Nate McBride talks about why he didn’t leave UGA, a possible NFL career on special teams

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Nate McBride talks about why he didn’t leave UGA, a possible NFL career on special teams

Nate McBride (22) and Bill Norton (45) - Georgia vs. Georgia Tech 2019 - Fourth Quarter - November 30, 2019
Nate McBride (22) and Bill Norton (45) – Georgia vs. Georgia Tech 2019 – Fourth Quarter – November 30, 2019

It seems like Georgia senior inside linebacker Nate McBride is living the dream playing college football in Athens.

The former four-star prospect was apart of Georgia’s No. 3 ranked recruiting class, and that bunch was the first real example of what Kirby Smart could do. Besides McBride, other notable names in that class include Jake Fromm, Richard LeCounte, D’Andre Swift, Isaiah Wilson, Andrew Thomas, Monty Rice and Eric Stokes.

In fact, McBride announced his decision in a Christmas-themed commitment video produced by SEC Country, and it featured Fromm and LeCounte in it.

Now, nearly four years later McBride is one game into his senior year.

Although, he hasn’t had quite the career some might have expected him to. Still, the once No. 6 ranked inside linebacker in the nation is glad he stuck it out here in Athens.

“I love it here. I love the guys here. The coaches are awesome,” McBride said when asked about his decision to stay at Georgia. “I believe they’re the best coaches in the conference and in the nation. Who better to learn from? I also look past football because I know football doesn’t last forever and the connections here that I would get, the networking that I would get would set me up for a great job afterwards and the education here is really good. So that’s the biggest reason I’ve stayed besides being who I’m with.”

As a freshman, McBride played in all 15 games during Georgia’s national championship run in 2017. He finished the season with seven total stops, and had a memorable play in the Rose Bowl while playing on kickoff coverage. Through the last two seasons, McBride has played in all 28 games racking up 13 total tackles. Last week against Arkansas, he got on the field to get two takedowns.

It seems like ever since he’s started at Georgia, he’s improving, and that showed on the field last week.

“I had fun going into the Arkansas game,” McBride said. “It’s always fun getting in on defense, made two tackles.”

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McBride said since last year, his weight has dropped a little bit.

“I don’t think it’s a huge deal. I’m still fast, still physical,” he continued. “That’s how I was raised up and how the coaches teach us here. I would say from last year to this year, I think that mentally I am more prepared for the game or more prepared for practice. I think things are a little bit easier to see and I think that comes with maturity of the game and getting reps. I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen in myself from last year to this year.”

The Vidalia, Ga. native had high expectations coming into his freshman season, but some reason he never cracked the starting lineup on defense. But since then he has found a home on specials teams, where he has played a vital role over the last three seasons.

Against the Razorbacks, the specials teams unit kept the Bulldogs alive in the first half and throughout the game. Under first year position coach Scott Cochran, McBride thinks the program is set up for success in the future.

“Since Coach [Scott] Cochran has gotten here, special teams have always been a huge deal to Coach [Kirby] Smart,” McBride said. “Having coach Cochran here and then coach [Todd] Hartley as well doing the special teams. They bring that juice every day. That makes us want to get better at special teams because special teams is also a very big avenue that can lead you to the pros. You might not start on offense or defense but if you can get into the league and you can play on special teams, that’s $600,000 a year. That sounds pretty nice.”

That NFL career sounds great for McBride, especially for someone who’s waking up everyday blessed that he’s in a Georgia uniform, and can make a difference on the field at the same time.

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Currently an intern for BI, and a junior journalism major at the University of Georgia.