Smith Cleared to Play

ATHENS - After months of speculation following an offseason arrest, cornerback Branden Smith will play in the season opener.

Coach Mark Richt announced Saturday the senior will play against Buffalo.

"After all the information we got we decided that he will be able to play the first game," Richt said.

Smith was arrested in March near Headland, Ala. for marijuana possession on his way to the beach for spring break vacation.

Georgia's athletic policy states marijuana arrests carry a mandatory suspension of 10 percent of the schedule. However, Richt said after discussing the facts of Smith's arrest, a suspension would not be levied.

Following the arrest, Smith returned immediately to Athens and was drug tested. He passed and was subsequently tested by "the court," he said, passing once again.

"I was tested," he said. "I was clean. I don't do drugs.

"I'm just moving on from it," he said. "Things happen like that. When things happen you just have to turn it around.

Smith has started 17 games in his career and has logged time on defense, offense and special teams.

He has four career interceptions and three total touchdowns.

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