February 17, 2009

In his brother's footsteps?

LOCUST GROVE - Having a big brother that played at Georgia Tech won't keep Douglass High defensive end Garrison Smith from giving the Georgia Bulldogs a close look.

"Heck no, it's Georgia, it's the state school, the name speaks for itself," said Smith, a 2010 recruit. "They're an SEC powerhouse."

The Bulldog also have given a verbal offer to the defensive end.

"Coach (Rodney) Garner came to my school, talked to my coach and made the offer through him," Smith said. "I was very excited."

Georgia is one of 14 schools to have offered the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder, a list that includes Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and Georgia Tech, where his brother just wrapped up his senior season with the Yellow Jackets.

Smith laughed that the idea might take older brother Greg a while to get used to the idea.

A wide receiver, the elder Smith was moved to A-back when Paul Johnson took over the Yellow Jacket program. He wound up rushing 10 times for 98 yards and two touchdowns and caught two passes for 37 yards.

"He's (Greg) already given me some advice as far as how to handle all the recruiting business," Smith said. "But I also get a lot of help from my coach, my parents, along with my brother who has always been a mentor to me."

His isn't the only current or former college player that Smith looks up to.

He also happens to be close to another pair of former Douglass High alums - current Georgia linebacker Akeem Dent and defensive end Roderick Battle.

"Those guys are good friends of mine," said Smith, who said he's also friends with recent signee Branden Smith and current Bulldog Reshad Jones, who played at nearby Washington High. "They're all great guys."

As a sophomore, Smith recorded 108 tackles and chipped in with 14 sacks, numbers he hopes to improve for Douglass this fall.

He recently got an up-close and personal look at the Bulldogs when he came to Athens for Georgia's annual Junior Day.

He liked what he saw.

"The whole day was great," he said. "I got to meet with Coach (Mark) Richt, checked out the weight room, got a look at the school… It was a great experience."

Smith laughed that the food may have been the best part.

"Man, they had everything, pizza, wins, just about anything you wanted. Just like a 5-star restaurant," he laughed. "After that there was all that ice cream, cake, pies. It was top of the line, man."

Will the Bulldogs eventually land a commitment from Smith? Time will tell.

The affable young man said he's planning on taking his time before making a final decision on the school of his choice, but that the Bulldogs are definitely one of the programs he's going to be taking a close look at.

"I like Georgia," said Smith, who added that he hasn't even begun to whittle down his list of favorite schools. "I had a good time on my visit. They're definitely I'm going to be looking at."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!