Zion Logue first up for interviews among ex-Georgia Bulldogs at NFL combine

Georgia defensive lineman Zion Logue (96) celebrates after their win against Ole Miss at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Georgia defensive lineman Zion Logue (96) celebrates after their win against Ole Miss at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 11, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 52-17. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS — Zion Logue kicked things off for Georgia at the NFL Scouting Combine talking about championships, but not the one he played in this city two years ago.

Logue, one of 11 outgoing Bulldogs scheduled to appear at the combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium this week, has learned quickly how school bragging rights carry over into the NFL.

Coach Kirby Smart will benefit most from the sort of bragging rights that come from having a nation-high 34 players selected over the past three NFL drafts, a number UGA prospects are surely made aware of during recruiting process.

But for Logue and the other high-profile Bulldogs who will be at the combine this week, including projected first-round picks Brock Bowers and Amarius Mims, what transpired on the collegiate fields will be a part of their resume forever.

The first dose of that reality came when Logue crossed paths with Florida State players.

“I was actually at the Shrine Bowl with a couple of Seminoles, and we were talking about it,” Logue said Wednesday. “They were saying, ‘The SEC ain’t this, SEC ain’t that,’ and I was like, ‘Y’all beat one SEC team, LSU, no knock to them.’”

Georgia, of course, dealt Florida State the worst loss in the Seminoles’ program history in a 63-3 Orange Bowl beatdown that also ranked as the most lopsided bowl game in history.

The Seminoles, notably, had eight healthy players who “opted out” of playing in the bowl game to focus on preparing for the NFL draft.

Logue said Georgia would have won even if those players had decided to play in the game.

“It would have been 38-17, I feel like,” Logue said. “But it wouldn’t have been as close as they were saying.”

Logue took the next step in saying Georgia would have won the College Football Playoff Championship game had the Bulldogs found their way into the four-team playoff.

Georgia recorded its third consecutive undefeated regular season in 2023, and its only loss of the season came in the SEC Championship game to Alabama, by a field goal.

“I definitely feel like we would have won it,” said Logue, who played in the Bulldogs’ back-to-back CFP Championship game wins over Alabama and TCU.

“I feel like our defense would have stacked up (against Michigan). Pac-12 football going against Big Ten caliber/SEC offensive line? They don’t really have the beef in the middle to stop that run.”

Logue, at 6-foot-5 and 316 pounds, will be the first Georgia player to go through the on-field combine workouts Thursday and plans to take part in all of the drills except the bench press.

Georgia will hold its Pro Day workout for NFL teams March 13, where many of the prospects also can test or retest in events on the UGA campus in Athens.

Saban still coaching?

Alabama’s Chris Braswell admits he was surprised to hear Nick Saban announce he was retiring.

“I thought he was going to coach until the wheels fell off,” Braswell said at the combine Wednesday. “I didn’t think he was going to retire; it was a big shock to me.”

The ex-Crimson Tide linebacker indicated he wouldn’t be surprised to see Saban back coaching, if he isn’t already.

“I think he would. I seen the video of him getting wiped out in the ocean on the little surfboard, I don’t know if he wants to keep doing that too long,” Braswell said.

“He’s still coaching. I think he’s still coaching, he even said it, that he’ll be in the building and have an office on game days up top (at Bryant-Denny Stadium), like, looking at everything, but he’ll still keep his distance, but nah, he’s still coaching for sure.”

Talking about ‘loyalty’ to Florida State

It was a magical 13-0 ACC championship run for Florida State before the Orange Bowl, but it has been well-documented how the Seminoles were left out of the four-team playoff field, leading to some players opting out of the bowl.

Kalen DeLoach, one of the starters who didn’t opt out, said he worked to convince his teammates to play.

“I tried my best, we have a group chat together, so all of us were well-connected,” DeLoach said. “I tried to motivate them them come out here one more last time and put on this uniform and showcase who we are.”

DeLoach said loyalty meant a lot to him “because I feel like Florida State helped me from the time I got there to the time I left. ... You only get so many opportunities to do it with the guys you get to do it with, so take advantage of all of them.”

Clemson waiting for Bulldogs

The Georgia-Clemson rivalry will renew when the teams open their seasons Aug. 31 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and four-time ACC pick Tyler Davis said the Tigers will be ready.

“I think it will be a great opportunity playing the top team in the country. Clemson always reloads,” Davis said. “All the guys that are still there, it’s definitely going to be a great game.”

Davis noted the Tigers finished last season on a five-game win streak.

“Winning five games in a row matters a lot,” Davis said. “I think they will definitely continue that momentum into the season.”