Branden Smith cleared to rejoin team; Quintin Banks ‘retires’ from football

ATHENS — Cornerback Branden Smith has been cleared academically and will rejoin Georgia’s football team Friday, coach Mark Richt said.

“He is academically in good standing for the 2010 season,” Richt said Thursday night. “So we are fired up.”

Richt declined to go into detail about Smith’s academic situation.

Smith, a sophomore from Atlanta, left the team last week and stayed away while awaiting word on whether he would be cleared to enroll in fall-semester classes. The issue was related not to Smith’s grade-point average but to a placement-test score.

Smith is expected to contribute to Georgia’s team in all facets of the game: defense (as a possible starter at cornerback), offense (as an occasional threat at tailback or wide receiver) and special teams (as a kick returner).

Despite missing eight practices, “I don’t think he’ll be too far behind,” Richt said.

Smith seems pleased with how the situation worked out.

“Will be back in Athens tomorrow,” he posted on Twitter late Thursday afternoon.

“Georgia is on my mind,” he tweeted an hour later.

Banks ‘retires’ as player

Backup safety Quintin Banks, whose career has been frequently derailed by knee injuries, will forgo his senior season.

Banks “has basically decided to retire from football,” Richt said Thursday. “His knees have just not allowed him to move the way he’s accustomed to moving and move well enough to compete at this level.”

Richt said Banks will have surgery “and try to get it all cleaned up” before he graduates. In the meantime, he will stay involved with the team and “help us coach,” Richt said.

“He has tremendous knowledge, tremendous love for this team and his teammates. He’s got a wonderful spirit,” Richt said. “Quintin is exactly what we’re looking for when it comes to a good Bulldog.

“As a head coach, you hope that when a young man walks out the door he’s ready for life. And Quintin is absolutely ready. He’s turned into a really fine man, and anybody looking for a tremendous employee and future leader, Quintin is that.”

Between injuries, Banks has played in only five games in the past two seasons.

And a few other things . . .

  • Richt said that, “as of right now,” Georgia has no reason to believe that any of its players will miss any games as a result of the NCAA investigation into possible improper contact between players and agents at multiple schools, including UGA.
  • A.J. Green, Carlton Thomas, Bacarri Rambo and freshman Derek Owens are getting work at punt returner, Richt said.
  • Richt: “If I had to say who was the leader of the football team, it’d probably be [fullback Shaun] Chapas. Not just the offensive team.”

223 comments Add your comment

I have no life

August 12th, 2010
8:01 pm

FIRRRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST!

heywood...

August 12th, 2010
8:06 pm

good news. go dawgs.
GATA BRANDEN!!

Mike on Lake Hartwell

August 12th, 2010
8:07 pm

What up RHB? Go Dawgs.

[...] August 12, 2010 by berrycj 1 Comment UGA’s Smith Cleared to Play… [...]

South Jax Dawg

August 12th, 2010
8:09 pm

Richt decided to man up take care of business “behind closed doors” – about time he decided to man up! Great News!!

Bdawg

August 12th, 2010
8:09 pm

College isn’t easy. You have to stay focused. Glad to have him back. Now let’s focus on the upcoming season. There is no time left to babysit. Time to turn up the heat at practice and go all out. Good luck this season. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

G8tr h8tr

August 12th, 2010
8:15 pm

This is huge for both sides of the ball. The guy has speed. Welcome back Champ Bailey, I mean Branden

Army Vet

August 12th, 2010
8:21 pm

You’re right…you have no life…what a douche bag!

Chuy Dawg

August 12th, 2010
8:24 pm

Great news, kid is too important to the team.

The apologies concerning Smith can start now.

Vick=Dog killing Thug

August 12th, 2010
8:30 pm

You may think Branden is a dummy but he just missed 8 hard practices in 90 plus heat…

I have no life

August 12th, 2010
8:33 pm

Army vet, never have I been so honored to be called a d-bag. In all honesty, I don’t usually do this, but couldn’t help engaging in some self-degrading satire with this post. Again, thanks for your service and for the great compliment.

