Would you like to receive DawgNation news alerts? Excellent! News alerts will be displayed in your browser.
Twitter/Georgia football
Tykee Smith committed to Georgia on Sunday night.

Tykee Smith provides big boost to new Georgia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Jahmile Addae, Georgia football get big boost with the addition of Tykee Smith

There is not a position coach on Georgia’s staff that faces a bigger challenge this spring than new defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae.

In addition to becoming familiar with the Georgia way after arriving from West Virginia in Jananruuy, Addae faces a major overhaul in the secondary, as Georgia must replace Richard LeCounte, Mark Webb, Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell and DJ Daniel.

The Bulldogs are extremely young in the secondary, with only safety Lewis Cine having more than six career starts in the positional group

When speaking following the first spring scrimmage on Saturday, Kirby Smart did not mince words about where the group was.

“We’re a long way from being ready in terms of what we need to do in the secondary because we’ve just got a lot of inexperienced players,” Smart said. “We can not have enough of those situations, scrimmages, passing, all the different looks we get because we need experience.”

So who better than to help Addae and the Georgia secondary than a two-year starter and Third Team All-American in Tykee Smith. The Philadelphia native, who has three years of eligibility remaining, announced he would be transferring to Georgia.

Smith started 22 games for West Virginia over the past two years, where he snarred four interceptions to go along with nine pass breakups. He earned All-Freshman honors in 2019 and then Third Team All-American honors in 2020.

He did all of those things while playing for Addae, who was his position coach at West Virginia.

Related: Georgia lands All-American transfer defensive back Tykee Smith

At worst, Smith is an experienced defensive back, something Georgia doesn’t have much of right now. Smith won’t arrive until later this summer but he figures to contend for immediate playing time at Georgia, specifically at the star position where Webb played in each of the last three seasons. Smith could play safety for Georgia as well.

If Smith delivers on his upside, he helps fill a massive role of being a disruptive playmaker in the secondary for the Bulldogs. LeCounte served that role a season ago, but once he went down with an injury Georgia lacked that type of player.

Cine figures to improve as a junior as does senior Christopher Smith at safety but the 2021 members of Georgia’s defensive backfield have just two interceptions combined and both of those came in 2019. Smith has four in that time.

Related: What Georgia adding West Virginia transfer Tykee Smith could mean for secondary

Addae’s prior relationship no doubt played a role in Georgia being able to beat Penn State, Auburn and South Carolina for Smith’s services.

That ability to connect with players is something that really impressed Smart and played a big role in Addae being hired at Georgia. Even before Smith himself had even entered the transfer portal.

“I’m a lot more interested in his relationship with the players, how he treats the players, can he develop the players, does he have a skill set to coach them,” Smart said of Addae. “And that’s what I was impressed with Jahmile-wise, his demeanor, intelligent, he thinks things out before he says them, and he’s done a tremendous job of gaining the trust of those players, while also learning a pretty complicated defense.”

Addae isn’t the only connection to Smith, as the Bulldogs have also recruited the Philadelphia area well under Smart. D’Andre Swift and Webb both came from the area, with Swift already in the NFL and Webb likely to join him at the end of this month.

While the Bulldogs don’t often dip into the transfer portal as frequently as say Florida or Oklahoma, Georgia has had some success when doing so in the past. The safety position, in particular, has benefited from transfers, as Maurice Smith and J.R. Reed both came to Georgia after transferring. The former ended up being the defensive MVP of the 2016 team while the latter developed into Thorpe Award finalist and All-American.

The addition of Smith though won’t be a panacea for the Georgia secondary, as the group will be very inexperienced at cornerback. The Bulldogs still need Jalen Kimber, Kelee Ringo and Nyland Green to develop this spring and fall before the 2021 season. Addae is going to play a significant role in getting those defensive backs up to speed.

Related: Georgia football secondary growing, Jalen Kimber ‘committed’ to greatness

Smith wasn’t the first talented defensive back to enter the portal this offseason, as cornerbacks Dreshun Miller and Derion Kendrick did as well earlier in the cycle. But Smart has made it clear he isn’t going to simply take any player entering the portal. There has to be a need and a fit for Georgia to bring a player in via the transfer portal.

That is what Smith appears to be for the Bulldogs. He brings experience, talent and room to grow as he has multiple years of eligibility. And no one will benefit more from what Smith will bring to Georgia than Addae.

More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation

Dawgs on Twitter

Good Dawg of the Day

We have a new way to comment on our DawgNation stories. To do so, you must be a registered user on the DawgNation forum. If you haven’t registered, please go to the Forum homepage on DawgNation and look for “register” on the right side.