ATHENS — Departing Georgia football senior graduate transfer Lawrence Cager provided some insight into the Bulldogs coaching staff, offense and quarterback play.
They have been hot topics among a disappointed fan base after Kirby Smart’s program finished with an 11-2 record and No. 5 ranking.
The Bulldogs are headed to the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl after finishing on the short end of the SEC Championship Game against No. 1-ranked LSU.
Cager, however, is appreciative of his Georgia experience.
“I can say it changed my life, honestly,” Cager told DawgNation, asked about his decision to transfer from Miami to UGA for his senior season.
“It made me a better man, better player, better teammate, better leader. Everything that Coach Smart and I intended for me to come here and do, I came here and I did.”
Cager emerged as Jake Fromm’s go-to receiver this season. Most notably, the 6-foo-5, 220-pounder played through a separated shoulder and bruised ribs to make 7 catches for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 24-17 win over Florida.
Cager, however, suffered a severe ankle injury in a Nov. 27 practice and underwent surgery two days later.
The offense struggled without Cager this season. Five other receivers have missed playing time on account of injuries, and another has served at least one suspension.
Some have speculated Smart needs to overhaul his offensive staff, but Cager indicated he thinks that would be a mistake.
“It’s one of the best coaching staffs in the country,” Cager said. “I’m a realistic guy — take me for example. I was a inconsistent guy coming from Miami ,and I came here and made some plays.
“The way they treated me, with respect, molded me into a better man, leader, teammate. It’s one of the best staffs I’ve been around.”
Cager said last spring one of the reasons he chose to play at Georgia was to play with Fromm.
His opinion on the Bulldogs quarterback has not changed, as Cager explained what makes Fromm such a great leader.
“He’s a quarterback and a guy you want to go to battle with every day,” Cager said. “That’s all you can ask for in a leader and a quarterback. No matter what happens, he’s going to look at the bright side, and if you make a bad play, he’s ‘Hey, I’m coming back to you again.’ “
Cager hopes that he can come back from his ankle surgery to practice for and play in the Sugar Bowl, or at the very least, the East-West Shrine Game.
Cager and graduate transfer Eli Wolf have been the only two UGA seniors to get public invites to the senior all-star classic in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Jan. 18.
“It’s up to my body, if I’m ready to play, I’ll play,” Cager said. “I always want to play every game, and play it like it was my last.”