In Wednesday’s post-practice presser, Coach Kirby Smart said that inside linebacker Tim Kimbrough was on a leave of absence in response to why he had been missing in practice, but he was not able to comment on the reason why at the time. Shortly after, Kimbrough Tweeted out on social media that he had had to “make a hard decision” and that it was a “family decision.”
Not long afterward, Mark Weiser from the Athens-Banner Herald reported on Online-Athens that Tim Kimbrough Jr. would be leaving UGA to transfer. Mark Weiser spoke with Tim’s father, Tim Kimbrough Sr.
Kimbrough’s father said the decision wasn’t related to academics and wasn’t anything “serious.”
“It has to do with some other stuff,” that his father did not want to divulge. “He didn’t get into trouble or nothing like that. It’s just in our best interests. We’re from Indiana and it’s kind of hard. I can’t do everything 600 miles away and get information like I’m supposed to. He just was very unhappy.”
Kimbrough was a senior linebacker for Georgia, and the team’s leading returning tackler from last year with 67, competing for a start at one of the inside linebacker spots. He has played in 36 games in his 3 years at UGA since 2013 and started 7 games last year. He played in all 12 regular season games; however, he was suspended for the Bulldawg’s bowl game versus Penn State for undisclosed reasons.
He was the Bulldawgs most experienced returning inside linebacker, and his departure leaves Georgia with redshirt junior Reggie Carter who has played in 21 games and started 1, sophomore Natrez Patrick who has played in 11 games and started 2, sophomore Roquan Smith who has played in 12 games, and senior Ryne Rankin who has played in 31 games, mostly on special teams. Other linebackers who could possibly play at that position are freshman linebacker Jaleel Laguins, who played in the middle at ILB at Oconee County High School, and sophomore Juwan Taylor, who also spent some time at ILB in high school at Hallandale in Hollywood, FL.
Both Natrez Patrick and Reggie Carter have been getting a lot of work with the first-team units at inside linebacker during fall camp, and Roquan Smith has seen his share of work as well.
We will update this story as we more information becomes available.