ATHENS — Georgia star Richard LeCounte isn’t done yet. The junior safety announced he will be returning to the Bulldogs for his senior season with a statement on Twitter.
“Year 4 Let’s Do It,” LeCounte tweeted.
Year 4 Let’s Do It !! pic.twitter.com/TJ7jdSPN0Y
— Richard LeCounte III (@LilEasy_35) January 4, 2020
Georgia had the best defense in the SEC last season, leading the league in total defense, scoring defense and run defense. LeCounte’s return is a step toward the Bulldogs having perhaps the best defense in the country in 2020.
LeCounte emerged as the Bulldogs’ most active playmaker in the secondary the second half of the season and was the co-winner of UGA’s Defensive Most Improved Player award and the team’s postseason gala.
LeCounte was also the first prospect to publicly commit to Georgia after Kirby Smart took over as head coach following the conclusion of the 2015 season. LeCounte came to Georgia as a 5-star safety in the 2017 recruiting cycle.
Three members of Georgia’s 2017 class have already declared for the 2020 NFL Draft, tailback D’Andre Swift and offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson.
LeCounte had two interceptions in Georgia’s 26-14 Sugar Bowl win over Baylor along with two tackles.
The Riceboro, Ga. product leads the SEC in fumbles recovered this season with three, and he was Georgia’s second-leading tackler (61).
LeCounte caused and recovered a fumble in Georgia’s 19-13 win over Texas A&M on Nov. 13, and the week before at Auburn, he had six tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass break-up on the Tigers’ final possession.
Against Missouri, LeCounte had an interception and a 71-yard return as the Bulldogs scored a 27-0 home win on Nov. 9.
LeCounte started 13 of 14 games his junior season, leading the team with 74 tackles his sophomore season of 2018.
Smart, a former All-SEC safety, was a fan of LeCounte’s, often issuing public challenges for his star pupil to improve.
The relationship between coach and player will always be remembered for the practical joke Smart played on him during what was supposed to be a relay race between the coaching staff and select players.
Smart said he would run anchor against LeCounte, only to bail out at the last moment for substitute and track star Matthew Boling, one of the fastest men in the world.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 19, 2019
The NFL draft evaluation process includes the East-West Shrine Game (select players, Jan. 18, St. Petersburg, Fla.) and the Senior Bowl (select players, Jan. 25, Mobile, Ala.).
The NFL combine takes place Feb. 24-March 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The University of Georgia will also hold a “Pro Day” combine in March, typically the week leading up to the start of spring drills.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia QB legend Eric Zeier examines Jake Fromm’s pending NFL decision, offense’s future
- Kelee Ringo: His decision, a snake, that viral visit and a new NCAA rule
- BREAKING: Georgia RB D’Andre Swift announces NFL draft decision
- Georgia football podcast: UGA fans struggle to follow drama around 5-star RB Zach Evans
- Caleb Williams: Nation’s No. 1 junior QB has LSU, UGA and four other schools in mind
- 3 parting shots from pivotal Georgia football Sugar Bowl win over Baylor
- Darnell Washington explains why Georgia was able to land his 5-star talents