Georgia football coach Kirby Smart competes in the Peach Bowl charity golf tournament on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Greensboro, Ga. (Paul Abell/Abell Images)
Paul Abell

Kirby Smart reveals biggest offseason concern for Georgia football as reigning CFP champions

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart didn’t bat an eye while sharing his biggest concern of the offseason.

Smart, playing in a charity golf outing at Reynolds Lake Oconee this week, sounded confident his Georgia football team will maintain an edge.

RELATED: Georgia football faces higher hurdles in SEC East

“Probably the biggest difference in being national champion and going into an offseason is you worry about complacency, you worry about guys thinking they’ve arrived,” Smart said in a video released from the private event.

“I didn’t think our group did that.”

UGA team leader Sedrick Van Pran spoke out about not wanting the national championship logo around the team facility this offseason.

“The mood on the team is that’s over,” Van Pran said at the start of Georgia team drills. “It’s a new season, nothing is promised.”

It goes hand-in-hand with Smart shunning the title of " defending” national champions.

“We don’t defend the title,” Smart said. “We start with a new team, develop new chemistry to see what this team is about.”

Georgia looks to bounce back after losing more talent in one outgoing class than any program in modern era history.

The Bulldogs had a record-15 players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, and it would have been 16 if team Florida game captain Adam Anderson hadn’t been indicted on rape charges.

RELATED: It’s official, Kirby Smart built richest NFL Draft class in history

To boot, Georgia lost four former starters to the transfer portal — Jermaine Burton (Alabama), JT Daniels (West Virginia), Ameer Speed (Michigan State) and Latavious Brini (Arkansas).

Three other players, Jalen Kimber (Florida), Justin Robinson (Mississippi State) and Owen Condon (SMU) were forecasted for the UGA two-deep.

Georgia capped its spring drill season with the annual G-Day Game.

The first-team offense struggled in the scrimmage with All-American go-to tight end Brock Bowers unavailable on account of offseason surgery.

RELATED: Surprising observations from Georgia G-Day Game

This, despite the first-team defense missing as many as four projected starters on account of injuries from a unit that just had eight players picked in the NFL Draft.

“We played an extra game in the season with the playoff game,” Smart said, “so injuries played a factor in that.”

Projected starters who missed G-Day and are expected back this fall:

• TE Brock Bowers

• TE Darnell Washington

• OG Warren Ericson

• OG Tate Ratledge

• DE Tramel Walthour

• LB Robert Beal

• LB Smael Mondon

• DB Kamari Lassiter

• DB Tykee Smith

“We probably had more guys out for the spring than we ever had before,” Smart said.

Smart, paired with former Auburn and Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville, raised $12,500 for The Kirby Smart Family Foundation.

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