UGA Football

Kirby Smart reacts to Quay Walker tossing aside a Tennessee hat before committing to UGA

Star linebacker in Georgia pretends to join Tennessee, ends up committing to UGA instead

Star linebacker Quay Walker picks up a Tennessee Volunteers hat before throwing it away and revealing a Georgia Bulldogs shirt, to the appreciation of hometown fans.
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Star linebacker Quay Walker picks up a Tennessee Volunteers hat before throwing it away and revealing a Georgia Bulldogs shirt, to the appreciation of hometown fans.

It proved to be one of the more animated moments of National Signing Day.

Crisp County linebacker Quay Walker was in the midst of revealing his college destination when he picked up a Tennessee hat and put it on his head. The hat, however, didn't stay on for too long.

Instead, Walker removed the hat and threw it across the gymnasium his ceremony was taking place in. He then revealed a black Georgia polo he was wearing under his long sleeve zip-up and some Georgia pants that were concealed by a turquoise towel. He capped the announcement by putting on a Georgia straw hat. The move, captured on video by media in attendance, quickly went viral.

Head coach Kirby Smart said he didn't see Walker throw the Tennessee hat. His wife, Mary Beth Smart, however, did.

"I did get a text from my wife that she was scared to death when he did that," Smart said.

The fake-out likely worried more than only Mary Beth, considering the major recruiting sites were trending Walker in Georgia's direction in last couple of days before National Signing Day.

Smart did say, however, that each recruit has his own way of handling his announcement, with some players seeking more attention than others. And that is something that gets addressed when recruits eventually arrive to campus.

"That's their moment in the sun, and some kids know how to handle it and some don't," Smart said. "To each his own. When they get here, we're going to try to teach them the correct way to handle some things, and that's their moment in the sun. That's their family's time and opportunity to be on TV and give the University of Georgia some publicity, and I'm happy for Quay and his family."

But as for why Smart was unable to catch Walker's hat toss live?

"I was watching 2019 and 2020 (recruiting) tape at the time, so I didn't actually see it," Smart said.

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