“He’s got some punch,” Johnson said of Smith, from Ola High in Henry County. “He needs to learn to play in college. It’s not two steps and watch. But he’s got ability. I think he’ll be fine. We’ve just got to get him some reps, and he’s just got to play some. He’s got ability.”
Smith is one of a handful of freshmen who appear on track to play this season. Others include wide receiver Malachi Carter and linebacker Quez Jackson. Safety/linebacker Charlie Thomas and safety Juanyeh Thomas are also possibilities. Johnson said that Thomas, from Niceville, Fla., is playing at the Stinger position, a hybrid safety/linebacker spot.