Georgia Football

Kirby: Four Leaving Early "Contributed Significantly to Our Success"

January 4, 2019

ATHENS - It appears that the four juniors leaving UGA early for the NFL will be all for now. 

UGA coach Kirby Smart released a statement Friday regarding the departure of Mecole Hardman, Elijah Holyfield, Isaac Nauta and Riley Ridley. 

“We wish the best to Mecole Hardman, Elijah Holyfield, Isaac Nauta and Riley Ridley as they pursue their careers at the next level,” Kirby said in the statement. “All four of these juniors contributed significantly to our success during the last two seasons and we look forward to them making the best out of their shot at the NFL.  As with all our players, we also will encourage them to complete their degrees to get prepared for the next chapter of their lives.”

It is a big departure from two years ago when a slew of juniors, including Nick Chubb and Sony Michel decided to come back for their final year in late December 2016. Those moves jumpstarted the success the Bulldogs have had since winning the 2016 Liberty Bowl. 

Georgia also lost 5-star QB Justin Fields and TE Luke Ford to transfers on Friday as well.

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