Georgia has seen its first player enter the transfer portal, as linebacker Darris Smith will be looking for a new home.

Smith has been away from the team since mid-October, with head coach Kirby Smart not offering up a specific reason as to why. On3 was the first to report Smith will be transferring.

Smith played in Georgia’s first five games of the season, picking five tackles. He had appeared on Georgia’s pass rush package, while also playing on a variety of special teams for the Bulldogs. Smith played in 11 games as a freshman after signing as a member of the 2022 signing class. The last game he played in came against Auburn.

Georgia landed Smith as a 4-star prospect in the 2022 recruiting cycle out of Baxley, Ga. Smith had 4 tackles as a freshman. At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Smith was thought to be a player with long-term upside. His combination of speed and length made him an important chess piece for the Bulldogs to potentially use.

Smith was the No. 163 overall player in the 2022 recruiting cycle per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Smith’s absence certainly hurts the outside linebacker room, which had not been a strength of the team to this point. Georgia has just five scholarship outside linebackers in Chaz Chambliss, Marvin Jones Jr., CJ Madden, Damon Wilson and Sam M’Pemba. Georgia has also been using Jalon Walker as an outside linebacker. All of those players except for Chambliss have multiple years of eligibility.

“I’ve been pleased with those guys. They’re really hard workers,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of the outside linebacker position prior to the game against Georgia Tech. “It’s been tough because early in the season we didn’t get a whole lot of opportunities for those guys. They’ve done a good job of being really physical at the point of attack. We ask them to do a lot of different things. In the game against Tennessee, we were in a three-down front a lot of the time and they were dropping in space and rushing some.

“You’ve got to be a jack of all trades to do that. We stack them back and make them play inside ‘backer some. They’ve done a lot of things, and I’ve been pleased with those guys.”

The transfer portal officially opens on Dec. 4 and closes on Jan. 2. Teams in the College Football Playoff get a five-day extension from when their season ends.

Georgia is well accustomed to losing players to the transfer portal, with the Bulldogs losing 16 players off of last year’s roster.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart spoke about the transfer portal when talking to reporters.

“It’s not a personal thing by any means,” Smart said. “It’s the nature of the beast. The NFL, that happens all the time, right? Do we get traded? People have free agency in college, they make choices and decisions that fit what they need to do or what they think they need to do for their career.

“We don’t look at it as a negative. We had two guys last week that we played against that were here and did great things for us.”

Smith can transfer anywhere due to the NCAA’s one-time transfer exemption.

Georgia takes on Alabama on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on CBS.