Posted: 4:22 pm Friday, January 31st, 2014

Garrison Smith: Look out for Toby and ‘Meatball’ 

By Chip Towers

Garrison Smith is having a blast. He’s down in Pensacola, Fla., training hard for the NFL draft with a group called Athletes Performance Institute. He’s optimistic about his NFL prospects and, with his UGA degree already in hand, feels ready for whatever the future holds for him.

But in a lot of ways Smith wishes he could still be in Athens getting ready for another football season next fall. Smith was the only starter the Bulldogs lost off last year’s defense. With all the experience they have coming back and the new changes that are afoot, he believes Georgia’s defense is going to surprise some folks — particularly when it comes to the defensive line.

“Our defense was a machine,” said Smith, who led the down linemen with 63 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and six sacks.  “Our secondary was just too young. Hopefully they will grow up this season.”

His absence aside, Smith thinks Georgia fans should be excited about the potential of the Bulldogs’ defensive front.  Returning starters Sterling Bailey, Ray Drew and Chris Mayes are reason enough for encouragement, but he points to a couple of non-starters as real aces in the hole for next season.

“Next year, Toby Johnson will be the man,” Smith predicted. “And ‘Meatball’ Mike Thornton will also be a key guy, in my opinion.  A lot of people don’t realize how great a player Meatball is and he’s finally about to get his shot. And Toby is an awesome athlete. He just had to learn the defense.”

Smith sees Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound junior, stepping up in his spot at left defensive end, with Drew and Bailey alternating and staying fresh on the other side of the line. Thornton and Chris Mayes will handle the dirty work in the middle, and both could be playing at the same time more often than we’re accustomed to seeing. Smith said it’s his understanding  the Bulldogs’ will utilize a 4-3 look more than a 3-4 next season under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.

In the 3-4, he said, Georgia’s D-linemen had to be very rigid in carrying out their assignments and maintaining gap control. The 4-3 allows more for “free-styling,” which suits the games of Johnson and Thornton.

“That’s why I think Meatball is about to get his chance,” Smith said of Thornton. “I think the 4-3 defense is more suitable to him. He is a penetrator.”

Smith said he hated seeing Chris Wilson leave Georgia for Southern Cal. But he was as pumped as anybody about Tracy Rocker’s hiring. Smith knows him going back to his recruitment out of Atlanta’s Douglass High.

“Good dude,” Smith said. “He’ll be a good addition.”

As for himself, Smith is planning to give the NFL a full go. Depending on the draft projections you call up, he’s generally listed as a late-rounder or possible free agent.

But Smith’s not spending much time sweating it. In fact, he said whatever he ends up doing it will only be temporary until he fills his true calling.

“When my NFL career is over, I’ll be the permanent D-line coach at UGA,” Smith said. “Go ahead and plant that seed. I’m a Dawg for life!”

48 comments
ColumbusDawg
ColumbusDawg

In another interview, Smith says he thinks Pruitt will play more 4-3 than 3-4, thus giving "Meatball" a chance to shine. Also hearing that Pruitt intends to play man coverage, not the "nonexistent" coverage that Grantham seemed to prefer. An all out competition for MOST spots on UGA depth chart, both offense and defense will begin in March. Yes, there are some spots more vulnerable than others, but competition none the less. Supposedly Chubb was told by coaches that they wanted him to come in and compete for starting tailback position. Hope this will light a fire under Gurley's butt to get in football shape in offseason. I expect this spring to be a wilder ride than usual in Athens. I can not wait for G day to get here.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Now if we can get Georgia's defense and special teams to mirror Seattle's...Wow!

It was nice to actually see a team in this day and age, pro or college, play real defense. So few do nowadays....

Dawg350
Dawg350

Garrison smith was a true warrior for us in the trenches. Whoever replaces him...will have big shoes to fill.

DawgHawkFalconFan
DawgHawkFalconFan

This is an article about Garrison Smith aka Damn Good Dawg. Posts about anything else should be ignored. Related story about another DGD Thomas Davis finalist for NFL Man of the Year.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

RandyHall.....never anything new from you, ever.  Go to practice and tell Friend and Ball how you feel about them.  That's what a man would do with that conviction.  Stop hiding behind your keyboard, wuss.  Negative guys like you never get out front.  A 'code red' would have been hung on you after a couple of weeks in basic training.  That's a fact!!!

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

4 Georgia Bulldogs have been named MVP of the NFL Title game : QB/HB Charley  Trippi, QB/WR/RB Hines Ward who played in 3 Super Bowls Winning 2 Super Bowls and has 14 catches in Super Bowls 7 in one game, TB Terrell Davis who Won 2 Super Bowls scoring 3 Rushing TD 1 Super Bowl for Denver, and S/KR/PR Jake Scott III who played in 3 Super Bowls Winning 2 Super Bowls 1 of which he intercepted 2 Passes, 2 of his 49 NFL interceptions.


