ATHENS — Georgia senior Richard LeCounte has made it official that he’s leaving the Bulldogs and taking his talents to the NFL.
— Richard LeCounte III (@LilEasy_35) January 6, 2021
LeCounte is the third starter out of Georgia’s secondary to leave the team, joining underclassmen and cornerbacks Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell.
LeCounte, voted team captain for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl by his teammates, is working his way back from a Halloween Night dirt bike crash on Macon Highway that left him unconscious at the scene and dealing with multiple injuries.
LeCounte was clearly one of Smart’s favorite players, as he helped develop him into one of the finest safeties in the nation.
One of the greatest moments of Smart’s tenure took place before the 2019 season when the head coach played a practical joke on the team and LeCounte with track star Matthew Boling.
LeCounte is one of the record seven Georgia football players who have been invited to compete at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. the week of Jan. 30.
The event has served as an unofficial convention of sorts for NFL teams. Franchise bring their general managers, head coaches, and entire coaching staffs to watch one-on-one in drill work along with limited scrimmage action.
In addition to LeCounte, the following UGA players have been selected for the Senior Bowl:
• OG Ben Cleveland
• TE Tre’ McKitty
• LB Monty Rice
• Malik Herring
• CB DJ Daniel
• DB Mark Webb
Of the aforementioned players, only Webb has not made an announcement about his future. Webb was wearing a protective boot on the sideline during the Peach Bowl and did not play.
LeCounte’s decision to turn pro means he’s banking on NFL teams counting on him to make a full recovery. There was talk LeCounte had worked himself up to being a first-round pick by the middle of last season.
LeCounte was making plays at an All-American clip, an eraser in the secondary who could make up for teammates’ mistakes while staying assignment-sound at his position.
At the halfway point of the season, LeCounte had three interceptions and 26 tackles. Half of his stops (13) coming in a hard-fought 14-3 win at Kentucky on Oct. 31.
LeCounte also had three pass break-ups in a physical game that saw four other starters go down with injuries with the pivotal Florida game on deck.
The Bulldogs lost interior defensive linemen Julian Rochester and Jordan Davis in the loss to Kentucky, and linebacker Quay Walker and safety Lewis Cine also left the field with injuries that day.
Davis, Walker and Cine were able to work themselves back from the injuries to start in the bowl game.
LeCounte, Smart said, stayed active and involved in every bowl practice and was doing everything he possibly could to get himself back for the game.
Georgia fans had one last cheer for No. 2 as Smart put him on the field in what was clearly an emotional moment for the Bulldogs.
LeCounte started and ended his career in Athens as a fan favorite.