Mecole Hardman came to Georgia with a ton of hype as he was rated as a five-star prospect in the 2016 recruiting cycle but it wasn’t until Kirby Smart was hired in Athens that the talented receiver began to live up to those lofty expectations.

There’s no doubt Smart’s program got the best out of Hardman during his time in Athens and the way the Kansas City Chief receiver tells it, the Bulldog program helped him prepare for life in the NFL.

Apparently, Smart did a good job at that, as Hardman finished his rookie season in the NFL by holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

“When Coach Smart came in, you know, the program he developed, it definitely prepare you a lot,” Hardman shares in the video below. “The preparation we did here is the same way we do it in the league. The hard practices, especially playing in the SEC, it’s kinda like a mini NFL, playing in front of big crowds, or big games, and big situations. Training your mind to be mentally preparing for things, keying on the details because a lot of the game is mental.

“What he brought and what he did, he definitely prepared me for sure.”

During his two seasons in Athens playing for Smart, Hardman registered 60 catches for 961 yards and 11 touchdowns and added another 97 rushing yards and a pair of scores. Hardman also returned 39 punts for 592 yards and a touchdown and 35 kickoffs for 875 yards.

Following his college career, Hardman was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Hardman has 704 kick return yards and a touchdown during his rookie season for Kansas City and caught 26 passes for 538 yards and six touchdowns.