Kirby Smart has said he only wants to use the transfer portal on a need basis. It appears the Georgia head coach has found a player that fits the need in the secondary as Georgia landed a commitment from West Virginia safety Tykee Smith.
Smith announced his commitment to Georgia via his Twitter.
Same Mission, Next Chapter…🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/mfJDGAa4Dk
— T.Smith (@TykSmith) April 5, 2021
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) April 5, 2021
The transfer defensive back earned multiple All-American honors in his two seasons at West Virginia. As a sophomore, he intercepted two passes, had five pass deflections and picked up 61 tackles.
Smith has a history with Georgia’s new defensive backs coach, as Jahmile Addae spent the last two seasons at West Virginia. Addae takes over for Charlton Warren, who left to become the defensive coordinator at Indiana.
“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.”
GO DAWGS ‼️🐶😤
— Jahmile Addae (@Coach_Addae) April 5, 2021
Smith signed with West Virginia as a part of the 2019 signing class and will have three years of eligibility remaining. He is from Philadelphia and was a 3-star recruit, though he has outplayed that ranking so far in his Georgia career.
The NCAA is set to meet in April and vote on changing the transfer rule. Should the governing body do away with the rule where players must sit out one season, Smith should get immediate eligibility to help Georgia during the 2021 season.
Georgia’s biggest need is at the cornerback position with the Bulldogs having to replace Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, DJ Daniel and Tyrique Stevenson. Smith though projects more as either a safety or a Star in Georgia’s defense. Stevenson and Mark Webb manned that position last season.
Since Smart took over in 2016, the Bulldogs have had success in bringing in transfer defensive backs, as Maurice Smith and J.R. Reed played pivotal roles in the Georgia secondary. Safeties Lewis Cine and Chris Smith both return, giving Georgia plenty of strong starting experience.
West Virginia head coach Neal Brown spoke with reporters last week and discussed Smith’s departure from the program.
“I want to start off and just address Tykee’s departure, a mutual separation, and it’s a lot like some relationships I’m sure everyone on here has been in,” Brown said. “It just gets to a point where it’s best for both parties, and that’s kind of where we were. Nothing negative to say about it. Had a really good two years here being productive on the field, and I wish him the best.”
Thank You WVU….💙
To Be Continued….🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/uk9nNoa0r3
— T.Smith (@TykSmith) March 25, 2021
Smith will arrive at Georgia later this summer and will not go through the remaining eight spring practices for Georgia. The Bulldogs currently sit at 82 scholarships, with the addition of Smith pushing them to 83. Georgia still does have room to add players.
Georgia continues practice on Tuesday. G-Day is set for April 17. Georgia’s first game is set for Sept. 4 against Clemson.
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