Speed is all over the news, which is why wide Arian Smith attracted a lot of attention when he arrived in Athens in the summer of 2020.
The Florida product offers Olympic-level speed, enough to make even SEC defenders look sluggish. Smith was an early contributor to Georgia’s track team, sprinting 100 yards in 10.18 seconds in the 2021 SEC Championship Meet.
While his physical gifts make Smith an enticing prospect, he entered college extremely raw as a catcher. Smith’s high school team only asked him to get the better of the defenses. This tagged him as a track star playing football rather than an actual track running football player.
Georgia staff knew this when they incorporated it into their program and intended to make it a full option. However, injuries plagued Smith’s first two seasons with the team and never allowed him to develop a full rhythm.
Lower-body injuries sidelined him for eleven games in the 2021 season. Despite the erratic availability, Smith’s talent was evident. He broke long touchdowns against UAB and Missouri, leaving fans drooling over his potential.
Sources say Smith is coming into his own this offseason, in part out of necessity. He regularly makes the plays on the court that Georgia fans have become familiar with, but sources say he’s also becoming much more of a polished road runner. If he can continue to force defensive backs to respect the bottom end of his game, he will also continue to hit home runs. Head coach Kirby Smart noted they had two known products at receiver in Ladd McConkey and Adonai Mitchell; everyone has something to prove.
Competition will intensify in the coming days for the wide receiver room. They’re battling for the few remaining snaps, as the front two wide and tight ends room accounted for most of the targets.
Scroll to continue
Therefore, a deep room in the receiver room must be separated. The easiest way to do that is to make big plays, which Smith’s speed allows him to do better than any of the other contenders.
All the other candidates are viable players who can still make an impact during the year. However, Smith’s natural gifts gave him the inner pathway to earning snaps early on. If he can learn the nuances of the position, such as body leverage and winning over your brake, the sky’s the limit.
Arian Smith is potentially the key to unlocking a different type of offense for Georgia. This gives them a great chance to make major explosive plays consistently, something they’ve struggled with in the past.
You might also like:
Join the community:
Follow Brooks Austin on Twitter: @BrooksAustinSI
Subscribe to our YouTube page HERE.
YesYou can follow us for future coverage by clicking “Follow” in the top right corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook @BulldogMaven and follow us on Twitter at @BulldogsSI.