After the season he had, it’s not a surprise.
Georgia junior linebacker Roquan Smith will forgo his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft.
“The decision to leave is not easy but I know it is the right one,” Smith said in a statement. “Georgia will always be my school and my home and I sincerely wish all the best to the coaches, staff, and players as they continue to reach higher goals in the years to come.”
I want to thank God, my family, who have been very supportive and valuable during this decision making process, my coaches, the football support staff, my professors, my friends, and the fans and supporters of such a wonderful university. My decision to enter the draft was not an easy one but after a lot of research and conversations, I concluded it's the better decision. Obtaining a degree is a dream of mine as well and I have laid out a plan that will allow me to finish my degree while fulfilling my dream to play in the NFL. I have learned so much as a student-athlete. I value all the knowledge gained and every memory made. I cannot verbally express how grateful and honored I am to have been a student and football player at UGA. I can never thank my coaches, my professors and fans for all their support. I will miss my teammates and playing at Sanford Stadium but know that I will always be welcomed back to support current and future Dawgs in one of the most electrifying stadiums in football. Again, thanks so much to everyone who has made this an amazing journey! Go Dawgs
“Words cannot describe how much Roquan has meant to our program,” coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “The accolades he has received are a testimony to his ability as a player. But he has also demonstrated on and off the field the qualities of a great leader who has commanded the respect of all his teammates as well as our coaching and support staffs. As the head coach, it’s been a privilege to see him develop as a student-athlete and inspirational leader who has made immeasurable contributions to our team and to the program we are building. While we will miss him, we wish him all the best and know that great success awaits him at the next level.”
This season with the Bulldogs, the SEC Championship MVP recorded 137 tackles, 6.5 sacks, two pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Smith posted a statement on Twitter to Georgia fans after the news broke.
“Bittersweet day but it’s been amazing at UGA- I must accredit a lot of this to the best fans in college football,” Smith wrote. “You have given me so much energy and will always hold a special place in my heart. May God bless you all and thank you so much for the support! Go Dawgs!”