ATHENS — Kirby Smart confirmed Tuesday that redshirt freshman Chauncey Manac has left Georgia for a junior college and wished him “the best.”
Smart did not want to elaborate, even when asked if the coaches had tried to talk Manac into staying.
“I’m pleased with what Chauncey did for the University of Georgia,” Smart said after practice. “We’re thankful he came. We wish him nothing but the best for the future.”
Manac’s aunt, Beth Leviton, confirmed earlier Tuesday that her nephew was transferring, first to Garden City (Kan.) Community College. Manac will be able to play this year, then transfer elsewhere and have three years of eligibility remaining.
The news came as a bit of a surprise as Manac entered this preseason seeming to have a chance to get snaps at outside linebacker. He was named the defense’s most improved player after spring practice.
But then he moved to the defensive line. Smart described the move as a bit of cross-training, not ruling out a return to outside linebacker. And then freshman Walter Grant began to emerge at that spot, with senior Davin Bellamy heaping praise on him last week.
So behind Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, the established starters, Grant and junior D’Andre Walker seem to have a good chance to play.
Smart said he was “confident” with those four players at outside linebacker.
“He does not play like a freshman,” Smart said of Grant.