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Nolan Smith Ready To Take On Top Dog Role In Georgia Bulldog Defense

July 28, 2022

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ATHENS - The Georgia Bulldogs have had plenty of defenders recently who left Athens as living legends.

Roquan Smith is an easy one that comes to mind. 

Jordan Davis will also be remembered as a legend in Athens.

You can make a case for Nakobe Dean as well. 

Now, it’s Nolan Smith’s turn to join that group. The top-ranked high school prospect in the 2019 class, Smith is a Georgia native out of Savannah who was headed to Georgia from the moment he got the offer.

Nobody on the roster loves the University of Georgia more than Nolan Smith. Well, maybe Stetson Bennett, but that’s it.

Kirby Smart’s dynamic pass-rusher has turned into big-time defender over the last two years and certainly would’ve been drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft if he had decided to enter. Instead, Smith decided to come back for his senior season in hopes of leaving a Bulldog legend and a two-time national champion.

“I want to leave my mark”, Smith told reporters before Georgia’s national championship game against Alabama. “I don't just want to be another University of Georgia player.”

Smith is already taking steps to achieving those goals and will be the “Top Dog” on Georgia’s defense this fall. He’s ready to lead, and he knows the 2022 squad could be one of the nation’s best once again.

“The buy in is key” Smith said at SEC Media Days. “Once you have a bunch of guys that buy in and start pulling the rope in the same direction – as we say metaphorically – you get a lot of guys that want to pull that rope in that same direction. You get guys telling people, ‘Hey man, that’s not right. This is the way to do things. This is the way we do things at Georgia.’”

Even though the Bulldogs lost 8 starters from last year’s championship team, the former 5-star isn’t worried. He’s seen so far that there are some hungry Bulldogs waiting for their opportunity to shine this fall.

“I see a bunch of young guys that fly around and are just excited to learn football”, Smith said. “Excited to be under Coach Smart. He spent 10-12 years at Alabama, being a great defensive
coordinator. I think that is the ultimate reason why I came back, to learn from him and take
every day in one step at a time.”

Smith will have a lot on his plate this fall, but that’s alright, because he’s hungry. He’s eager to have a giant senior season, and if things go according to plan, he’ll be remembered as one of the best Bulldog defenders of all-time. 

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