UGA 5-star commitment Garrison Smith talks Bama visit

The text messages started hitting Garrison Smith’s phone while he was still in Tuscaloosa on the Alabama campus.

“Are you really at Alabama?” he was asked. “Are you there on a visit?”

The answers were “yes” and “yes.” But the five-star defensive tackle from Douglass High, one of the prize commitments in Georgia’s 2010 class, assured one and all that the Bulldogs have nothing to worry about.

Smith went on to explain that while he did attend the Alabama-Tennessee game as a guest of the Crimson Tide, he was there mainly to support former Douglass teammate Jonathan Atchison, a freshman linebacker at Alabama.

I’ll let Smith explain:

“I was free this weekend,” he said. “I didn’t have a game on Saturday. So I had been talking to John and he’d been telling me to come down. He told me his family was coming down to see the game and spend a weekend with him and I should come. I told him it wasn’t problem, it was cool. So they told me I could ride with them and get away for the weekend. I decided to go down, hang out with them and have some fun.”

So Smith and a Douglass teammate rode over with four members of the Atchison family and picked up two complimentary tickets as Alabama’s guests. Of course, that meant that Smith was given the full-on recruit treatment at the game.

“Yeah, I talked to pretty much everybody while I was there,” the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive tackle said. “Nothing major. They understand. They said they respect that I’m committed but they still want me to take a look. They showed good sportsmanship.”

So, to be sure, I asked Smith if the Bulldogs have anything to worry about?

“No,” he said. “I’m still committed to Georgia.”

Georgia fans are a bit paranoid of late. With the Bulldogs struggling this season and defensive coordinator Willie Martinez drawing increased scrutiny, some recruits are starting to waver on their commitments.

Last week, longtime cornerback commitment Nickell Robey of Frostproof, Fla., said he had concerns about whether Martinez would be there to coach him and he’d decided to take a look at Tennessee and South Florida. Likewise, linebacker commitment Deon Rogers of Port St. Lucie, Fla., took a visit to Ohio State this past weekend. In each case, the players insist they’re still committed to Georgia.

Smith assured me that the Bulldogs’ struggles are not making him second guess his decision.

“No, it’s not affecting me at all,” Smith said during a visit to his Collier Heights home on Monday. “That’s part of the game. You’re going to have good seasons; you’re going to have bad seasons. The players are the ones that have to go out there and play on the field. The coaches are a great big part of it but at the same time it’s the players that have to get it done. So, no, it’s not affecting me at all.

“Look on the professional level. A team might go 16-0 one season and come back and not have the same outcome the next season. It’s just a part of football. It just makes you come back and try to play even harder.”

As for Alabama, Smith said he went there to see a good game. And he got one.

“I wanted to see some great college football,” Smith said. “That’s a great rivalry. It went down to the wire so it WAS a great game to go see.

“I love football. I love to watch all the games. I go to Falcons games, I go to other high school games. I just enjoy watching football, no matter who the teams are. Georgia was off for the weekend, so it was just a great opportunity to see two great teams play. That was the way I looked at it.”

Be sure to check back later this week as I profile Smith and his family and write about his travails as Douglass struggles through a challenging season.

80 comments Add your comment

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
9:29 am

This kid is highly overrated! We played them a couple of weeks ago and he did nothing. Maybe UGA would be better off if he went somewhere else. The tackle from Stephenson is the real deal. We need to make a hard push for him.

GA Dawg

October 27th, 2009
9:32 am

GATA Garrison, this kid has a good head on his shoulders. Heck if i could have gotten a free ticket, id been in Tuscaloosa too. Cant wait to see him in Red n Black.

