Smart Building Team Based on Toughness and Competitiveness

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Smart Building Team Based on Toughness and Competitiveness

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart talks in an interview on the upcoming season and recruits on National Signing Day at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Emily Selby)

When a new coach arrives on campus their first goal is to establish their culture within the program.  For fifteen years under Mark Richt, the number one trait he looked for in a player to fit in with his culture was character.  Say what you will about Mark Richt’s record on the field but he produced a huge number of kids that became high character young men.  With Kirby Smart now in Athens, the number one traits he looks for are toughness and competitiveness.
Smart stated exactly that when meeting with the media after Tuesday’s practice, “Number one trait for us is toughness and competitiveness.  We rank kids on scales for competitiveness. If you are a true competitor and can’t stand losing, then you get the true grit competitor award.”  Smart continued, “We talked about NFL teams, they quit evaluating kids necessarily on size, weight, and ability – they evaluate on competitiveness and it’s one of the main features that allows you to be successful”.
Take a look at the headlining member of UGA’s recruiting class to date in the Class of 2017, Richard Lecounte, III.  Lecounte is known across the state as a tough and competitive individual. Look no further than the state playoffs in basketball when at only 5’11, Lecounte locked down 6’5 superstar M.J. Walker.  Only one year prior, in the state playoff semifinals, Walker roasted Lecounte for 30 points.  Lecounte was not going to let that happen again.
That is exactly what Coach Smart is looking for.  Young men who “self-motivate and self-start”.  If you come to Georgia with toughness and competitiveness, he is going to enhance it.  If you don’t, he will build it.


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Matthew “Huck” Pasek was born into a family of Georgia Bulldogs. Huck’s father, Gary, graduated from UGA in 1976 and became a high school chemistry teacher at Peachtree HS in Dunwoody, GA where he coached alongside Georgia High School football legend T. McFerrrin. Gary’s love of football, especially Georgia football, was passed along to his son. Huck lives in Belmont, NC with his wife, Whitney, and works in Financial Services Litigation. In his spare time he is an avid golfer, movie fanatic and habitual traveler to St. Simons Island with his wife “just to get away”. The moniker ImYourHuckleberry arose from his favorite movie, Tombstone, and character Doc Holiday’s famous line, “I’m Your Huckleberry”. Matthew was never one to shy away from a confrontation or debate, thus the nickname instantly stuck.

2 responses on “Smart Building Team Based on Toughness and Competitiveness


    Greg Poole I’ll take the “Want to” over another star all day everyday!  I’ll take the 3-4 star with the want-to over the 5 star…

  2. Greg Poole

    The idea of a competitiveness ranking is interesting. Smart is right that prospects are often very close in measurables – strength, speed etc. It is the “want-to” factor that makes the difference.