Editor’s Note: The stars say 2018 UGA commit Chris Smitt rates as a 4-star prospect. He’s seen by the well-respected 247SportsComposite as the nation’s No. 30 CB and No. 306 player overall. DawgNation formed an advisory panel made up of state championship coaches, well-respected high school coaches, scouts, former SEC players and former NFL players to find out a lot more than that.
Can he play? We gave our panel complete autonomy to break down what they see from Smith on film. What is Georgia getting with Smith? Well, here goes …..
The Film Don’t Lie
on Chris Smith II
School: Hapeville Charter
Ranking: Nation’s No. 30 CB
FYI: According to the 247Sports composite rankings, he rates as the 5th-lowest rated signee in the nation’s top-rated class for 2018. That should not be seen so much as a slight but maybe a reason why Smith has been a popular choice for recruiting analysts regarding which 2018 signee seem like the most underrated prospect in this class. There are a lot of intangible strengths to his game that leads those observers to that conclusion.
The biggest takeaways:
Overview: Smith is supposed to be a shadow for Mel Tucker’s “League of Shadows” but the common thread here is the physicality in the way he plays the game. Smith can cover. He’s competitive, but he will never be confused with a cornerback that’s not willing to get behind his pads and be physical.
Interesting: “I don’t know if he can play this game and not be physical. It just looks hard-wired into his DNA.”
Even more interesting: “I don’t know if this kid got his just due to being named or regarded one of the top players in the country.”
What they liked: Several coaches noted the way he tries to punish his opponent and intimidate them.
The big quote: “He plays with instincts that are very hard to find.”
Does he try to get in his man’s head? “Yes, it looks like this guy is always talking on the field.”
What they didn’t love: His size isn’t really SEC ready. He needs to tip the scales at about 180-185 pounds to be the most effective in that conference.
What they said about Chris Smith II:
“He really knows how to use his hands.”
“His most immediate strength is his aggressiveness. He’s very aggressive toward the ball and is a sure tackler. Very good cover guy. Looks like a very heady and a very smart player.”
“He should start out at Georgia as the nickel corner. Start him out on the inside against that slot receiver.”
“I see also see him playing early for Georgia on special teams.”
“Intense competitor. Hard-nosed. He has all these offers, but it looks like he is always trying to prove himself to his coaches on every play. He plays like he doesn’t want to lose his spot.”
“How would we attack him? I would try him with some double moves by our best route-runners. I’d also check his oil in the run game to see if he’s been tested enough in the run game. I’d try to run a lot of toss sweeps and some lead back stuff and come right at him. That’s what he will see from bigger bodies in the SEC at Georgia when he’s on the field. What can he do with pulling guards? Or all those fullbacks in the SEC?”
“This one play here where the other side runs a toss sweep to the boundary out of that Wing-T set is special. He comes through with an outstanding hit. He nailed that kid. Great hit.”
“The first thing that jumps out is how physical he plays. Great instincts when the ball is in the air and great ball skills.”
“He can make a lot of plays. It looks like his coaches trust him enough to give him the autonomy to ad-lib within their coverages.”
“He doesn’t look to be big but he is definitely a Power 5 corner.”
“Smith will get much better once he concentrates on the weight room.”
“If you placed his physicality and ball skills on a few recruits that have all the size for the position, then he would be a candidate for one of the nation’s top 25 players.”
“I think he needs to get bigger. Not sure of his size here but he looks to be about 170 pounds. Georgia will have to bulk him up to play him regularly in the SEC.”
“I would love to see his worst plays. Not just all these great and good ones. There are a lot of those. I think that will give me an idea of where he could play but from that highlight clip I think he can definitely play pretty high-level football.”
“He plays recklessly. Not in coverage. But the way he throws his body around. He needs about 10-15 more pounds if he wants to protect his body playing for Georgia in the SEC.”
“When coaches talk about being a technician and being a student of the game, they should show their players this young man’s film.”
“Physical on the line? Check. Uses his hands to play off the ball? Check. Jam? Big check. I think that because of his size he tries to intimidate players.”
“He’s aggressive and that seems like the proper way to say it. But I see him intimidate guys in games, too. He might talk to his man. Or shove them extra hard out of bounds. That mental side also looks to be a part of his game, too. He wants to intimidate his opponent.”
“I think he could play right away at most programs. But he may have a hard time at a place like Alabama or Georgia playing right out of the gate as a freshman.”
“It looks like his coverage ability is better than his ball skills. He needs to work on that part of his game.”
“If the opportunity presents itself, he could be an every-down player in the SEC. He really could. He could do the job. It is a just a matter of whether or not Georgia has a guy bigger and stronger than him that they also trust to play in those big SEC games.”
“I don’t see this young man making a lot of mental mistakes in the SEC after his freshman season.”
“I like the clip where he is squeezing No. 2 in the seam and breaks back outside for the pick! That’s was big time. Not many kids can do that.”
“I can see why all those big guys offered him. He’s a natural. He’s also a little bigger than I thought from the numbers I had heard about him.”
“He competes on this film. I don’t know if Georgia will be able to redshirt a young player like this one. Especially given all those defensive backs that won’t be back next year in Athens.”
“I would redshirt him that first year at Georgia. That’s so he could be the best college player he could be and put on some size. But I think if Georgia needs him to play, then he still could be ready to go.”
“His cover skills are superb, but I think his physicality at that position is what makes him really special.”
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