BlackSmoke

October 27th, 2009
9:32 am

Sounds like a great kid! I don’t have a problem with these kids going to other games and schools to take a look. Garrison knows where he wants to be, but he’d be a fool to turn down the red-carpet treatment from other teams while it lasted…

shards1967

October 27th, 2009
9:36 am

I viewed the SW Dekalb/Marist game and was UN impressed with the d end at SWD and that running back. The SWD running back to me is really slow and their D. end simply was flanked time and time agin by Marist on sweeps ………….just like the current UGA team is now. I think UGA has lost it with recruiting anyway. Who would even WANT TO PLAY for CWM???

Go Dogs.

UGA, class of 71 and 73

South Carolina Dawg

October 27th, 2009
9:39 am

Hire Kirby Smart!!!!

RonnieGarDner

October 27th, 2009
9:41 am

I think he really went to see TENNESSEE (at Alabama). Don’t be surprised if he ends up as a Vol.

Blindog

October 27th, 2009
9:41 am

UG FAN,what recruiting service do you work for? Rivals.com with all their resorces says 5 stars! Change your blog name because you’re not!

WE WAN'T KIRBY SMART !!!!!!!!!!

October 27th, 2009
9:50 am

Goodluck against fla this weeek. GOOOO DAWG’S….SIC EM….WOOF,WOOF,WOOF !!!!!!!

WE WAN'T KIRBY SMART !!!!!!!!!!

October 27th, 2009
9:51 am

GO DAWGS !!!!!

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
9:55 am

Blindog – I don’t work for a service but I did play college football and I watched as my 220 lb son man handle Mr. Smith. Oh by the way how many of so called 5 star recruits turned out to be great collge players?

GoJackets

October 27th, 2009
9:55 am

Thi’s articl’e i’s worthles’s.

WE WAN'T KIRBY SMART !!!!!!!!!!

October 27th, 2009
9:59 am

The UGA athletic department needs to make this happen at any cost and get their men “Kirby Smart” and if we do get kirby,he will coeach this young kids a smart and very discipline hard nose Football. The way it should be ………..THE GEORGIA BULLDOG WAY !!!!!!!!

AlabamaRamblinwreck

October 27th, 2009
10:01 am

Mr. Smith: You do realize if you play at Tech that you won’t have to face Paul Johnson’s offense, except in practice? LOL

Go Jackets!!

JaxDawg

October 27th, 2009
10:25 am

UG Fan. I sure every father that lives through his child would think Garrison is over rated. When “we” played them? Go buy a bumper sticker and stay away from this blog.

BigDawg

October 27th, 2009
10:29 am

Doubt he’ll even qualify. No big loss either way. With Martinez he’d just underperform anyway. By going to Alabama we would not play him anyway since its 4 years before Alabama shows back up on a UGA schedule. And with Richt, Bobo, and Martinez we simply will not reach the SEC Championship again in that time frame.

For those who would reply…Oh yeah! Richt has already won the SEC championship game. My response is YES. Thank goodness for that! But fact is that occurred in an SEC without Saban or Meyers and the fact is we likely have the worst coaching staff in the SEC but with the best talent based on the last 5 recruiting classes. Seriously…Johnson at Vandy gets more out of his players than our staff.

dap01

October 27th, 2009
10:40 am

If you go to Tech, your family and friends can always get tickets to the game. You can even seat close to the 50 yard line if you get a fillup at BP before the game.

Warning

October 27th, 2009
10:45 am

Warning – UGA Freshmen, verbal commits, and Mr. Garrison Smith – You will never play in an SEC Title Game in your years at Georgia. Garrison Smith might want to change his mind and go to Bama.

collegeballfan

October 27th, 2009
10:55 am

5 star per whom? The same folks that gave the last 7 UGA recruiting classes a top 10? If those classes were top 10 why is UGA 4 – 3 for the season?

UGA needs to stop counting stars & start counting the number of players that actually fit their systems.

Simply a dawg

October 27th, 2009
11:00 am

Sounds like an intelligent nice young man. Looking forward to cheering him on during the great Dawg years to come !!

