Georgia football coach Kirby Smart ‘thrilled’ with Zamir White progress

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Georgia tailback Zamir White is shown here in the last public photo taken before he tore his left ACL last August.

HOOVER, Ala. — Georgia tailback Zamir White has not yet been cleared for contact for Georgia, but he’s done just about everything that has been asked of him to this point in terms of recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in August of 2018.

Kirby Smart spoke at length about the No. 1-rated tailback in the 2018 signing class during his Tuesday morning media session at the Wynfrey Hotel at SEC Media Days.

 “He’s on schedule, (and) we’re excited about where he is,” Smart said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I’m thrilled about how hard he works and the things he’s able to do. Our expectation is that he competes every day and earns some playing time.”

Smart stopped short of saying White has been cleared for full contact, but he was clearly excited for the redshirt freshman running back heading into the 2019 season.

White has provided a few updates of his own on his recovery this offseason by posting a workout video every so often. When Smart gets to see those workouts in person, he even admits that it gets him excited.

“I’m excited every time I get to see him in workouts,” Smart said. “Seeing him get out there, and whether it’s cone to cone (drills) or him cutting, it’s exciting seeing him do that because I know what he’s been through.”

White is not the first Georgia running back to deal with a serious knee injury. Former UGA stars Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb both dealt with knee injuries during their time at Georgia.

“A lot of people have been through that, Robert Edwards, Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley.” Smart said. “And they all reached out to him to talk him about it. And he’s on the upper side of that hump.”

Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm also commented on White’s mindset heading into the 2019 season.

“He’s put enough pressure on himself,” Fromm said on Tuesday. “We’re going to let Zamir be Zamir, and he’ll handle that himself.”

White, a 6-foot, 215-pounder from Laurinburg, N.C., has released several videos of himself working out and rehabilitating since suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during an Aug. 19 practice.

White took part in individual drills during spring camp.

“He goes out and does blitz pickup, and walk throughs, and he catches balls,” Smart said this spring, “but he doesn’t do competitive contact.”

The injury last fall was of the non-contact variety, but it was no less devastating.

White, while still wearing a knee brace, was on the verge of a full recovery from the ACL he tore in his right knee in November of his senior season (2017) at Scotland County (N.C.) High School.

Smart has said repeatedly that White has been on schedule to handle full-contact drills at the start of fall camp.

That said, the Bulldogs are in no hurry to rush White back.

The backfield already features 1,000-yard rusher D’Andre Swift, along with senior Brian Herrien, sophomore James Cook and incoming freshman Kenny McIntosh.

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