Dawgs open fall camp, Smart singles out Roquan Smith as a leader

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Junior linebacker Roquan Smith (#3) was praised as a leader by coach Kirby Smart. Photo Courtesy:

The Georgia Bulldogs opened fall camp in Athens Monday.

Coach Kirby Smart said a number one issue of concern is special teams.

The coach says they have to improve them.

Second, he wants to throw the ball more efficiently in camp and this season.

A lot of shuffling is expected on the offensive line.

Smart says they have to figure out the best eight or best 10 to play.

Essentially, he said it comes down to figuring out where do the pieces of the puzzle go.

Trenton Thompson and Roquan Smith are both cleared to play.

Smart said even through his injury, Smith has been the kind of leader his team needs.

Smart said, " I've never had a kid, even the years that I've been at other places, that was able to lead while being out and being injured. That's hard to do. I mean put yourself in that situation. You're not out there. It's hot. It's 100 degrees. You've got pads on and you're not practicing and they are. But yet you're still willing to say, 'Come on and go, let's pick it up, that wasn't good enough.'"

The coach spotlighted how Smith overcame his injury, saying he "hit it head on" in his recovery. He added, "effort has never been a question for that young man."

The junior linebacker came back and ran with wide receivers and defensive backs to get back into playing shape even quicker.

Smith spoke about the importance of leadership as he has matured as a player and person. " It's definitely big coming into my third year, like my last year when I was a sophomore and whatnot. I'm not quite sure on when to speak, you know, speak up here and there, but like after you have that year of experience, it just helps out a lot as far as guys listening and therefore you actually knowing what it takes and whatnot, so I definitely think it's big."