Preston

August 12th, 2010
8:33 pm

Great news! This guy is a player!

JB

August 12th, 2010
8:34 pm

All the haters ( Tech) who have ” had the scoop” can go to Hell…..Welcome back Branden

dawgster

August 12th, 2010
8:38 pm

No the idiots that were bashing this young man and saying things about his intellect don’t have the guts to come on and give Branden an well deserved apology…

my dixie wrecked

August 12th, 2010
8:45 pm

The reports stated he needed to take care of some academic issues, I say he should have done that before fall practice started. If it was out of his control that is one thing but if not then he needs a boot up the ass to keep motivated to help his team.

how bout them dawgs

August 12th, 2010
8:48 pm

Welcome HOME Mr. Smith. Looking forward to a great year and many happy returns, interceptions and Wild Dawg runs. Go DAWGS and for all the yellow smackets…. 30-24 and the hits keep on coming!

Sven Ottke

August 12th, 2010
8:51 pm

Can you say “grade fix?” I knew you could. More proof of the tail wagging the dog in Athens.

Gratefuldawghead

August 12th, 2010
8:59 pm

Great news about Branden..Keep it coming..GO DAWGS!

Delbert D.

August 12th, 2010
9:01 pm

This is off topic, but it made me wonder about college football and fan/media focus:

“…Arizona’s embarrassing bowl loss to Nebraska cost the Wildcats any shot at a preseason ranking.”

Huh? And that is important why?

Source: Stewart Mandel’s Mailbag yesterday at SI.com

dawgster

August 12th, 2010
9:04 pm

Well, i was right it didn’t take long for the idiots such “Sven Ottke”, to get on here and start saying “grade fix”..It would be nice to be able to have some sensible conversations on here regarding football, but i guess that is too much to ask of some people…

Albert Einstein

August 12th, 2010
9:07 pm

somebody said college isn’t easy in referencing the kid’s academic problems at ugag? Did he write that with a straight face?

go dawgs

Jan Kemp

August 12th, 2010
9:12 pm

Did I miss something?

St. Simons

August 12th, 2010
9:19 pm

((((((((((30-24)))))))))) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Oh wait, neveremind!

Kramer

August 12th, 2010
9:23 pm

Mr. Smith is doing what each of you only wish you could. Suiting up to play for an elite NCAA program. Doing what he loves in front of 92,000 rabid fean every Saturday. And I’ll beat you to the punch UF and GT fools, we are elite. Not having a championship doesn’t make us any less of a great program. We earn more money than 95% of the NCAA programs out there. We’re consistent and things are looking up. We’re on the verge of being back to the glory days and you can argue the point until the cows come home. Us true Dawg fans can sense it. We can feel the change in Athens. Come December, the Dawg nation will be strong and proud. Bank it.

FORTY ONE POINTS to your seventeen points

August 12th, 2010
9:25 pm

I’m actually a tech fan but I’m too embarrassed to admit it.

FORTY ONE POINTS to your seventeen points

August 12th, 2010
9:25 pm

I also have penis envy.

JRW7

August 12th, 2010
9:26 pm

Way to go, BRANDEN, now let’s play football! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

Saint Simons

August 12th, 2010
9:27 pm

I don’t dwell on last year. I dwell on year before last. :(

G8tr h8tr

August 12th, 2010
9:28 pm

Hey Sven, Branden had to pass a standardized test before he could register for fall semester (not that it’s any of your business) You techies seem to know a lot about grade fixing , IMO

ROBERT HALL FROM GEORGIA TECH

August 12th, 2010
9:31 pm

as soon as I get through BEATING UP MY GIRLFRIEND, I’ll read about Mr. Smith.

Hunker Down

August 12th, 2010
9:39 pm

Good luck this season Brandon and go Dawgs!

dawgfan

August 12th, 2010
9:46 pm

Sven, can you say crybaby sore loser Techie?

