Sentell’s Bones: Giving a few ‘Dawgs from the Clemson game their due

Georgia football-Clemson-2022 season
Nolan Smith had the first sack for Georgia in the 10-3 win against Clemson. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Think you’ve read everything so far about that Clemson win? DawgNation’s recruiting reporter Jeff Sentell wants to share a few things to know behind-the-scenes about the ‘Dawgs who had their day against Clemson.



Give a ‘Dawg a bone, right. Truth be told, this new weekly staple should have come out on Thursday or Friday.

But these ‘Dawgs we discuss here on these pages had a lot on their plate last Saturday night.

They ate. Ate it all.

Dan Lanning’s defense even ate the plate. They ate about 20 plates. Maybe we might have been busy with other efforts but they didn’t look like they were ready to eat.

It is time for them to eat again today.

That’s the explainer to try to describe what we will do here in this space after every game this fall. We take a look at the game as a whole, step back and try to help you see what a guy who has been following these players for years might see.

Or just what sticks out after a few views of the game on DVR.

It is not so much what they did. It is more what they came through to get here. This better not be the stuff you’ve read in all the game stories. Or seen in flashy edits on social media.

It will be the stuff that someone who really knows these young men and their backstories wants to know. Might make you want to pull a little harder for them. Well, if that is possible after last week’s game.

We have two quality beat guys in Mike Griffith and Connor Riley to give you the high notes, the medium notes and the red and black notes. (Maybe even a little salty note or three.)

We’re going to try to show you things. Just as much as tell. So we’ll try to convey these things we know by throwing up pictures and words and video in this space, too.

But we’re here for the Bones.

Georgia football used to put bones and stars on the back of its player’s helmets after big performances. That’s not a Kirby Smart thing, but we feel it is a good time to start using them here after about 15 Saturdays each fall.

Did you know the weekly "Before the Hedges" program is available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it.

Give a ‘Dawg a bone: Senior safety Christopher Smith

Let’s start with Chris Smith’s touchdown. We can’t discuss it without showing you this picture.

Hapeville Charter's practice field is less than 100 yards long and 50 yards wide, is uneven, has dirt patches and divots and is cut off by a sidewalk that separates the field and Bluffington Road. (Courtesy of Hapeville Charter)
Hapeville Charter Special , Dawgnation

That’s where Smith developed as a football player at Hapeville Charter Academy in Atlanta. Note the gravel on the practice field.

Note the lack of grass. Note the designer PVC pipe as a makeshift imaginary goal post.

Not pictured is the Marta bus that will stop right at the side of the field. I’ve been there for drills when a stray football comes pretty close to that bus stop.

It is a telling visual metaphor that you can get to the end zone of the Duke’s Mayo Classic in an NFL stadium from anywhere.

Smith had the signature play of the second most-watched season opener in prime time of the last 20 years.

No Marta buses. No PVC pipe. Just a moment that those who know and love Smith felt all too well. Check out this ‘Dawgpile in the end zone.

Georgia celebrates with Christopher Smith in the end zone after his interception return for a touchdown against Clemson.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation

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