NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Defensive back Dion “Smoke” Bowie, who transferred from Texas A&M to Georgia after last season, is no longer with the Bulldogs, head coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday. That was among the roster updates Smart provided Tuesday at the SEC’s media days, along with the news that leading forward Smile Mundon Jr. and running back Branson Robinson will not be ready at the start of preseason practice due to foot injuries. .
Here’s what you need to know:
- Bowie, a native of Bainbridge, Georgia, was a top 100 recruit and his home team declined to sign with the Aggies, who appeared in seven games as a freshman. He then moved to Georgia, but didn’t last until the beginning of the summer, for reasons Smart didn’t explain.
- Mondon injured his foot two days before the spring game. He led the team in tackles last year despite missing two games with an injury, and also made eight tackles for loss and 23 QB hurries.
- Robinson also injured his foot in the final spring training. He was the fourth leading rusher last year and scored twice in the fourth quarter in the national championship game.
What did Smart say about Bowie’s departure?
Smart has been very mum about why Bowie left the team, saying it was mutual.
“Smoke is no longer with our team. It’s been like that for a while,” Smart said. “It was kind of a mutual agreement to break up. We wish him nothing but the best.”
Bowie was expected to be competing for playing time at a cornerback or nickelback this year, but he wasn’t a factor in depth during the spring. He still has three years of eligibility, which will carry over to his next stop.
“Very disappointing that his stay was so short. It was a decision made by both parties, Smart said, and as I said we wish him nothing but the best. “He’s from my hometown, and I know a lot of people there. But it was a decision that was made.”
What is the injury status of Mondon and Robinson et al.?
Mondon and Robinson will take it slow when practice starts in a few weeks, doing some running but no training. Smart said he did not know if either of them would miss games to start the season.
“We’re going into a slower ramp-up with both of them. They’ve both been dealing with serious injuries,” Smart said. “We hope to get them back, but I don’t know when that will be in terms of top speed.”
Xavian Sorey, a five-star candidate in the class of 2021, is the leading candidate to take Mondon’s place while he’s away.
Georgia’s running depth will be a concern if Robinson gets out. But freshman Kendall Melton, who missed a lot of spring training with a hamstring injury, will be ready to start training, according to Smart. Redsher freshman Andrew Paul is also making good progress after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament last year.
Defensive end Mikkel Williams has been dealing with a toe injury since spring training, Smart said, but he will serve as a full starting shortstop to start camp. Williams is a freshman and All-SEC prospect.
Outside linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. and linebacker Jalon Walker, both of whom are coming off labrum injuries, will also be training, albeit with a belt. Both are expected to contribute and may initiate.
Safety Dan Jackson, who suffered a season-ending foot injury last year, is also back in shape and expected to compete to regain playing time.
Released last week amid the findings of the NCAA investigation into Tennessee that former Georgia is eliminating Darnell Washington He got cash While being recruited by the Vols, though, he ended up going to Georgia. The tight end turned professional after last season, and Smart said he had no knowledge of the cash push.
“No. We are not involved in any type of NCAA investigation,” Smart said. “I was not aware of this, knew about it, or had anything to do with it. I’ve seen the reports, as have you guys.”
(Photo: Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”