ATHENS — Georgia safety Richard LeCounte will direct traffic in the Bulldogs’ secondary next season, and the senior from Riceboro, Ga., is already feeling a bit reflective about his career.
“Looking back on the days now, I’m kinda getting sad, because the time flew by so fast,” LeCounte said in a Georgia football team video released on the schools’ social media sites, including Twitter @GeorgiaFootball.
“I was able to come to Athens and grow; it’s been something special.”
LeCounte led the team in tackles in 2018, and last season he was named the co-winner of the team’s Defensive Most Improved Player award after starting all 14 games at safety.
“It’s like being an extra coach back there, and helping those guys get lined up back there, and when you do it and see it all come together, it’s real fun,” LeCounte told DawgNation before the Sugar Bowl last December.
“I enjoy coming in and seeing their faces coming in smiling, and having great conversation with them,” he said. “It’s something bigger than football.”
LeCounte was the only UGA player named first-team preseason All-SEC on defense by Athlon Magazine.
LeCounte, however, indicated his experience has been about far more than the individual accolades and NFL draft stock he has built up during his career.
“I always wanted to represent my state. Why not? I grew up a Georgia Bulldog,” LeCounte said. “I always dreamed about running through that tunnel on Saturdays and that’s a dream come true.
“My first time stepping out there on the field, blood’s flowing, a hundred-thousand fans, screaming, yelling and going crazy. That’s something that you can’t even imagine,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of guys, as far as my teammates that I’m able to call my brothers now and we’re locked in for life.”
Georgia figures to be locked in on defense with 80 percent of last season’s production back off a unit that led the country in scoring defense and rushing defense and was third in total defense and eighth against pass efficiency.
Richard LeCounte UGA video
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) June 17, 2020