Georgia Football Defender Chris Smith on his time at Georgia: ’10/10 experience’

Chris Smith is having a hard time picking his favorite Georgia football memory. He feels compelled to mention winning the national championship, a game in which he was intercepted. He then brought up his first career start, coming against Florida in 2020.

Unlike so many members of the Georgia team, Smith wasn’t a 5-star recruit destined to see the field early. He moved into the starting XI following Richard LeCounte’s injury in the 2020 season.

It’s a point Smith hasn’t given up, not counting three games he missed with a knee injury at the end of the 2021 regular season. As for a specific game, he also brings up his interception against Clemson to open the 2021 season. His younger brother, TJ, a safety at Kansas State, was intercepted earlier that day in a game against Stanford.

“It was a 10/10 experience. I’ve made a lot of connections with coaches and players,” Smith said. “I learned a lot about myself as a man. When I was here, I even grew into myself as a man.”

Related: Georgia Safetyman Chris Smith picks up multiple midseason All-American awards

Smith plays a lot bigger and harder than his 5ft 11 frame would suggest. He’s not afraid to lay the wood and has made a number of big plays this season. He has five tackles for losses, four pass breakups, and two interceptions to match his 44 tackles.

Related: Georgia football safety coach Chris Smith is ready to show younger teammates what it means to play big

With all the talk of Smith’s growth off the field, he’s a plus for safety. He has become a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, with teams impressed by his toughness and versatility.

Speaking to reporters this week, Smith took the opportunity to look back at everything he’s done in Georgia. Winning a national championship, becoming a starter and establishing himself as a leader demonstrates Smith’s success in his five seasons with the Bulldogs.

Much like his game or leadership off the field, Smith is a testament to growth and constant improvement, both mentally and physically.

“A lot of people have the feeling when they arrive here that they have understood everything. But you really don’t — you’re just getting started,” Smith said. “[Stepping up as a leader is] It’s just a constant cycle here and it’s just part of the culture that we’ve built here.”

Safety in Georgia Chris Smith calls his time in Georgia a 10/10 experience

More Georgia football stories centered around DawgNation