John Atkins is “the Heart of the Trench.”

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John Atkins is “the Heart of the Trench.”

John Atkins - UGA Fall Camp - Practice No. 21 - Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017
John Atkins
– UGA Fall Camp, practice No. 21 –
Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017

 
 
Kirby Smart addressed the media after practice on Tuesday afternoon. The head coach talked about various defensive players and the upcoming matchup with Tennessee. However, Smart gave a specific compliment to senior nose guard, John Atkins. 
 
The head coach said that Atkins is the heart of the trench and that without him the guards and center would capitalize on the linebackers. Smart talked about his technique and how the “less people” move Atkins the more success the defense has.
 
 

“He’s the heart of the trench. He really is,” Smart said. “Without him, the guards and centers are getting up on Roquan (Smith). He does a tremendous job of block recognition. When the center turns to go block somebody else, he immediately knows who’s blocking him. He strikes, he holds the point down. A lot of our defense is predicated off not being able to move him. And the less people move him, the more success we have. He takes a lot of pride in that. There is no glory in what he does. He’s got thumbs, ankles, wrists. He’s battered, but he loves it and never complains.”

 
 
Atkins is one of the senior leaders on the defense and is making his presence known this season. With Tennessee up next for the Bulldogs, Atkins must use his blocking recognition and ability to eat up offensive linemen to the best of his ability; so, that linebackers Roquan Smith, Natrez Patrick, Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy and company can be free to make plays.
 
 
Check out Kirby’s Full Press conference below:
 
 

 
 
Check out the 2017 John Atkins Gallery Below:
 
 
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Savannah Leigh is a recent graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is an avid SEC, Dawgs, and college football fan. She also adores her three-year-old black lab, Champ Bailey.