Kirby Smart cautions Georgia's young talent from reading their press clippings, claims that 'disease' has hurt his program
Kirby Smart will have a ton of talent to work with next season in Athens but he clearly doesn’t want his players to believe that heading into the offseason.
Following Georgia’s impressive win over Baylor in the latest Sugar Bowl, Smart was asked what it meant to him that so many young players led the way for the Bulldogs Wednesday night in the team’s victory over the Big 12 runner-up.
While Smart surely is glad to have so much young talent on his roster, the Georgia coach believes that’s not always a blessing if those players don’t take the right approach in the offseason.
That’s something that has hurt the Bulldogs in the past and something Smart called a “disease” of his program.
“Yeah, I mean, to be honest with you, the future is only bright if those guys continue to work – because there’s a disease that creeps in at Georgia where kids believe they’re better than they are. And they read their own press clippings,” Smart said after the Sugar Bowl. “Our team chaplain did a wonderful job today expressing that in a verse, and I can’t quote the verse, Jake probably can, but he basically said that when you start reading about yourself and believe in your own press clippings is when you start to fall.
“Those kids that you just mentioned are tremendous players, but they’ll only be as good as they can be, if they stay as hungry as they are. And when you’re not hungry, you become average. Some of that, I think, has affected us in the past and we’ve got to find a way in this program to not let that creep in. And keep that same hunger you have as a young player, because we’ve had it happen to several guys that were really hungry and then they become full, and you can’t become full when you go play the good teams we play against.”
Depending on who returns to Athens next season, Georgia will likely be picked once again to win the SEC East and play in Atlanta for the conference title but that’s only going to happen if the Bulldogs approach the offseason the way Smart is asking them to do.
The Bulldogs may be loaded with young talent but even Kirby knows that talent is only going to get Georgia so far. To win it all, the Bulldogs need to earn it all offseason long.