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Kirby Smart and the never-ending Zamir White question
Kirby Smart has to be sick of it by now. Just about every time he steps in front of a microphone, he knows it’s coming. He’s ready for the fact that there will be some sort of question asked about Georgia running back Zamir White.
White didn’t see the field last year. That’s due to a torn ACL he suffered last August. Expectations were high for White, given he was the No. 1 ranked running back in the 2018 class and Georgia has been branded as ‘RBU’.
Related: Zamir White’s journey from a ‘dark place’
When Smart spoke following Georgia’s G-Day game, he gave an update. When he talked in front of fans in Macon, he spoke about where White stood in his recovery process. When he met with reporters last Tuesday in Hoover, Ala, he provided context on where things stand with White.
“He’s on schedule, (and) we’re excited about where he is,” Smart said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I’m thrilled about how hard he works and the things he’s able to do. Our expectation is that he competes every day and earns some playing time.”
Then again at SEC Media Days, Smart was asked about White while speaking with 680 The Fan’s Chuck Oliver.
“No idea. I’d love to answer it for you. I’d love to tell you, but the videos you see, he doesn’t have pads on,” Smart said He’s not getting tackled. So those things everybody got a taste of, that’s what we see and we’re impressed by them, but it’s like Nick Chubb going into (the 2016) season. I wasn’t sure. I’m not sure until the guy has to go out and embrace the contact, give the contact. So I’m looking forward to seeing that.”
The videos Smart alludes to are in reference to some of the workout routines White has posted throughout the summer. The first one dropped in May and he followed it up with another one earlier this month. It’s almost as if White senses that a lot of Georgia fans crave his any sort of update on his recovery. And he’s had no problem giving it to them so far.
It’s understandable as to why White would want to show off his progress, given he’s either been injured or recovering from an injury since he stepped on campus. In White’s senior season in high school, he tore his ACL. That meant instead of hitting the practice field and working with the team, he’d be rehabbing to start his Georgia career.
Related: Two years after his commitment, hype and hope still exist for Zamir White
Smart’s comments on White also echoed what another Georgia running back said about the redshirt freshman from North Carolina. After G-Day, D’Andre Swift spoke about why he’s also excited to see White eventually take the field.
“He works so hard. He’s gotten strong,” Swift said. “He’s gotten real strong. I’m expecting a lot of him, everybody is. I think he’s gonna be a great contributor to this team.”
As the season approaches, Smart is going to continue to get peppered with questions about White. He’ll almost certainly get asked about White when he meets with the media at the start of fall camp. He’ll get question after question throughout the month of August as far as where things stand with White.
Even after the first game, Smart is likely to field a few questions on White, should he play. It’s like when you get your car out of the shop after it’s had some major work done to it. You just want to know that it’s running well after investing so many resources into it.
White is an unknown commodity for this Georgia team. The Bulldogs have some proven options at the position in both Swift and senior running back Brain Herrien. But if White is able to return to his pre-injury form, he can possibly take the Georgia offense to an even higher level. And he could possibly become the next big-time member of ‘RBU.’
At some point, Smart will stop getting asked questions about where things stand with White. He’ll probably be really happy about it. Because at that point, it’ll mean that White has proven to people what he’s capable of in a college football game.
Even if Georgia doesn’t get a commit, it’s going to be a big recruiting weekend (and Monday)
Make sure you’re following DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell this weekend. It’s shaping up to be a major recruiting for the Bulldogs. Per Sentell, 10 5-star prospects are expected to be in Athens across the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes.
Yesterday Sentell dropped a full visitor list, highlighted by the nation’s No. 1 running back, Zachary Evans and the No. 1 player in Jordan Burch.
Key 2020 prospects
(all ratings via the 247Sports Composite)
- 5-star Jordan Burch (6-5/255)No. 1 DE/No. 1 overall/Hammond School/Columbia, SC
- 5-star Zachary Evans (5-11/200) – No. 1 RB/No. 6 overall/North Shore/Houston, Tex.
- 5-star Kelee Ringo (6-2/205) – No. 1 CB/No. 8 overall/Saguaro/Scottsdale, Ariz.
- 5-star Darnell Washington (6-7.5/261) – No. 1 ATH/No. 10 overall/Desert Pines/ Las Vegas, Nev.
- 5-star Mekhail Sherman (UGA) (6-3/234) – No. 2 OLB/No. 13 overall/St. Johns/Washington, D.C.
- 5-star Broderick Jones (UGA) (6-6 /305) – No. 2 OT/No. 21 overall/Lithonia/Lithonia, Ga.
- 4-star Tate Ratledge (UGA) (6-6/322) – No. 4 OT/No. 35 overall/Darlington/Rome, Ga.
- 4-star Marcus Rosemy (UGA) (6-2/195) – No. 7 WR/No. 45 overall/St. Thomas/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
- 4-star Jalen Carter (UGA) (6-4/305) – No. 8 DT/No. 77 overall/Apopka/Apopka, Fla.
- 4-star Jalen Kimber (UGA) (6-0/165) – No. 5 CB/No. 80/Mansfield Timberview/Arlington, Tex.
- 4-star Sedrick Van Pran (6-4.5/305) -No. 3 C/No. 98 overall/Warren Easton/New Orleans, La.
- 4-star Carson Beck (UGA) (6-5/225) -No. 3 pro-style QB/No. 125/Mandarin/Jacksonville, Fla.
- 4-star Arian Smith (6-1/170) – No. 27 WR/No. 134 overall/Lakeland/Lakeland, Fla.
- 4-star Nazir Stackhouse (UGA) – No. 24 DT/No. 280 overall/Columbia/Decatur, Ga.
- 3-star Justin Robinson (UGA) – (6-4/200) – No. 64 WR/No. 381 overall/ELCA/McDonough, Ga.
- 3-star Corey Wren (UGA) – (5-9.5/175) – No. 25 ATH/No. 505 overall/John Curtis/New Orleans, La.
- 3-star Brady Ward (6-8/310) – No. 46 OT/No. 546 overall/St. Paul’s Episcopal/Mobile, Ala.
Key 2021 prospects
- 5-star Korey Foreman (6-5/266) –No. 2 SDE/No. 4 overall/Centennial/Corona, Calif.
- 5-star James Williams (6-5/218) — No. 1 S/No. 7 overall/Western/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- 5-star Amarius Mims (6-7.5/310) — No. 3 OT/No. 13 overall/Bleckley County/Cochran, Ga.
- 5-star Micah Morris (6-4/318) — No. 5 OT/No. 26 overall/Camden County/Kingsland, Ga.
- 4-star Barrett Carter (6-2/215) — No. 7 OLB/No. 96 overall/North Gwinnett/Suwanne, Ga.
- 4-star Jayden Thomas (6-1/198) — No. 21 WR/No. 114 overall/Pace Academy/Atlanta, Ga.
- 4-star Ahmari Harvey (5-10.5/175) — No. 5 S/No. 171 overall/Florida St. School/Tallahassee, Fla.
And even with all those names, there’s some even bigger news on the horizon. On Monday, 5-star running back Kendall Milton is set to announce his commitment. Georgia is one of four finalists, as it joins Ohio State, LSU and Alabama. Milton visited all four schools twice, and the family has been very tight-lipped since Milton wrapped up his visits.
Georgia has not yet gotten a commitment in the month of July. But given the visitors and looming Milton announcement, a lot of Georgia recruiting news is just around the corner.
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