ATHENS — Georgia safety Richard LeCounte can’t wait to get to work for the Cleveland Browns, declaring himself 100 percent recovered from a career-threatening motorcycle injury.
“I’m fired up,” said LeCounte, who was selected by Cleveland in the fifth round with the 169th overall pick. “I’m ready to get in and show you guys what I can do.”
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When LeCounte is at his best, he plays with cat-like quickness and great instincts for the football, capable of taking over games from his safety position.
But there will be many who wonder if he can get back to playing that dominant brand of football after his scary accident on Halloween Night last season.
LeCounte hasn’t gone into many of the details surrounding his dirt bike accident on Macon Highway leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft, and the Cleveland media was eager and determined to ask him about it several times.
“It’s been an overwhelming process, from my accident in October to now, it’s been a long journey and the things that I’m able to bring to the table are unmatched,” LeCounte said. “I was able to recover 100 percent and I’m ready to get on a roll.”
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LeCounte told reporters on the Zoom call that the dirt bike accident that ended his regular season at Georgia — he was allowed to play the final play of the Peach Bowl — “really wasn’t that bad.”
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“Thank God, it wasn’t that bad,” said LeCounte, who was unconscious at the scene of the accident after being struck by two vehicles.
“My foot, I had a little fracture in my foot, and my shoulder, just minor injuries that I was able to come back from,” LeCounte said. “But I didn’t want to rush myself back during the season, that’s why I just shut it down.
“But I was able to recover 100 percent, but It really wasn’t anything crazy besides those two injuries.”
LeCounte ran 40-yard dash times clocked between 4.76 seconds and 4.82 at Georgia’s Pro Day in March.
LeCounte estimates he was “90 percent” at Pro Day, but emphasized he has improved his physical condition since that workout.
The 40-yard dash times hurt his draft stock significantly, according to NFL draft analysts, but LeCounte said that was never his concern.
“I wasn’t really worried about my draft stock,” LeCounte said. “I knew wherever I go, I’m able to showcase my talents, (and) I’m so glad the Cleveland Browns gave me a shot to show what I can do.”
LeCounte said he talked to several NFL teams about the accident, which he said opened his eyes.
“It was a scary situation, but God, he had his hands on me the whole time,” LeCounte said. “He was able to shed a lot of light on things that I wasn’t aware of.”
Getting back on the football field is the next heathy step for LeCounte, who admitted the mental part of returning from the injury was a challenge.
“That was the hardest stage of my life mentally, not just physically, but just going out there every Saturday and watching the guys I call my brothers go to war without me,” said LeCounte, who was coming off a career-high 13-tackle performance in UGA’s win over Kentucky just hours before the accident.
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