Champ Bailey on former teammate Kirby Smart

12-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey still fondly remembers playing alongside Kirby Smart when both were in Athens. Now that his former teammate is set to likely become Georgia football's next coach, Bailey says he thinks the Bulldogs got the right man for the job -- one that was basically a coach on the field back when they were college athletes.

"He was the guy that got us all lined up," said Bailey on Wednesday at an autograph signing. "He was the smart guy in the room: he knew as much or more than the coaches. Him being a head coach right now is no surprise to me. I know how hard he works."

Bailey was a cornerback for UGA from 1996-1998 and patrolled the defensive backfield with Smart who was a safety.  Smart was known for his ... smarts in college, being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll four times.

Bailey says he's not worried about Smart being a first-time head coach -- Smart has been Nick Saban's defensive coordinator at Alabama since 2008.

"[Smart is] a strong willed guy," said Bailey. "I'm sure he knows how he wants to win, sure he's got a plan. I'm anxious to see how it goes. Guys are going to respect him. They know what he's done. He has the top defense in the country. That goes without saying that this guy's ready to be a head coach."

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