ATHENS — The fastest Georgia football recruit in the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs’ 2020 signing class is on the mend.
Receiver Arian Smith, winner of the “Fastest Man Challenge” during the Under Armour All-American practices in Orlando last December, underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his wrist.
“Surgery went good,” Smith captioned on the first of two photos, the second photo showing his arm in a sling with a cast that extended to his hand.
The wrist injury was suffered last football season, Smith told DawgNation.
Arian Smith Instagram photo
A broken wrist generally takes between four to eight weeks to heal.
That scenario would leave Smith questionable to compete for playing time at the onset of preseason drills, but he should be in the mix by the time the season starts.
UGA president Jere Morehead said his expectation is to have student-athletes on campus in July.
Smith, a 6-foot-1, 170-pound 4-star prospect from Lakeland, Fla., privately committed to Georgia the day after the Bulldogs’ lost in the SEC Championship Game to LSU.
“I was like, dang, they really needed receivers,’” Smith told DawgNation last December. “It just felt like that moment in time it was the perfect moment of time, and it was. I committed then.”
Smith is also expected to run track at Georgia. He has run a 10.31-second time in the 100-meter dash. Smith was a member of the USA U-20 Pan Am games last summer, part of a relay team with UGA track star Matthew Boling.
Georgia signed five receivers in the 2020 class. Marcus Rosemy, Jermaine Burton, Justin Robinson and Ladd McConkey join Smith in what has been a much-anticipated group.
Rosemy, Burton and Robinson are considered potential impact players.
McConkey is a converted quarterback deemed more of a project next season, and now Smith is at the very least a question mark after his undisclosed surgical procedure.
Injuries were an issue at the receiver position for Georgia last season, with no less than six wideouts missing time on account of injuries.
This, after the top five pass catchers from the season before had moved on from the team.
George Pickens, the team’s leading returning receiver with 49 catches for 727 yards last season, also missed parts of two games on account of suspensions.
Demetris Robertson, whose 30 catches make him the second leading returning receiver, battled a hamstring injury early last season.
Dominick Blaylock, who had 18 catches, underwent surgery last winter after tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game. Like Smith, Blaylock’s timeline to compete is also questionable.
Matt Landers is next up on the returning receiver list with all of 10 catches for 105 yards last season.
It’s expected to be an inexperienced receiver group.
With a new quarterback and first-year offensive coordinator, it’s sure to be a much more simplified offense than departed pro style QB Jake Fromm ran.
Smith is viewed as the type of perimeter speed threat Georgia was lacking last season, and he still might be once recovered.
DawgNation College Football Offseason