WATCH: Georgia football star Christoper Smith cherishes final outing wearing the ‘G’
MOBILE, Ala. — Christopher Smith, the most pivotal player on the Georgia defense these past two seasons, left the Senior Bowl a winner regardless of the scoreboard.
The Senior Bowl all-star game provided Smith and UGA teammates Kenny McIntosh, Jack Podlesny and Warren McClendon the chance to compete against many of the nation’s best at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday.
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“It was amazing, unfortunately we didn’t get a ‘W’, my first loss in a long time,” Smith said after the game, a few stains on his white uniform after his four-tackle effort.
“But it was great to be able to compete with the rest of the guys.”
The hard-hitting Smith had tackles on two of the first three plays in the game before the so-called “American” team he was on shifted him deeper into the alignments.
“I like to get involved,” Smith said, “early and often.”
Smith, without the benefit of film study or the expertise of Will Muschamp and Kirby Smart game-planning, was forced to play more vanilla than what Georgia fans became accustomed to throughout his play-making career.
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It was Smith, of course, who delivered a pivotal Pick-6 against Clemson in 2021 that may have saved a championship season.
If Georgia didn’t beat the Tigers 10-3, there would have been no rematch with Alabama after losing 41-24 to the Tide in the SEC title game that year.
This year, it was Smith coming up with an alert 96-yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown in the first quarter of a 50-30 win over LSU in the SEC title game.
The Tigers had moved the ball well before Smith’s touchdown and it was his play that gave Georgia much-needed momentum.
Smith’s accomplishments at Georgia, team captain status and first-team All-American honors make him a very likely future College Football Hall of Famer.
On Saturday, Smith was forced to rotate out of the all-star game, making it a bit more challenging for him to affect the outcome.
“It’s a little tougher, but you adapt and you elevate,” said Smith, one of Smart’s favorite players over the past seven years.
“I was able to adapt with a lot of good talent out here and get a peek at what the NFL will be like.”
Smith is projected as a second-to-third-round NFL draft pick, but there is room for movement depending on how he fares at the NFL combine next month.
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