Clint

October 27th, 2009
11:09 am

You guys ripping these kids trip me out. I bet none of you played football in your lifes, and if you did you were not good enough to play at the college level. If you had, you would know that even the best players do not dominate ever game. Get a life losers.

Recruitnik

October 27th, 2009
11:25 am

Warning you are an idiot. You can’t tell the future and based on what we saw on saturday, bama will be fortunate to make it into the title game this year. Your offense is pathetic.

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
11:29 am

JaxDawg – Unlike you I know football and have seen him play several times. The kid is overrated. Just because Rivals says he is 5 star then it must be true. LMAO!!!

Whether this kid is 5 stars or no stars...

October 27th, 2009
11:44 am

he’s been offered by Rodney Garner (who knows a little something about recruiting players) and has accepted. He’s sticking with his word, and we should all show a little class and respect….and grow up (UG Fan). Its fans like you that give the rest of the bulldog nation a bad name.

1+2

October 27th, 2009
12:08 pm

UG Fan, how have you seen him play several times? Does your son’s team play against the kid more than once a year? Stop being a poser. Some of you people need to get a life.

This UG Fan guy...

October 27th, 2009
12:13 pm

is not a UGA fan… pretty obvious when he uses UG, instead of UGA. This is an idiot who thinks his son should be receiving D-1 offers but is not… so he shoots his mouth off. Trust the experts, not some loud-mouth dad who has to live thru his son due to his shortcomings in life!

ratherBgambling

October 27th, 2009
12:18 pm

This guy is as good as gone. He will also be visiting UF for the F$U game. Who can blame him, the DC is getting fired and UGA is about to slip into the SEC abyss.

Elliot Garcia

October 27th, 2009
12:18 pm

Don’t knock the kid if he wants to go to Georgia. Some kids don’t like playing for Championships and just like to be undisciplined….

Recruitnik

October 27th, 2009
12:19 pm

ratherBgambling please don’t post drunk.

Recruitnik

October 27th, 2009
12:19 pm

Enter your comments here

Recruitnik

October 27th, 2009
12:20 pm

UG Fan quit pretending to be a dawg fan. I have seen Garrison live a few times this year and he is definately 5 star quality. Great prospect.

benadawg

October 27th, 2009
12:21 pm

all the Bama fans on our blog are really dawg lovers……i don’t visit their blog…..Go Dawgs!!!!

NC Dawg

October 27th, 2009
12:25 pm

UG Fan is a joke!! You people who think you can sway a kid by what you blog are living in a fantasy land!! Get a life, be happy for any kid who has a chance to play ball in college. Don’t be a hater, because you could not play. Just because you say, “I played football” big who cares!! You don’t now and you sure are not a college coach. So UG Fan, go back to the schools team you support and quit posing as a UGA fan. But, if your son plays, I hope he can get a scholarship and you can go on there blogs and leave us alone! Go Dawgs!!

Heels 4 Real

October 27th, 2009
12:36 pm

Watch what they do, not what they say…

timthebrave

October 27th, 2009
12:45 pm

It’s still great to be a Georgia Bulldog! Sic Em! Woof! Woof!

78 DAWG

October 27th, 2009
1:02 pm

It’s time to cut the bs and talk straight, we’ve been WHIPPED 3 outa the last 4 by TN, FL we’ve won 3 times in 20 YEARS, Tech is on the way up what are we 7 outa the last 12, and that against a school that doesn’t SUPPORT football. We are loosing ground, and Spurrier has finally started to recruit. Cry all you want, but we could be 1-6 and that’s against a so so schedule, AZ St. is not any good and OSU may be about to get exposed they are just now starting to play good teams. Our stregnth of schedule is not good. Martinez has to go!

takedowndawg

October 27th, 2009
1:06 pm

Note: heavy criticism by rival college fans toward the player and toward UGA is a sure sign that he must be winner. We thinks thou protest too much!

