Georgia went into the transfer portal and pulled out a former top recruit, as Smoke Bouie is transferring to Georgia according to the recruiting website, On3.
Bouie spent this past season at Texas A&M, where he appeared in seven games for the Aggies. He is a defensive back who has the ability to play either safety, star or cornerback for the Bulldogs. He will have three seasons of eligibility left.
As a recruit, Bouie was the No. 68 overall player in the 2022 recruiting cycle out of Bainbridge, Ga. He was first committed to Georgia before backing off his pledge and signing with the Aggies. Bouie is from the same hometown as Georgia head coach Kirby Smart.
Related: Georgia football 2023 roster tracker: Live updates on transfer portal, NFL draft decisions and coaching news
Georgia did not land a player out of the transfer portal in the 2022 recruiting cycle but Smart has made it clear that the Bulldogs will use the portal when they see fit.
“We’ve had successful guys come from the portal, and we’ll continue to utilize the portal,” Smart said earlier in December. “It would be foolish to think that you could be successful in college football and not evaluate and look through the portal. But you have to be smart what you bring into your program, especially if you want to keep a dynamic, the culture we like to keep.
The Bulldogs will see All-American Chris Smith depart for the NFL, with the senior having started every game this season. Georgia is also likely to see cornerback Kelee Ringo depart for the NFL draft, as he has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick. Starters Kamari Lassiter, Malaki Starks and Javon Bullard are all expected back next season for Georgia.
Georgia signed six defensive backs in the 2022 cycle and inked another four in the 2023 recruiting cycle. Cornerbacks AJ Harris and Chris Peal joined Georgia this week, while Georgia signed safeties Joenel Aguero and Kyren Jones.
At the safety position, Georgia will bring back Dan Jackson, David Daniel-Sisavanh and JaCorey Thomas, in addition to Starks. At the star position, Georgia has Bullard, Tykee Smith and Marcus Washington Jr. The Bulldogs will bring back Lassiter, Daylen Everette, Julian Humphrey and Jaheim Singletary.
Bouie will enroll in January and will be able to practice with the team during spring.
Georgia has had previous success with transfer defensive backs, as it brought in Derion Kendrick for the 2021 team, while Maurice Smith and JR Reed also enjoyed successful stints in Athens.