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Daniels looks to lead Bulldogs to title

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 10:47 AM EDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WTVM) - Last year, JT Daniels was coming back from a torn ACL. Now, he’s got a shot to lead Georgia to its first national championship in over 40 years, thanks in part to the lessons learned from his misfortune.

“All that really did was -- it was strong adversity, which I think was important for my personal development and helping me put things in perspective,” said Daniels.

The Bulldogs are impressed with the way Daniels handled himself in the comeback, and how he’s progressed as a player.

“JT has unbelievable retention.” head coach Kirby Smart said. “He can stay in a meeting, he can take notes. He can get us questions, the next day or three days later. When it reappears, he knows the answers from what he learned in the meetings.”

“When it was his time, he came and he showed up,” said senior defensive lineman Jordan Davis. “That’s one thing we’re grateful for. And we’re grateful to have JT back. You know, like I did. He could have left too.”

Davis serves as a leader on the defensive side of the ball. He’s back for his final year of eligibility feeling he has something to prove.

‘Definitely pass rush emphasis,” Davis said. “I feel like I’m a good run stopper. There’s always room to get better. In the SEC you’ve got great competition. I like to call it the NFL U.”

Davis and the Dawgs are playing outside of the “NFL U. to open the season with a headline matchup with fellow championship contender Clemson in the first meeting between the teams since 2014. It’s one of the biggest college football openers in recent memory.

“I think the first game can be what you want it to be,” Smart said. “You can use it as a springboard, you can use it as a learning experience. The outcome of that game is probably going to determine how you use that game.”

“In terms of that game being as big as it is,” said Davis, “Yeah, it’s a national TV game. It’s a 7:30 kickoff, it’s a big deal. But I think for us, as good as Clemson is, it’s important to not look at them as any different from any other opponent.”

Georgia and Clemson will square off in Charlotte on September 3 at 7:30 pm ET in a game that will be shown on WTVM.

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