All the reasons why Roquan Smith considered staying at UGA

Roquan Smith opened up about the difficulty of the decision to leave Athens.

Roquan Smith struggled with his decision to leave the Georgia Bulldogs.

That's what he said to reporters at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Saturday. The Butkus Award winner and one of the top linebackers in the upcoming draft opened up about his decision to leave Georgia after his junior season, something he had not done prior.

Loading ...

“We came up short in the national championship game and that played a big part in it. I wanted to finish my degree; that and the comradery – I love those guys,” he said. “It was going to be my last chance to be a kid and not worry about adult responsibilities, that kind of thing. I talked to many individuals who have left early and it was always how much they missed college, wishing they could go back one more time. All of that went into it, but at the end of the day, the pros outweighed the cons and it was in my best interest that I did leave.”

It sounds like he seriously considered staying for his senior season after Georgia's overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship. But when you're projected to get drafted around the top 10, it's really a no brainer. There are no guarantees that spot will still be there a year later.

Reports coming out of the Combine are that Smith has bulked up, adding 11 pounds on to his weight since leaving Georgia. He weighed in at 236 pounds.

Smith did not participate in the bench press, but said he will at Georgia's Pro Day later in March. He will participate in the other drills on Sunday with other defenders.

Read more about what Roquan Smith had to say at the Combine from our partners at