Smart back home to coach running backs

ATHENS – Kirby Smart was a two-time All-SEC safety for the Bulldogs from 1995 to 1998 and coached the secondary for LSU in 2004 under current Miami Dolphins Head Coach Nick Saban.

Now he gets a chance to coach something he's never coached or played before – running back. Fortunately for him, Georgia is loaded at that position.

Thomas Brown and Danny Ware return following stellar freshmen seasons. Brown led the team in rushing last season, but Ware also had a good showing during Georgia's 10-2 season. Kregg Lumpkin, who returns from an ACL injury, will also figure into the running back rotation. Lumpkin was the most impressive running back in 2003.

All three are excited about Smart's involvement with the team.

"For me, I see Coach Smart as a real intense and passionate coach. He's teaching us the plays so that we'll know what we are doing all of the time," said Brown.

"I know that he is going to be strict on us. He is going to force us to do what is right and always encourage us to work as hard as we can. I know he is going to push us to our limits. We just have to do what he says and trust him," Ware said

"He's more up front than Coach Rucker was. He's trying to get us to learn more each day. He's trying to drill things into our heads. He's bringing his personality to us. He's very intense and he expects a lot from us. He wants us to improve from where we've been last year," said Lumpkin.

Kirby Smart said coaching running backs has been an experience for him so far. "There is no easing into things with these running backs," he said after the Bulldogs' first practice of the spring. "They break you in."

Smart has also been clear with the team's top running talent – there are only so many carries each of them will get in a game.

"The guys here know that there is only one ball, and that it can only go to them so often. As long as they don't care who gets the credit – it's the team goal that matters. They know the SEC season is a long one, and that they are going to take some poundings. We are going to need all the guys we can have," said Smart.

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