Nolan Smith demonstrates what the new Georgia football standard should look like

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Georgia defensive lineman Nolan Smith runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings

Georgia players and coaches so often talk about “the standard.” About upholding and representing it in the right manner. It has come under fire in recent days following the arrest of star defensive tackle Jalen Carter for his involvement in the Jan. 15 crash that saw Devin Willock and Chandler LeCroy lose their lives.

Nolan Smith though showed what the best parts of the Georgia standard look like at the NFL combine.,

Winning back-to-back national championships is clearly not an easy task to complete. There’s a reason Georgia became the first program of the College Football Playoff era to do so and just the fourth to do so since the beginning of the Eisenhower Presidency.

Smith is just one of the many examples of the special people inside the Georgia program that have elevated it to its current standing in the sport.

Not everything has been as great as Smith showed on Saturday for the Georgia program of late. There have been a string of arrests this offseason, from current and former members of the 2022 team. The latest involves Carter, who was charged with reckless driving and racing this week. He was in Indianapolis to cheer on Smith and Robert Beal on Thursday after spending Wednesday briefly in Athens Clarke County jail on those charges.

You’ll hear a lot of talk in the national media in the coming weeks as more fallout from Carter’s arrest about Georgia’s program. About how Smart needs to get control of his program and if there’s something fundamentally wrong with it. It’s understandable given the string of negative headlines about the program of late.

Smith was not in Athens on the night of the crash. Instead of celebrating, he opted to remain in California after the national championship game. To continue working on himself so he could best represent the University of Georgia going forward.

“I’m player-led and self-driven. You’re not going to have to tell me to go, I promise you I’m going to go naturally on my own,” Smith said. “I wake up out of bed, I’m juiced up, ready, just excited. Man, we play the best game in the world. I tell people man, don’t get down on yourself. This is an amazing game.”

Nolan Smith shows the best parts of Georgia football culture

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