Smith Bonds With Bulldog Commits

ATHENS – On one of the biggest recruiting weekends of the year, Atlanta's most sought-after recruit visited his in-state school.

To be sure, Brandon Smith's official visit to Athens this weekend was probably one of the biggest of the recruiting weekends on a couple of different levels. The Bulldogs have drawn a line in the sand to get him. He is also one of the top players still uncommitted in state.

Those reasons may be why the Bulldogs had Smith spend the weekend with their top young player.

"My host was A.J. Green, and we got along great," Smith said. "He is laid back like me. Neither one of us really talk too much, and we had a great time around each other. We had been talking a little before the visit, so it was cool to hang out with him. He stays out of trouble, he is a quiet guy, and he was a nice host. We are a lot alike."

Smith envies the production Green had right away. The South Carolina native was named SEC Freshman of the Year earlier this week.

"I want to make the kind of impact next year like A.J. did this year as a freshman," Smith said. "I think I can do that, and I will be ready like him to work hard and do what it takes to make big plays right away."

Saturday night Smith went with the rest of the crowd to the end of the year celebration that is Georgia's annual Senior Gala. He said the build up surrounding the event lived up to its billing.

"The Gala went very well," Smith said. "I really liked how they set everything up. A lot of Georgia fans were there, and I had a great time."

Smith was welcomed by the Bulldog Nation when he arrived at the event.

"As soon as I walked in, people were asking me for my autograph, people asked me to take pictures with them, and just a lot of the fans there knew who I was," he said. "I got to see and talk to a lot of the Georgia players there, too. The GALA was just a nice event and I had a real good time."

Smith wasn't in Athens to party, however. He also had time to spend with Georgia's coaches. They took him through what his future would be like at Georgia.

"Coach Martinez and I spent a lot of time together, and we had a good long talk about a lot of things," said Smith. "Of course he was telling me that he could really use me at Georgia, and that really needed me too. He told me a couple of times that he wants me to be a big part of the future at Georgia. We have a real nice relationship. We went over the depth charts, we talked about how he would use me, and I think I could go in early and play at Georgia. He told me that they would like to use me on offense, defense, and special teams because of my speed, vision, and ability when I touch the ball."

Smith is one of the top playmakers in Georgia. While many schools choose not to throw directly at him, the opposition is unable to prevent Smith's skill from shining on special teams and on offense. Lining up at wide receiver and sometimes in the backfield in the Wildcat formation, Smith was a lethal prep weapon for Washington.

Smith's ability to make plays underscores just what an asset he would be for any program to have him. That's why Georgia head coach Mark Richt took special care to make sure that Smith knew just how very interested in him the Bulldogs are.

"On Sunday I went over to Coach Richt's house, and we hung out and ate over there. I got a chance to meet Coach Richt's wife and his children, and just get a feel for him," Smith said. "It was a time for me to get to know him and we had a real good time. We had a long talk before I left too, but he said a lot of the same things as Coach Martinez did before. He let me know that he wanted me at Georgia too and he let me know that he would take care of me there. Coach Richt is a great man, and I had a nice time talking with him and hanging out at his house."

Richt also had help from those players already committed to the program.

"I got a chance to meet a lot of the other commitments too and they were cool, Smith said. "I hung out with them and Jarvis Jones a lot and we all had a nice little connection with each other. Georgia has some good players committed, and they were all cool guys, too. It was nice to meet them, talk to them, and just see how we bonded."

Jones is also a focus of Georgia's recruiting efforts. Smith and Jones, along with defensive tackle Abry Jones, would form a formidable in-state trio for the Dawgs to have in the arsenal in the near future. Getting even two of those three players after a "disappointing" 9-3 season would also signify that the Dawgs' program is no where close to slipping in the recruiting department.

"It was a long week, and I am finished with my official visits now," Smith said. "It feels good to have the process over with mostly and now all I have to do is make my decision. I have been doing a lot of this by myself, and have had some fun with it, but it has also been stressful. It is a once in a lifetime experience to go through this, so it has really been great."

While the stress will be gone soon enough for Smith, he still must make a decision about his final destination. He said he's holding firm on when he will make that call.

"It is still down to Alabama, Florida, Florida State, and Georgia," he confirmed. "I can honestly say that I will be ready to make my decision on January 4th at the Under Armour All-American game. It has been a stressful time, but an exciting time, too. I know there will be a lot of rumors out there with people thinking they know where I will go, but nobody will really know until January 4th."

Smith has been quiet when it comes to the details of his recruiting. He was no different after this weekend.

"My visit to Georgia was great, and I am happy it was my final visit," he admitted. "I saw a lot, I met a lot of players, and I spent a lot of time with the coaches. Everything about the visit was good, but I still do not have a leader."

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