Smart confirms transfer news, talks about transition of culture
Georgia will indeed lose starting freshman safety Johnathan Abram to transfer, as discussed Monday, head coach Kirby Smart revealed Wednesday. As with any coaching change, a level of attrition and transition is to be expected in today's world of college football.
Smart talked about his attempt to keep Abram on his first UGA roster.
“I had a relationship with him and encouraged him to stay,” Smart said. “But he’s got some personal and family issues he’s gotta deal with and right now it’s the best thing for him.”
The new Bulldog head coach was also asked if he anticipated any additional transfers and the negative repercussions of those decisions, although he said he supports players making the best decisions for themselves.
"You take it as it goes but you accept that that's probably going to happen," Smart said. "Everybody I've talked to, taking head jobs, they've dealt with that first transition, changing culture. There's going to be kids who felt they were so loyal to that coach or that staff or some staff member that they feel they need to take a chance to look somewhere else. Our job is to convince them that we're here for them too, to build that relationship, to make sure they know that they're a part of this family.
"They chose to come to the University of Georgia for a reason. We want to make those reasons the same. Is it inevitable? I do think it's inevitable. I do think that when you change the culture, sometimes people may not fit that culture, and they'll choose to leave. There's regrets about that. It affects your APR, it affects your graduation rate long term. At the end of the day, they've got to decide what's best for them, and we can't sacrifice our goals and culture for one player."