M Anthony

October 27th, 2009
1:08 pm

Really sad to see so much hate for some high school kid. Where ever he goes I hope he does well on the field and in the classroom. Its his choice not you morons out there. Get your own life and grow up.

Dawg Fud

October 27th, 2009
1:23 pm

What you lose in recruiting is marginal compared to what you gain in coaching if you hire a top-notch coach.

I am so tired of everyone saying we lose recruits. Who cares? Our recruiting is not translating into perfromance on the field. We are not coaching up our talent.

Is this not painfully obvious?

one year with a top DC will change this and recruiting concerns will be forgotten.

GO DAWGS!

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
1:26 pm

I never said I was a UGA fan. You idiots think you know so much because you have no life and have membership to some recruiting website. Yes I have seen him play in person several times and I’m just speaking the truth. If you can’t take someone speaking the truth about UGA and their great recruiting classes they are bringing in then start bringing in players that actually perform. Go Vols!!!!!

JaxDawg

October 27th, 2009
1:32 pm

See UG Fan, don’t you feel better now that every knows you’re a Vol fan in disguise. My honor student is still smarter than yours.

Hey UG Fan...

October 27th, 2009
1:40 pm

have you checked out VolNation.com? You talk about total losers… these guys spend all day posting about UT recruiting. They are obsessed with where the Vols are ranked within the 2010 recruiting rankings. Also, since G Smith is a bust, pass this info along to Lame Kitten who has continued to recruit him. You are a tool… I mean using UG FAN and then stating “I never said I was a UGA fan”… I am assuming when referring to your beloved Vols, you are a “TU fan” That is Tennessee University.

Gordy

October 27th, 2009
1:46 pm

Maybe UG is Union Grove?

UG Fan / I mean Vol loser

October 27th, 2009
1:47 pm

Hey, I like Lane’s new conservative offensive strategy. Most teams would be running a 2-minute offensive late in the game (when behind). Not Lane, he likes to sit on the ball and avoid those risky penalties. Like Daddy Monte says ” a 44 yd field goal has the same success percentage as a 29 yd field goal” Look out SEC, TN is back at 1-3. RTR!

Mr. Sanderson

October 27th, 2009
1:47 pm

First of all, Mr. “I’m an ex college football player”, virtually every major star in college and the pros was a four or five star recruit. I know there are some anomalies, i.e. David Pollock, Jerry Rice, etc. But for every one of those “over-achievers” there’s 10 top level guys that were projected to be at the top. Going after the “over-looked” guy is like trying to pick which #15 is going to beat a #2 in the NCAA tournament. See how well that works out for you. Second, I am like many of you, in that I would love to see Kirby Smart at UGA. Mostly because I really liked him as a player, and he has definitely earned some respect as a coach. But in all reality, he is nothing more than Bobo was a few years ago: a faux-coordinator. Nick Saban is the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Kirby Smart is his side kick. Not to say he couldn’t do a great job if he had the reigns. Just don’t kid yourself that he is deserving of the credit for the Bama D. That’s Saban’s D.

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
1:48 pm

Hey UG Fan… – UG is a high school in Henry County. Didn’t Kiffin just make your dogs look like a bunch of losers. Give me a break UGA is going down hill quickly because CMR refuses to man up and make changes.

Gordy is UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
1:49 pm

Thanks for explaining. We should all assume that UG is Union Grove.

KD

October 27th, 2009
1:51 pm

If a kid has already committed to aschool, he should have no desire what so ever to go see another school.

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
1:57 pm

Vols beat UGA! Enough said!!!!!!!

UG Fan

October 27th, 2009
1:59 pm

Oh let me rephrase that. Vols kicked the crap out of UGA.

White Trash

October 27th, 2009
2:19 pm

So many haters out there. Leave this kids alone, and be happy for him or any other kid. Who cares what school they go to, glad they have the opportunity to continue there education and play football.
Yes UGA is having an average year, but alot of top schools go through this and it wont be the last, so back off and enjoy football and life itself.