Dawgs Get Huge Commitment from Smith

Dawgs Get Huge Commitment from Smith

ORLANDO - After looking over a long list of offers, taking all five official visits, and weighing all of his options, the number seven rated corner in the country made his decision live on ESPN at the UnderArmour All-American game Sunday night.

Branden Smith committed to the University of Georgia.

The process started early for Smith. He had been receiving mail for years and he picked up his first offer in January of 2008. That offer came from the home state Bulldogs and that is who he chose in the end, for many reasons.

"I was thinking of my family in this too, not just me," said Smith. "Georgia is close to home, so I know that they will be able to come see me play and I will be able to see them too."

"I like the defensive scheme Georgia uses as well, and I think I can play in it and do well. I think they need a little help at corner and I feel I can go in and help them there."

"Coaches were a big reason too. The coaches are important to me and I connected with all of the Georgia coaches, not just one. I really like Coach [Mark] Richt a lot and we have had a lot of good conversations. I feel like Georgia is the perfect fit for me."

Choosing Georgia was not easy for the 5-foot-11, 170 pound corner out of Booker T. Washington High School. He had a lot of options, and Georgia was not number one in the beginning.

"It was really hard to make this decision because I had a lot of good schools offering me. All of my offers (over 40) were Division I and all were good schools. Early on, Georgia wasn't really on my mind, but as the months went by, I really started to see what Georgia had to offer. They came up on my list all along and they are on top now. They really did a good job recruiting me."

Not only are they on top now, but Smith says they will be on top come signing day as well.

"I am a man of my word and once I commit, I am not going back on that. I am committed to Georgia and I am going to sign with Georgia," he said.

The Dawgs held off schools like Alabama, Florida State, and Florida to get Smith's commitment. Many coaches worked Smith hard and many schools pressed the elite corner to commit to their school, so he is happy to have the process behind him.

"It was fun at first, but it got a little stressful after a while. It feels good not having to worry about anything, not having to worry about choosing a college, and I will not have to stress out about anything now. I had fun with the recruiting process like recruits are supposed to, but now I am happy to get it all over with."

Smith is Georgia's 17th commitment and the UnderArmour All-American says it will take a lot to make him even think about changing his mind.

"I am set with Georgia and I am excited about going there. I feel very comfortable with my decision, my mom is happy about it, and I am happy about everything. Coach Richt would have to leave to make me think about another school. If Coach [Willie] Martinez left, then I would talk to Coach Richt about it, but it would be all about Coach Richt. I know he is going to be there, so I am too."

Coach Richt and the Bulldog staff have a plan for this premier athlete. He is going into Athens as a corner and they will want him to shut down the opponent's top receiver over the next four years, but they want to use all of his talents between the hedges.

"They say I could be the next Champ Bailey at Georgia. They want me to be good at corner first, but they want to put a special offensive package in for me too. They most definitely want me to return punts and kick-offs. I am excited about how things are going to be at Georgia.

Smith is the number seven rated corner on Scout.com at this time, but expect him to make a move up the rankings when they are updated after his performance in Orlando this week.

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