Fifteen days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 1. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.
15. Garrison Smith
Junior, Defensive end
6-foot-3, 297 pounds
Fall forecast: After taking over for the injured DeAngelo Tyson as a starting defensive end late last season, Smith appears ready to play a key reserve role at that position this season. It appears as though seniors Cornelius Washington and Abry Jones will be the starters at end, but Smith would probably be the first player off the bench at the position.
Career highlight: When Tyson left early in last season’s Georgia Tech game, the Bulldogs did not miss a beat at defensive end when Smith came off the bench to record a career-high seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He was named SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against the Yellow Jackets.
Experience thus far: Smith appeared in all 14 games last season, starting twice, and played in 21 games over his first two seasons. He finished last season with 22 tackles and three tackles for loss.
Possible career impact: Smith made the most of his opportunity to play at the end of last season, so he should figure heavily into Georgia’s defensive line plans over the next two years. He will play a lot this fall and should be in line for a starting position next season once Jones and Washington have exhausted their eligibility.