To this point, Smith is the only player the Bulldogs have brought in via the transfer portal. He announced he would be coming to Georgia back on April 4.
While he doesn’t seem likely to fill Georgia’s biggest need at cornerback, Smith does bring a couple of invaluable assets to a Georgia secondary that is lacking them at the moment.
The two biggest things Smith will provide to this Georgia defense is his experience and his playmaking skills.
In his time at West Virginia, Smith started in 18 career games while playing in four more. By comparison, the entire Georgia secondary outside of Smith has just 17 career starts. Lewis Cine accounts for 11 of those, Chris Smith has five and Latavious Brini picked up his first start in the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati.
Smith has not yet played at an SEC level but he’s gonna up against the likes of Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa State in his time in West Virginia. He’s seen his fair share of big-time offenses in his first two seasons at the collegiate level.
Georgia is most likely to employ Smith at the “star” position, which will ask him to perform a variety of jobs. It’s fairly similar to the “spear” position he played at West Virginia where he earned Third Team All-American honors.
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That experience for Smith should go a long way in helping a young Georgia secondary
“We’re trying to grow those guys up,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said in April. “We’re in constant search of our best lineup. We have to improve our consistency in the secondary.
“We’re not where we need to be but I didn’t expect them to be right now. We’ve got a ways to go.”
The other where Smith should help this Georgia defense is with his playmaking skills. As a sophomore for the Mountaineers, he picked up 8.0 tackles for loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups.
How did the returning members of Georgia’s do in those categories in 2020? Zero intercpetions, four tackles for loss and five pass breakups.
Cine is expected to take a leap forward this year and did come down with an interception in Georgia’s spring game. Smith also returns as a starter for the Bulldogs after stepping in for Richard LeCounte last season.
At the moment, Georgia is totally starting over at cornerback. The Bulldogs have zero starting experience at the position, with Jalen Kimber, Ameer Speed and Kelee Ringo looking like the potential starters that are on the Georgia roster at the moment.
With the lack of experience, Georgia could be inclined to dip once again into the transfer portal at the cornerback position even after bringing in Smith.
Smith is expected to arrive at Georgia on June 1 in time for summer workouts. For a young secondary and a defensive-minded coach in Smart, he can’t get to Georgia soon enough.
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