Former Georgia defensive back Maurice Smith played a key role as a graduate transfer in 2016.
But it never would have happened had Nick Saban gotten his way.
Smith initially had his graduate transfer request blocked by Saban and the Crimson Tide, before the NCAA intervened and approved his appeal.
Smith detailed the transfer process from Alabama to Georgia, which he called a “power struggle,” and said “it felt pointless” for a long time during an exclusive interview with The Read Optional’s Trey Wallace and Oliver Connolly.
“I guess once we started to throw different things out, they started to see my side — that it wasn’t just about playing time. They saw that Georgia had an Academy that Alabama didn’t, that I’m still doing my master’s in.”
Related: The divided loyalties of Maurice Smith, formerly of both Georgia and Alabama
Smith flourished as a starting defensive back and captain for the Bulldogs, recording 50 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 3 passes defended in 2016.
He signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft and recorded 1 tackle and 1 pass defended in six games.