Richard Seymour Won 3 Super Bowls and I felt deserved the Super Bowl MVP watching the game in which he recorded 7 Tackles as a Defensive Lineman, and had 57 Sacks in the NFL.


Patrick Pass and Guy McIntyre also both Won 3 Super Bowls.


Kevin Butler has 3 Super Bowl Field Goals.


Champ Bailey has 52 NFL Interceptions and is the Starting CB for Denver this Super Bowl.

Knowshon Moreno is the Starting Tailback for Denver this Super Bowl 1038 Rushing and 60 catches 2013.

Chris Clemons is the Starting Defensive End for Seattle this Super Bowl with his 62 NFL Sacks.


These 3 mark the 13th Consecutive Season The Georgia Bulldogs have been in the Super Bowl.


WR Demaryius Thomas'  both mother and grandmother are serving 20 year sentences for being Drug Dealers and will watch Super Bowl XLVIII from prison.  How appropriate then that Georgie tek would discuss the Bong Bowl with an article then about Demaryius Thomas, as both Seattle and Denver legalized pot.


Thank you for the shout out about Georgie tek and the Super Bowl, AJ-C.  Where is the article about Super Bowl and Georgia Bulldogs ?

RealProblem
RealProblem

"Our defense was a machine".....this almost sounds like a NCDawg quote. Good grief, OUR DEFENSE SUCKED AND SUCKED BAD. 

I did watch the Alabama game......granted Bama had a great OL, but G. Smith was on roller skates the whole game. NFL career?......he will be lucky to get drafted....SHORTEST NFL CAREER EVER.

RandyHall
RandyHall

I like what NC Dawg is saying about Garrison Smith....a steal in the draft....listen up Falcons...and what Pruitt, Rocker, etc will do w/ the Defense....NOW HIRE THE REMAINING POSITION:IT IS IMPORTANT BEFORE SIGNING DATE...good hire in Kelin Johnson as a Grad Asst....he will be great w/ the players as a Role Model and Communicator....please keep an eye on Will Friend and his production and recruiting as the OL Coach...missed out on too many great OL and the players he has have not progressed according to plan...ie John Theus....also, Tony Ball needs to step up his game....read the list of WR's missed on or de-committed: Demarre Kitt, Krenwick Sanders, CJ Curry, Josh Malone, Ty Montgomery, Sammy Watkins, DeMarco Robinson, JaQuay Williams, Nate Brown, Jason Croom....and the unforgettable saga of Da'Rick Rogers....if he can't get the playmakers....bring in Hines!!! Please do not say Malcolm Mitchell.....that was CMB's get!!!!   

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

With all the success by current Dawgs in the NFL no reason to think he cant have a long career. Love the attitude toward UGA and his future as coach, DGD!

OkieDawg
OkieDawg

Good for him...he is a good one. The kind of student-athlete that makes Georgia look good. We could use 85 just like him, Josh H-Clemmons are you listening?

Dawggie
Dawggie

"I'm a Dawg for life!"

*************************

And you are also DGD (Damn Good Dawg), Garrison Smith.

Good luck in the NFL!

Mulk
Mulk

Thomas brown,


So, if somebody posts a comment here that you don't like, it is your responsibility to denigrate the team that they support? Why don't you just use all your statistics to support whatever point it is that you are trying to make?


Sometimes, have a hard time following your posts, but it appears that you made POAD's point for him that he made YESTERDAY in some other article? Is that correct?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

POAD asked the question yesterday, how many top teams has Mark Richt beat.  Open mouth, switch feet, as per usual for POAD.  You replied we beat ranked # 4 for the season South Carolina in the season just finished.  We also beat ranked # 14 for the season LSU.


Georgie tek, in the meantime lost 6 games, 5 of whom did not make any poll at all for the season just ended.  The lone win by Georgie tek over a ranked team in the season just ended was Duke early in the season, after Anthony Boone their QB got injured the week before against Memphis and did not play Georgie tek, and Duke was not ranked at time of game and ended the season # 23.


The year before, 2012, UGA beat ranked for the season # 9 Florida, # 23 Vanderbilt and # 25 Nebraska, while Georgie tek beat no team ranked for the season.


Good question POAD.


Of course, it is not all rosy for UGA recently, our won/lost record outside the Top 25 current 4-year period and tied for # 22 won/lost record current 6-year period; but, we just beat your team POAD, Georgie tek, for the 7th consecutive season in Atlanta.  And, as for your comment yesterday POAD that our Defense doesn't hold teams under 21 points, POAD sir, your Ted Roof defense just gave up 41 points to us, and in fact 4 touchdowns Ted Roof's defense gave up to just Todd Gurley II.


