DALLAS – Nick Chubb keeps surprising Kirby Smart. Only this time it had nothing to do with his knee.

Earlier this week, Chubb came in for his post-spring evaluation meeting with Smart, who, knowing Chubb’s reputation, expected to do most of the talking. It ended up being the other way around.

“I was in there with him for five minutes, and I got (in) maybe two words,” Smart said. “You learn about Nick Chubb is that when he speaks, people listen.”

Smart didn’t elaborate on what was said, or whether Chubb decreed anything about his status for the season. Despite what by all appearances is an amazingly fast recovery, Smart is remaining cautious, saying Tuesday that “to say he’ll be ready, I can’t say that.”

That term – “I can’t say that” – can sometimes be a nice way of saying “no.” But Smart appeared to mean that as in he literally doesn’t know.

The mother of a recruit gave Smart a military term that he used when asked about Chubb: SME. That stands for Subject Matter Expert.

“I am not a SME on knee injuries. So I don’t know if that guy is going to be back or not,” Smart said. “Do I want him to be back? Yes. But it’s hard to say with where he is now whether he’ll be back or not.”

Chubb will be staying with the team throughout the summer. After the spring semester ends, he’ll be sticking around during May-mester in order to continue his rehabilitation process with head athletic trainer Ron Courson.

“He’s doing so much extra behind the scenes that people don’t know about,” Smart said of Chubb. “It’s so important to him. Yet he’s smart enough to kind of temper that with, ‘I need to be ready.’ He’s such a role model for the kids. They see him work. They saw him the day after the surgery, he’s right back and ready to go rehabbing. He’s got such a great attitude.”