Kirby Smart reflects on his playing career at Georgia: 'I wouldn't sign me'
Kirby Smart was a first-team All-SEC selection during the senior season of his playing career at Georgia in 1998. The year before, he helped the Bulldogs take down rival Florida. And he also once intercepted Peyton Manning, who was at Tennessee at the time.
Despite all of that, when Smart looks back at his playing career, he isn’t impressed.
“I’ll never forget, Peyton came and visited us at Alabama one time and I thought he was going to talk to the DBs, and he went down there and pulled up some highlights of him throwing touchdown passes over top of me,” Smart said during a recent appearance on “Marty and McGee” on the SEC Network. “I said, ‘Man, you got me on that one,’ and it was pretty humbling. You realize how average you were. I wouldn’t sign me, that’s what I say all the time.”
Smart had 13 career interceptions, which ranks fourth all-time at Georgia. He had six interceptions in 1997 and five in 1998. And those stats are the only reason that Smart believes he was first-team All-SEC in 1998.
“That’s because I had a lot of interceptions,” Smart said. “You have interceptions and they give you that, it doesn’t mean I was the best safety.”
After his playing career with the Bulldogs, Smart went undrafted in the 1999 NFL Draft. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts, but was cut before the start of the 1999 regular season.
Smart immediately began his coaching career after that, joining Georgia as an administrative assistant. He spent 17 seasons as an assistant at various places in different positions before taking over as coach of the Bulldogs in 2016.
For the full segment from “Marty and McGee,” watch here.