What Kirby Smart said after a season-ending injury to 2022 commit Marquis Groves-Killebrew shows why his players love him
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. Want to know why Kirby Smart’s players play their tails off for him? The latest here from 2022 OG commit Marquis Groves-Killebrew is another great example of why.
There has been a lot made of what Kirby Smart said behind closed doors a few weeks ago in Jacksonville. That was the topic of the week.
Want to know why his players play with so much effort for him? That’s why.
Want to know why would do that for him when they sign to play for him? Before they hear him in meetings or on the mic at practices?
The unfortunate injury suffered by All-American CB Marquis Groves-Killebrew offers up another example of why Smart can relate to players so well.
Groves-Killebrew was the first Bulldog to commit to Smart in the class of 2022. He’s ranked as the nation’s No. 14 CB and the No. 104 overall prospect for 2022 on the 247Sports Composite scale.
When he went down with a sudden knee injury, it was a low moment. Especially after a season-ending elbow injury that cost him the balance of his junior year in 2020.
When it happened, he got a text message from Smart.
“As soon as it happened to me basically, Kirby texted me,” Groves-Killebrew said. “He said ‘I know that knee has got a good future’ and you will be all good and all that. He definitely made me feel good about that with everything that was going on with my knee but also with that choice I made a long time ago about Georgia. For sure.”
It occurred in the final game of the regular season on Nov. 5. North Cobb is a legit state title contender in Georgia’s Class 7A.
“I was taking back a punt return against North Paulding,” he said. “Like the first quarter and I was running down the sidelines. I made a cut to go back inside and ‘Boom’ my knee popped. I knew. I just went down when it happened.”
The first thing he thought of was the dislocated elbow that derailed his junior year.
“I was just praying it wasn’t another dislocation,” he said. “So I got up. Knew I was good. But I walked off. But I knew something was wrong as soon as I walked off.”
He said he hobbled off.
“I tore my ACL, my meniscus and I strained my MCL,” Groves-Killebrew said.
He’s got a strong mental approach to it.
“I am just going to use it as a time to heal,” he said. “Just free up my mind. Get my mind right. Go through the rehab process. I will be taking it real seriously. I know about all of that. Just going to take this time right here to get my mind right.”
He’s been told it will be about eight-to-nine months before he can return to the field.
“It stinks that I didn’t get to play in my playoffs in my junior or my senior year,” he said. “That stinks. But I’ve just got to keep a strong mind and stay mentally strong.”
Groves-Killebrew still plans to enroll in January. That will allow him to accelerate the rehab process to get back on the field faster.