Once 80.77 win percentage for Mark Richt

Now, 67.50 win percentage current 6-years.


3 wins 9 games from 2001-2007 vs Top 10 teams that season Mark Richt 3-6.

2 wins 15 games from 2008-2013 vs Top 10 teams that season Mark Richt 2-13.

5 wins 24 games Mark Richt Era vs Top 10 teams that season entire Mark Richt Era 5-19.


13 wins 29 games vs ranked teams that season 2001-2007 Mark Richt 13-16.

7 wins 29 games vs ranked teams that season current 6 years now after 2007 Mark Richt 7-22.

20 wins 58 games vs ranked teams that season Mark Richt Era 20-38.


13 wins 26 games vs SEC teams who put up winning SEC record 2001-2007, Mark Richt 13-13.

4 wins 16 games after 2007 vs SEC team who put up winning SEC record, current 6 years 4-12.

17 wins 42 games vs SEC teams who put up winning SEC record 2001-2013 at 17-25.


SOURCE FOR THIS ANALYSIS (1) 2001-2007, (2) after 2007, and (3) entire Mark Richt Era :


http://www.cfbtrivia.com/cfbt_detail.php?fry=2008&thy=2013&teamname=Georgia&spl=on&sortby=Year&ascend=on&cres=3


http://www.cfbtrivia.com/cfbt_detail.php?fry=2001&thy=2007&teamname=Georgia&cres=1


What we see clearly is that Mark Richt was great the 1st half of his career here :

(1) against teams ranked in the Top 10 the seasons he played them

(2) against teams ranked in the Top 25 the seasons he played them

(3) against SEC teams who put up winning SEC Records the seasons he played them.


Mark Richt has been poor after 2007 vs teams ranked in the Top 10 those seasons, vs teams ranked in the Top 25 those seasons, and against SEC teams who put up winning SEC records those seasons.


We haven’t done anything yet about our Special Teams but have corrected the Defense by replacing the entire Defensive Staff, which no UGA coach has ever had to do in 50 years all the way back to after the 1963 season when Vince Dooley hired Erk Russell and the entire Junkyard Dawg Defensive Staff, not seen here since.


9-4 when two teams will play 15-game seasons.We can prove it to me on the field, not preseason discussions, after 54-26 the current 6 seasons.  And, what about Special Teams ?More lip service Mark Richt ?  Nothing at all ?  We do have a great recruiting class as usual, this time meeting our needs.

Orange Crush
Orange Crush

I love that everyone left that article with the same impression: Damn Good Dawg!  I hope Garrison has a long, prosperous career in the NFL and gets on as DL coach 10-15 hears from now.  That would be awesome!

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

As long as Richt is in charge, they could get the next coming of Barry Sanders and it wouldn't make a difference. You'd think 14 years of the same results would put the UGA brass on alert.

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

What a Attitude!!!  The type of player you hate to see leave.

Young DAWGS need to take heed...A positive attitude, work ethic along with TALENT can take you a longgggggggggg wayyyyyyy!!!! Go Dawgs!

NCDawg
NCDawg

Garrison is DGD and will make some team in the NFL.  Somebody will get a steal.


I like his ultimate goal as well.


Toby and Meatball  that sounds like a good team... I can wait to see how Coach Pruitt will utilize the talent he has.  Spring practice won't be just a bunch of same ole same this year.

rhbDAWG1
rhbDAWG1

"I'm a Dawg for life!". What all our recruits and players should aspire to.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Love to hear the rave reviews of our next players in line....Go Toby and Meatball !!!!

HotDawg
HotDawg

Damn Good Dawg.

Will be a great pick for any team that gets him.

Great team player.

I predict a potential all-pro career. Very passionate player with a constant motor.

Would love to have him come back and coach and recruit when his playing days are over.

keendaddy
keendaddy

I don't care where GS goes, I will always be a fan of his....even if he sacks Ryan 5 times, lol!

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

good luck to you Garrison...you have a great future ahead of you whatever that may be...see you back in Athens one day...go dogs

BrianBrenner
BrianBrenner

One of the bright spots of last year's defense. I really liked Garrison and I hate to see him go. Hope that secondary gets fixed, and I am confident that it will, and our group shines next season.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@Dawg350


As a future UGA coach GS has already named his replacement, Toby Johnson!!!


Good enough for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

maconexpress
maconexpress

If Garrison Smith has a short nfl career that remains to be seen. UGA players usually does well at the next level. Geno Akins had 36 tkls, 10.5 tfl and 3 sacks in his final season(09) @uga now he has become the best DT in the nfl(before going down with the injury). Garrison Smith has 63 tkls, 10 tfl and 6 sacks in his final season @uga.

