As Kirby Smart basked in the glow of Georgia’s second straight national title, the head coach showered his senior running back with praise.

Smart gave a major shoutout to Kenny McIntosh for his contributions on and off the field for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound McIntosh amassed 1,582 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, while tallying 76 receptions for 860 yards and 4 touchdowns during his college career.

Smart is dumbfounded how McIntosh arrived in Athens as a 3-star despite his physical and mental tools. He praised McIntosh Tuesday afternoon at the post-National Championship media availability.

“Kenny, I can’t believe he would even be considered a three-star. That’s just disgusting to even think about because this guy is an incredible athlete,” Smart said. “His brother plays in the NFL. He’s got great DNA. Kenny is a great example of our program.

Smart adds that McIntosh tirelessly improved his game each season. McIntosh capped off his career by rushing for 829 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.

“He came in as a chubby kid with a great smile, playing behind people and didn’t know how to play on special teams. He left as an alpha leader,” Smart said. “And when he spoke, people really listened to Kenny.”

Smart emphasized McIntosh’s performance in the Oct. 1 victory at Missouri as a testament to his impact.

“I’ve never seen a person will a team to a win like he did in Missouri,” Smart said. “The guy was basically running crippled out there against Missouri and pounding people and running the ball. He took over games.”

McIntosh closed out his career with 50 rushing yards on 8 carries in Georgia’s 65-7 victory vs. TCU in the national championship game. He was the leading rusher for a Bulldogs squad that totaled 254 rushing yards on the Horned Frogs.