ATHENS — Lorenzo Carter, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Davin Bellamy could have, very easily, declared for the NFL draft. The opportunity was there for all four heading into their senior seasons.
But instead, in early December, the four revealed they would be returning to Georgia for one more year.
Now in April, with the NFL draft beginning in a little over a week’s time on April 27, Carter said he remained confident and steadfast in the decision he made at the end of 2016.
After all, according to the outside linebacker, he had unfinished business.
“We didn’t go out last year like we wanted to,” Carter said. “I feel like I had a lot more to do here so I couldn’t leave yet.”
The decision for the 6-foot-6, 242 pound outside linebacker was not one that he took lightly. And while the opportunity to enter the draft was within reach for Carter, the chance to come back to Georgia and ultimately graduate from the university was more important.
“It’s really a big decision and you wouldn’t want to rush it,” Carter said. “[I wanted to] have another chance to put the ‘G’ on and to have the chance to graduate.”
After a lackluster sophomore season with the Bulldogs in 2015 when the linebacker only accounted for 19 total tackles through all 13 games, Carter stepped up to show professional-like potential in 2016.
Carter was able to get back on track in his junior season with 44 tackles. He also recorded five sacks through nine starts, good enough to tie fellow outside linebacker and possible draftee, Bellamy.
But even though his junior season was a step up from his sophomore campaign, Carter still wasn’t happy and felt more time donning the red and black was necessary to get him where he needed to be before deciding to head to the NFL.
This spring Carter is mainly focusing on his skills as a pass-rusher along with his physicality, but says Kirby Smart’s biggest challenge to not only to him, but to the entire defense, is to throw out the complacency.
“Coach Smart has been challenging us, he doesn’t want us to be complacent,” Carter said. “That word complacent is a trigger word. It makes us as a defense pretty heated because we don’t want to be known as a complacent defense.”
And the time to focus on this non-complacency attitude is now, according to Carter. While the NFL draft is right around the corner, Carter’s mind is far from the calamity of Draft Day.
His mind is in Athens, preparing for the fall through work in the spring.
“[There’s] a lot of things that are going to help our team and help me individually,” Carter said. “Why not get better in the spring?”
One last chance to put on the GOLD HELMET in the spring.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) April 18, 2017
Look who’s in South Bend
Our own Chip Towers has been bouncing around South Bend, Ind., this week. He’s keeping an eye on the Fighting Irish – who have their spring game on Saturday, too.
The Irish play host to UGA on Sept. 9, and the hype meter on this game is already at a 7.3 – a full five months before kickoff.
Chip offered a nifty take on the 1980 UGA-ND classic Tuesday, from a Notre Dame perspective.
Ahh, the Bulldogs won that one 17-10. So it still looks great from Athens.
And get this. Today, the Irish have a two-hour practice scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and said practice will be completely open to media types.
– DawgNation Staff
2018 | "Between The Hedges" pic.twitter.com/enn501T1dA
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) April 18, 2017
2018 will be here soon enough
If Saturday’s G-Day game doesn’t satisfy your appetite for UGA football – and why would it – and talk of Notre Dame isn’t enough to fill the need, Georgia has announced its 2018 schedule.
Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will have seven home games, including potential gems against Auburn, Tennessee and, of course, Georgia Tech.
– DawgNation Staff
(Cy Brown is off celebrating his marriage and honeymoon. He will return to “Good Day, UGA” next week.)