Ryan Day and Kirby Smart are not familiar foes, but they are linked by Justin Fields. Ahead of Georgia and Ohio State’s College Football Playoff meeting, the Buckeye head coach was asked about Fields transferring from UGA to OSU.

Fields began his college career at Georgia in 2018, he transferred to OSU for the 2019 and ’20 seasons. Speaking to media members, Day recalled Fields’ high praise of Smart.

“It goes without saying. He obviously was unbelievable here. Had a major impact here,” Day said of Fields. “Again, I just — again, I have so much respect for the way that Kirby handled that because Justin had nothing but unbelievable things to say about his staff and Kirby on the way out, and those are not easy situations. They just aren’t. We’ve all been through it.

“We went through the same thing with Joe Burrow and Jameson Williams. This is kind of the way things have gone here in college football, and the way that everybody handled it was with class. But Justin had just an amazing impact here. He’s doing a really good job in the NFL now, and I’m glad to see him having success. He certainly left a legacy here.”

Day was in his first full season as Ohio State’s head coach in 2019. He has a 1-2 record in the CFP.