Nolan Smith II committed to UGA yesterday. That bit of news might have eventually been found in a half-dozen places yesterday.
If you had the chance to read DawgNation’s profile this month, it is not necessary to stress that Smith just seems different. Especially for a high school sophomore.
What he did on Christmas Day this year is an example of that. When Smith committed with that tweet, he also didn’t realize some Georgia fans would look at that last line and get the wrong impression.
🐾 first but not the last pic.twitter.com/IsBhbzB1yg
— Nolan Smith II (@SmithNoland2) January 29, 2017
That “my recruitment will still be open to all schools” line left some wondering how committed he actually was.
When he heard that, Smith immediately took to counter that message.
“I really might tweet that out right now to clear that up with everybody,” he said.
So he did.
To clear all this up I'm 100% COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA.??#newbreed19
— Nolan Smith II (@SmithNoland2) January 30, 2017
That mattered to him since he plans to unabashedly carry the torch for #Newbreed19 going forward.
Smith wanted to make sure everyone knew what he meant by that.
“I’d just explain that I would still accept offers from other schools,” he said. “It wasn’t like my recruitment is still open and stuff like that. It was just I would accept offers from other schools and would still talk to other schools. That’s all I was really saying.”
Smith then took that a step further. He said he would probably visit other schools during his process. He might do that to check out other players for the class.
But then he said that UGA would be the only school he would camp and work out for.
“I’m not going to any other college camps except the ones at Georgia,” he said.
The IMG sophomore will go to the competitive camps conducted by the recruiting services. He projects to be a pass-rush specialist at OLB in Athens.
Smith is the second commitment in the 2019 class, but expect him to work like 5-star freshman Richard LeCounte III did this cycle to build a crop of recruits around him.
Plugged-in recruiting fans might be interested to know there is already a group chat that’s in use for the top prospects in Georgia for 2019, too.
“We are all brothers that want the same dream,” Smith said. “We all want to go to college, play football and win championships and win with each other. I won’t even say play with savages anymore because everyone uses it. That’s not our thing.”
What does his shopping list look like for 2019?
“My grocery list is so full right now at this point that no names can be said,” he said. “I don’t want to mention any names to put pressure on anybody.”
Smith said there is a chance up to 20 members of the “True 19” group of sophomores in Georgia that could wind up in Athens.
“I think that is really possible,” Smith said.
His commitment day began with a twist. It was a day to get things done. He just didn’t know it yet.
“I woke up kinda early,” he said on Sunday night. “I was like ‘Wow, there is probably something special is going to happen with this day.”
Committing had been on his mind for a time. He also shared he’d been a silent to Georgia since last fall during his sophomore season at Calvary Day School in Savannah.
“I’ve had the feeling a long time,” Smith said. “I just kind of talked to my mom about it and she just felt like today could be the day.”
His mother laid it out like any sound parent would. She asked if he was sure and told him it was his life and his decision.
“But she loves Georgia and what they are doing up there,” Smith said. “I told her that’s where I wanted to go. She has always been asking me like ‘Are you sure?’ and I’m like ‘I’m positive’ and she just wants to support me in every way.”
His decision to move to IMG Academy should be seen as an accelerator to give him the ability to play right away at the college level. He joins a roster of about 45-50 future Power 5 players.
He said the coaches at Georgia knew his decision was coming.
“It felt great and I am trying to get a bunch of boys on board now,” Smith said.
His Georgia offer came on G-Day this year. Some folks felt he was close to committing then. He even signed a series of autographs at Georgia that day.
What sort of pace does Smith expect the Class of 2019 to fill up for Georgia?
“It is going to be a little while,” Smith said while wearing his UGA shirt and a pair of UGA slides. “A lot of people are saying it is early but to me when I know where I want to go already then it is never early. That’s what I tell them. Why wait?”
He said the biggest adjustment for him at IMG right now is washing his own clothes.