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Kirby Smart: People told Brock Bowers to sit out, ‘pissed him off’

Grant Grubbsby:Grant Grubbs11/12/23


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Brock Bowers doesn’t run away from obstacles. He runs through them. Just 26 days after undergoing tight rope surgery on his left ankle, the Georgia tight end returned in the team’s statement 52-17 win over Ole Miss.

Fans weren’t the only ones surprised by Bowers’ seemingly superhuman recovery. After the win, head coach Kirby Smart discussed Bowers’ triumphant return.

“I didn’t have an expectation for Brock. I thought Brock would do what he could,” Smart said. “Brock was hellbent to get back out there. I knew, I don’t know when it was so don’t quote me on it, but I was watching film of practice and there was a red blur back behind the play I was watching, about 20 yards behind it.

“It looked like a guy flying across the field, and I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Brock.’ I knew we had a chance then. He’s just different. He took a path that no one takes on that injury and said, ‘This is what I’m doing.'”

Bowers was a blur on the field on Saturday night. In UGA’s victory, the 6-foot-4 tight end tallied three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. While Bowers has boasted better performances, the adverse circumstances made this one special.

Every time Bowers’ name came over the loudspeakers, Sanford Stadium would erupt. Smart knows the work Bowers put in to suit up for the Bulldogs.

“I knew it was in the realm,” Smart said. “It was a belief that he’d have to do something special. The day after it happened, his mother and father called and wanted to be aggressive with it and wanted to treat it. One of the best things for it is to get back on it, move it and not let it stiffen. We had had experience with other guys taking longer, and he took a really aggressive approach to it. He’s different.”

Brock Bowers motivated by his doubters

Different doesn’t do Bowers justice. Despite missing nearly a month of football, Bowers still has over 125 more receiving yards than Georgia’s second-leading receiver. Moreover, the California native leads the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns.

With so many accolades already under his belt, some outsiders advised Bowers to sit out the rest of the season and prepare for the NFL Draft. Smart claims their careful mindsets only motivated Bowers further.

“Well people called him and told him that. Those people will not be representing him, I can promise you that,” Smart said. “All it did was piss him off. He said, ‘I had people calling and telling me I shouldn’t play, Coach.’ He said, ‘That just drives me crazy. It makes me want to play more to prove them wrong.’ He said, ‘Why am I in this game if I’m not going to come back and play?’

“He’s not risking millions, guys. He has an opportunity to get more millions. Like, it’s the other way. It’s not the way, because he’s a great player. The NFL knows people heal. They heal from that injury. They’ve had tons of that same injury in the NFL. All he did was go out and stamp himself as a warrior.”