You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Georgia’s Maurice Smith is finished with college football, but not football – or college

ATHENS – Maurice Smith has discovered the beauty of online classes this semester. When you’re training for the NFL draft, but much depends on you staying in school and passing your classes, the ability to take classes on your laptop is a wonderful thing.

Especially when those two classes are biostatistics and gerontology. At a graduate level. All while trying to further your football career.

“It was a bit of a razzle-dazzle trying to do both,” Smith said.

But he must do it, or there will be implications for the Georgia program he was a part of for only a few months. When Smith secured his graduate transfer from Alabama last summer, the SEC set down stipulations: Smith must stay enrolled towards his master’s degree in Public Health and graduate within two years, or Georgia would be precluded from requesting further graduate transfer waivers.

The headache ended up being worth it for Smith and Georgia, as the nickel-back started every game and was named one of the captains after the season. Now he’s pursuing the next step: The NFL.

That’s becoming another uphill climb, as he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine, which is a bad sign for draft status. But any disappointment at still having to prove himself, not having any assurances of being drafted, are tempered by thinking back to where he was last year. He and Alabama were fighting it out over his transfer, and he felt like he didn’t have a home.

“Looking back on it, not having a place to stay, not really having a place to work out, having to do it all on my own, not having a trainer, going through spring but not getting a (summer) workout. I still think I’m blessed,” Smith said. “Whether I get a shot at getting drafted or free agency I’m going to still work hard and make a team.”

Smith said the biggest emphasis from scouts was on his times, and then setting up one-on-one interviews and workouts. He said he ran around a 4.4 in the 40, which he wished he’d run faster, but that scouts thought he would run a 4.5. He scheduled a workout with the Falcons, who had a small army of coaches and scouts at Georgia’s pro day.

The upside for Smith is his versatility. He was Georgia’s nickel back, but also played safety and cornerback at Alabama. His intelligence and intangibles are also an attraction, as Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will attest to scouts, having coached him his entire career at both schools.

“Mo’s a high-character, tough kid. All these guys that come and ask about, that’s all they talk about, is how smart is he,” Smart said, then pivoting to the football part: “Can he play multiple positions. He got to prove all those things. He played on special teams. Ultimately I don’t know how he’ll be drafted, that’ll depend on his speed, that’ll depend on lots of things.”

Smith has spent the time since Georgia’s season ended training mostly in his hometown of Houston, then did some training in Athens. If he ends up making the NFL, Smart said there will be a waiver process in place so Smith doesn’t necessarily have to take classes this fall.

“The commissioner is aware of that,” Smart said. “He understands that’s the kid’s dream, that’s what he wants to do. So he’ll take that into consideration.”

Biostatistics, by the way, is about as difficult as it sounds.

“It’s a lot of numbers,” Smith said, smiling, “And I’m not a numbers guy, honestly.”


The post Georgia’s Maurice Smith is finished with college football, but not football – or college appeared first on DawgNation.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Georgia State baseball update
Georgia State baseball update

Georgia State (14-24) sits in last place in the conference with a 4-14 record. The season isn’t lost for the Panthers, as the top 10 teams in the Sun Belt reach the conference tournament. The Panthers are two games behind that 10th spot, and have 12 conference games left to play. The Panthers are going through a tough season, and at one point...
Dickey doesn’t think injury will affect next start
Dickey doesn’t think injury will affect next start

NEW YORK – R.A. Dickey’s first start back at Citi Field since his Mets heyday ended sooner than he expected because of a quadriceps spasm, but the 42-year-old knuckleballer was nonetheless pleased with the results in a 7-5 win Thursday that gave the Braves a two-game sweep of the Mets. Dickey gave up five hits and three runs (two earned)...
NBA: Millsap fouled by Gortat on late drive
NBA: Millsap fouled by Gortat on late drive

Paul Millsap fell to the floor with his arms raised and pleaded for a foul call that never came. It should have. The NBA released its Last Two Minutes report from the Hawks loss to the Wizards Wednesday night in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series. It found three incorrect calls, including a missed foul on Millsap with 41...
Live updates: Falcons’ draft from Flowery Branch
Live updates: Falcons’ draft from Flowery Branch

It’s the 2017 NFL Draft and the Falcons braintrust is hunkered down here at the team facilities. The Falcons currently hold the 31st pick in the draft, but are looking to move up to get one of the “handful” of players they have targetted.We’ll be posting updates here throughout the evening and night about what’s happening...
Suzuki 3-run homer sends Braves past reeling Mets
Suzuki 3-run homer sends Braves past reeling Mets

NEW YORK – Kurt Suzuki was frustrated after the Braves catcher’s passed ball on an R.A. Dickey knuckleball let in the tying run in the fourth inning Thursday, but he didn’t have to wait long to get a little redemption. Suzuki’s three-run homer in the fifth inning ended a very rough day for Mets starter Matt Harvey and propelled...
More Stories