Arian Smith returns to action for Georgia

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

ATHENS -- Arian Smith was back on the field for Georgia in last week’s win over Missouri. It was a pleasant sight for the coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs.

Smith had a reception for seven yards in the 26-22 win - his first catch since a 35-yarder in the Bulldogs’ win over Missouri in November of 2021. Smith only had three receptions during last season’s national championship run.

“He’s missed so much time; he’s still developing as a receiver,” coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday’s media availability. “If you take all the time he’s been out, it’s greater than the time he’s been in since he’s been here.”

ExploreSmith has surgery in August of 2022

In fact, Smith has played in only six games over three seasons in Athens while missing time with a variety of injuries. But when he’s on the field, he can present problems for the opposition.

“He can get past the defense -- it’s hard to coach what he brings to the table,” senior receiver Kearis Jackson said of Smith. “It’s hard to guard (his fast releases). With that being said, I’m just excited to have him back.”

“That was really promising to see him go out there and execute three or four plays in a row,” Smart said of Smith’s effort against Missouri. “And he actually got a catch, so that was big for his confidence.”

Smith is currently listed as questionable for Georgia’s home game against Auburn - the same status heading into the Missouri game. With an average of 32.5 yards per catch in his brief time on the field, the Bulldogs hope to find a way to incorporate his big-play ability into the offense moving forward.

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“He’s raw as a receiver, and he’s gotten so much better,” Smart said. “We’ve gotta find ways to use his athletic ability.”

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