ATHENS — It’s not hyperbolic to say that Nick Chubb is one of the most important players of the Kirby Smart era. Chubb elected to bypass the 2017 NFL Draft in favor of returning to Georgia for his senior season.
Chubb ran for 1,345 yards in 2017 but more importantly, helped lead the Bulldogs to Georgia the national championship game that season. Georgia came up short against Alabama in Chubb’s final game as a Bulldog but he had long established himself as a program legend.
Smart shared his personal thoughts on Chubb following Tuesday’s practice, raving about the kind of person Chubb is. Chubb suffered a serious knee injury on Monday night and will need season-ending surgery.
“He’s an incredible human being first and foremost,” Smart said. “What kid goes back to their high school weight room, strength coach, program, track and works out like he does. It’s very rare in the sports world to find someone as humble and as great a person as he is. I reached out to him, I know he’s probably flooded with all kinds of people reaching out to him. Just a lot of respect for him and what he did for this program in terms of toughness and giving back.”
Chubb suffered a similar knee injury in his time at Georgia. In the 2015 game against Tennessee, Chubb tore multiple ligaments in his knee.
But that was not the end of Chubb’s time at Georgia. He rehabbed and returned for the opening game of the 2016 season, which doubled as Smart’s first for the Bulldogs.
Chubb ran for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Bulldogs took down North Carolina.
“He decided to come back when he did I thought it was in his best interest to come back but he certainly did UGA a favor,” Smart said. “I talked to Ron (Courson) about it today and I think he’ll make a full recovery and bounce back. That’s just who he is. He’ll be ready to get after it”
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