Kirby Smart on Mark Webb’s move to Defense: “He’s been a Really Pleasant Surprise.”

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Kirby Smart on Mark Webb’s move to Defense: “He’s been a Really Pleasant Surprise.”

Mark Webb, Jr. (81) - Appalachian State vs. UGA - Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017
Mark Webb, Jr. (81)
– Appalachian State vs. UGA –
Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017

 
 
Head Coach Kirby Smart addressed the media in his weekly press conference on Tuesday. One of the big topics was Mark Webb moving from wide receiver to defensive back. Smart mentioned that Webb’s been a pleasant surprise since arriving in Athens. The head coach addressed how Webb makes plays already on special teams and how the move may not be permanent, but a good fit for now. 
 
 
When the topic of Webb came up, Smart joked with the media about how long it took them to realize he wasn’t practicing with the wide outs anymore. Kirby grinned and aggravated the media about the whole thing and told them how disappointed he was in them.
 
 

Let me say this first.  I’m very disappointed in you guys,” Smart said as he chuckled. “He’s been there (at DB) for two weeks.  I really don’t know where you guys have been, so I’ve been a little bit shocked.  I mean, we didn’t try to hide it.  We didn’t move him around in Individuals.  We didn’t put him in a black jersey.  I kept asking Claude, ‘What are these guys doing?’  Then it shocked me that y’all got it during the game, and it came by way of a, I guess, a roster announcement or something.  We probably shouldn’t even have done that.  Y’all still wouldn’t have known.”

 
 
After the head coach aggravated the media he went on about how the decision to move the freshman was due to the concerns with the depth of the secondary. Smart talked about his concerns for a while now since senior corner, Malkom Parrish went out with a foot injury the week before the opening game. He complimented Webb on his ability to make plays with the special teams unit and how well he tackles people.
 
 
Smart said the move isn’t necessarily permanent, but that the youngster has done well so far. Kirby believes he has a bright future there and that when the time comes he and Webb will sit down and discuss what he really wants to do. He complimented Webb on being such a selfless kid and how he told Smart that he just wanted to play.
 
 

But obviously, we’ve had concerns with injuries at that position, and we have a little more depth at wide receiver.  He (Webb) has been making plays on special teams.  He tackles people.  He played corner in high school.  It’s not necessarily permanent, but he’s done a really good job,” Smart mentioned. “I really think he’s got a bright future there.  We’ll sit down and revisit it when the time comes, to see what he really wants to do.  He originally wanted to play receiver, but I’ve never met a more selfless kid that said, ‘It doesn’t matter, Coach.  I just want to play.’  He’s playing on punt returns, on kick returns, so he’s a valuable asset that we felt like, if A.D. (Aaron Davis) didn’t improve and get well, and Malkom (Parrish) — we don’t know when he’s getting back for sure — we just didn’t have enough guys.  So we moved him over there and, to be honest with you, he’s been a really pleasant surprise.’’

 
 
At the beginning of the season, Webb wore No. 81, however since his move he changed to No. 23. Webb just wants to play and be a part of the team, which Smart seems to admire. As the season progresses it will be interesting to see if the Pennsylvania native stays with the defensive backs or returns to play wide receiver. Either way, Smart thinks he has a bright future here at the University of Georgia.
 
 
For Kirby Smart’s full press conference check out the You Tube Clip 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.