Smith's Little Brother

ATHENS - In a preseason period where new teammates are supposed to bond, Garrison Smith says he already has a brother on the team.

Smith referred to running back Todd Gurley as that sibling, saying the two meshed immediately upon Gurley's arrival last season.

"Todd is Todd," Smith said. "That's my little brother so I stay on him all the time."

Smith said the two became close because of their similar recruiting backgrounds. While some recruits receive all the hype and recognition of being five-star prospects, Smith wasn't one of those guys. Gurley enrolled at Georgia with a similar level of fame, leading Smith to believe he might be able to relate to the freshman.

"I wasn't that guy everyone was talking about on ESPN, so when I met Todd I felt like we were in the same situation," Smith said. "He didn't have all the hype in the beginning, but he turned out to be a great player. We just connected every since I met him."

Outside of football and the Bulldog family, Smith treats Gurley like a true member of his family back home. Gurley is always welcome in the Smith household.

"I bring him home to eat with me and spend time with me," Smith said. "I took him to my grandma's house to eat and meet different people. We really ate a lot and just chilled."

Gurley feels the hype and the pressures any young player with all this attention would, but Smith says he's still the same Todd as before. The sophomore back still spends his free time like any other college kid.

"We just do normal stuff and have fun," Smith said. "I'm more like a big brother in the locker room. We do a lot of stuff like freestyle rap to instrumental beats."

As far as the big brother role, Smith said he just wants to guide Gurley in any way he can.

"I just talk to him and give him life advice from what I've went through and what I've seen," Smith said. "That's my goal because I just want to see him be successful. He has all the talents and gifts a running back has to have."

As one of the nation's top running backs, a rising sophomore has to feel some weight on his shoulders. Whether it's hearing yourself referred to as 'Gurshall' or having your name mentioned in Heisman talks, it's a lot for a sophomore to handle.

"He handles it good because he's just appreciative," Smith said. "He knows it's a blessing to have this gift."

Gurley has the opportunity to build off last season, and Smith said Gurley will crush the numbers he put up in his freshman year.

"He's been working hard," Smith said. "The way he's been working I think he'll have an even better season than last year."

Smith's compassion for Gurley is evident, and can be felt whenever Smith speaks about his 'little brother.' The relationship just comes natural for the two Dawgs.

"I've never met a back as great as him that stays so humble," Smith said. "That's why I love and respect him like I do."

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