Bill Belichick has been famous for not saying much to the media. His lack of telling the press information gives him an arrogant attitude, but the 66-year old head coach simply does not like talking to the media. He did have something to say about the University of Georgia football.
“I think Kirby’s program is excellent to prepare guys for the National Football League,” Belichick said about the success of Georgia football. His praise about the 43-year old head coach might seem a little strange, but that is not the case.
Smart was an assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2007-2015 and helped groom some of the Crimson Tide’s top NFL prospects. Players like Landon Collins, Marcell Dareus and HaHa Clinton-Dix all played for Smart during their time at Alabama. The Washington Redskins’ defensive line duo of Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne had Smart as a defensive coordinator at Alabama.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel is a Georgia Bulldog, so Belichick has first-had experience on Smart’s ability to turn out good prospects. Nick Chubb, Michel’s backfield companion, ran for 996 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie season. 2017 Butkus Award winner Roquan Smith was a force in the middle for the Chicago Bears and he is another Georgia alum.
The Bulldogs’ reputation for churning out good players is not something new as Todd Gurley and A.J. Green were developed by former coach Mark Richt. Champ Bailey and Herschel Walker are other notable Georgia alums before Smart took over the program. Smart’s record of turning out good NFL players will continue in the 2019 NFL Draft as 2018 Jim Thorpe Award winner Deandre Baker is a potential top 20 draft pick.
Belichick’s praise for Smart is only going to help Georgia in recruiting, which is a problem for the rest of the nation. According to 247 Sports, Georgia has the second best recruiting class in the nation, including the nation’s top player in defensive end Nolan Smith. Since taking over in 2016, Smart has signed a top-6 recruiting class every year with three consecutive classes in the top three. Only Alabama has a higher annual average recruiting class than Georgia since Smart’s arrival.
The timing of Belichick’s praise of Georgia is interesting with Super Bowl 53 less than a week away. With a win, Belichick would tie George Halas and Vince Lombardi for the most NFL titles ever by a coach.