take on Mississippi State at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network on Saturday.

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