Dawg House

August 12th, 2010
10:03 pm

Great News!

Welcome back Branden. I hope this scare is a firm notice for you to hunker down. Use this opportunity for a free education to it’s fullest.

23 Days!!!

Dawg House

August 12th, 2010
10:03 pm

And in other news, University of Alabama does not know how to spell “Mississippi”

CONFEDERATE DAWG

August 12th, 2010
10:05 pm

PUT THE GAYTORS IN THE DIRT!

BG

August 12th, 2010
10:18 pm

Yes!!!!!!!! GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!

luke uga

August 12th, 2010
10:18 pm

Man these tech fans are pretty sad. You guys will never beat us on a regular basis just accept the fact that you chug dugan, really you do!

Steve

August 12th, 2010
10:27 pm

Why do people make entries on these blogs which show just how incredibly ignorant they are?
I’ll bet dimes to donuts, they never graced the inside of a college classroom-or maybe even a high school classroom.
Thanks Kramer and others for showing class.
Albert Einstein, take a clue from others, and stop hiding behind the anonymity of a keyboard.

cadawg

August 12th, 2010
10:31 pm

i’m glad he got this resolved and is in good standing. i’m tired of people coming on here and making “grade fix” comments, calling this kid a dummy and making assertions about our athletes receiving preferential treatment. the comments are not only malicious but ignorant. i actually taught as a graduate student at UGA for a couple of years and had the good fortune to have several athletes (including football players) in my class. as a group, they worked as hard or harder than the average student, were respectful and attentive, and (this deserves emphasis) they DID THE WORK or they failed the class–just like the other kids.

i’m well aware of jan kemp and jim harrick jr., but these embarrassing exceptions obscure the fact that, in general, student-athletes (at uga, tech, wherever) work extremely hard in and out of the classroom and deserve a lot of respect for what they do. so, i’m pleased to see branden get his affairs in order, and it’s shameful for grown men to call 19 year old kids dummies or claim (with no evidence) that there is grade-fixing going on.

Idiots...all of you

August 12th, 2010
10:32 pm

Sven Ottke — Your logic is breathtakingly stupid….so, let’s get this straight….In your world, UGA has no compunction about fixing grades…got it, glad that is settled…now, pray tell, why would they have not done this prior to starting practice?…you know, so there is no missed practice time…no public awareness….see where this is going moron? Brilliant.

bgdawg

August 12th, 2010
10:48 pm

wow, before he was an illiterate thug, and now he is just getting his grades fixed? haha tech fans should just leave the idiotic comments about football players to themselves

St. Richt

August 12th, 2010
10:49 pm

Yep, sweep that one under the rug. Well done, CMR. Don’t let those nasty professors get in your way.

Camden Mark

August 12th, 2010
10:50 pm

30-24 Dawgs - We Run This State!

August 12th, 2010
10:59 pm

Welcome back Branden!

That run he had to scorch SC’s defense reminded me of Caleb King’s 75-yard untouched romp against GT en route to a 30-24 victory for the Dawgs!

Speed, pure speed!

FromtheBARstool

August 12th, 2010
11:16 pm

What classes did he have to pass to play football?

GATOR CHOMP

August 12th, 2010
11:19 pm

Saint Richt had those grades fixed and u cowards know it.Just wait and see how much dirt the NCAA finds when they start snooping around those Athens Trailer Parks.It’s going 2 get real ugly 4 u mutts.”BOOK IT”

GATOR CHOMP

August 12th, 2010
11:23 pm

F##k u mutts I hate u losers get at me when u cowards actually win something that matters so until then STFU.GATORS OR DIE!!!!!!!!!

mississipi

August 12th, 2010
11:44 pm

I'mFromAlbamer

August 12th, 2010
11:47 pm

And none of you can tell me how to spell Missisipi or Tenesee! I was the champin spellar in my sophmore class. All you gorga boys need to lay off us pimples from Albama!!!!

[...] (Other UGA news: Branden Smith cleared to play.) [...]