Kirby Smart looks ahead to season opener against UNC
Barring a setback, indications are favorable for Georgia running back Nick Chubb to play against North Carolina on Sept. 3.
Head coach Kirby Smart, who has been optimistic for some time on Chubb's status for the season opener, gave his most positive outlook yet during an appearance on 680 The Fan on Wednesday.
Smart was asked frankly if Chubb would be ready to suit up against the Tar Heels.
"I hope so," Smart said. "It’s pointing in that direction."
Chubb sustained a significant knee injury last October against Tennessee in which his PCL, MCL and LCL were torn. He's since been rehabbing his knee and has been considered ahead of schedule since the spring.
Chubb passed another test last Saturday as he was tackled numerous times to the ground in Georgia's intrasquad scrimmage. He also had some nice runs, including one on the outside that went for a touchdown. Chubb's availability makes Georgia a much more dangerous team offensively, which is what it will need as it continues to figure out its quarterback conundrum.
During the scrimmage, Smart said he actually wanted Chubb to receive more tackling.
"They blew the whistle a little quick a couple of times," Smart said. "I don’t know why. I guess they’re big fans or something and have been reading the Internet."
Smart was also asked if he's been around a running back similar to Chubb. At Alabama, Smart saw running backs such as Glen Coffee, Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry come through during his tenure.
There's one difference Smart's noticed about Chubb compared other running backs.
"He’s a different demeanor kid," Smart said. "Most backs I’ve been around are more of a showboating type. He’s not like that at all. He’s a quiet and humble type."