I would love to seen GS in the falcon's starting lineup next season but since they've already passed on Charles Johnson and Geno Akins in the previous drafts I'm expecting them to pass on GS as well.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@RealProblem


The real problem is Troll, that you grace The Georgia Bulldogs' blogs hiding behind your keyboard afraid to tell us who is your Real Team ?

Ghost13
Ghost13

@RandyHall you show you idiocy on how  Georgia  recruits every time you post.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@Mulk


No Mulk.  I dislike, like everyone else does, Trolls such as you Mulk.  All you do is run in here and put down everything Georgia Bulldogs ever.  And, do you once answer the question ever that you in fact are a Georgie tek fan hiding behind that handle Mulk ?


You see, yet Mulk ?


Georgie tek fans talk about teams beating Georgia Bulldogs, but do you post as a Georgie tek fan in so doing ?


No sir.


And, why is that ?


Because we've beat you at your house 7 times in a row.


At least POAD does not try to hide the fact that he is a Georgie tek fan; and, you watch all the OBVIOUS replies he gets to every post, don't you Mulk ?

POAD2013
POAD2013

@ThomasBrown  Florida was over ranked and they SUCKED. get over the inflated SEC rankings at the start of the season and see how they look in December.


ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@GeorgeJetsen


It is not 14 years of the same results at all cartoon character.  It is the 1st half of his career great against teams making the top 10, against teams making the top 25 and against SEC teams putting up a winning SEC Record those 1st seven seasons, and now 6 years of lackluster results against all 3. There is a difference cartoon character.  By the way, what is your team affiliation, you cartoon character, as if we did not know ?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@NCDawg Really ?  Have you seen something I missed about our Special Teams yet ? Have you seen something I missed about opening up the Quarterback competition yet ?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@HotDawg



Posted by HotDawg at7:54 p.m. Jan. 5, 2014  


"People have got to quit acting as if it is Georgia's fault Marshall is not on team.He commited a crime (against teammates, no less). He was lucky not to be arrested. Or have his butt kicked into submission, where he couldn't play a down of football ever again, anywhere. Thiefs are lowlife scum.While he was with UGA, he never would have, nor deserved to play qb above the SEC record breaking qb Murray. So quit blaming Georgia for his mistakes.And quit assuming things would have been better if he were UGA's qb till He decided to be a criminal."

________________________________

Mr. Tough Guy who thinks he is a hot dog,


Sir, Nick Marshall, Zach Mettenberger, nor anyone else was given an opportunity to even get snaps in games against softer teams because your hero Aaron Murray Lost 17 games fumbling, throwing interceptions and being sacked while unable to run the ball at all billed as a dual-threat QB at 6 feet and 3/8 inch tall - often at the most inopportune time.The other QB was the better QB that day in many of his games here.You convict Nick Marshall when he was not even charged, and make Aaron Murray out as the Best QB in The SEC when not once does anyone make that claim about Aaron Murray any season ever.What you don't like about me is that I call it like it is about Aaron Murray, a gutsy guy who checked out of the play at the line of scrimmage to his own number more than half the plays, could not run the football at all often fumbling when he tried, was sacked, threw interceptions - all the while we had no option in all those bad games Aaron Murray had never even allowing a back-up QB even to get in games much. Aaron Murray lost more games as our Starting QB than any QB in the Mark Richt era by long wide margin because he was not that great, despite your whining about how great your hero Aaron Murray, all 6 feet and 3/8 inch of him.Committed as consonant is a double T, thief is singular and not made plural by adding an S when he was not even charged while rumors are he did not even do the taking, and Aaron Murray is not the Best QB in The SEC any year by any measure.I did not care for Aaron Murray based upon our Seasons' Tickets, and that is what you remember about me Mr. Tough Guy. 

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@keendaddy


Can you just imagine Garrison as a recruiter one day??????????????


He is a great individual s ALL aspects of his life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HotDawg
HotDawg

That's rich, coming from the king of off-topic comments (thomas brown). Where did Murray enter a conversation in this blog? When thomas brown brought up something from january 5th.

You are one strange person thomas brown. Do you spend all day going through ajc archives stalking others comments? You're really creepy.

Try seeking medical help. .

Out of all Georgia players, was thomas brown your favorite? Did you stalk him?

RealProblem
RealProblem

@ThomasBrown @RealProblem  Stick your head in the sand all you want, but I for one would like Georgia to be a great team not just fair to good. If you are happy with finishing 5 to 7th in the SEC in recruiting then I might ask you what your Real Team is.

Mulk
Mulk

@ThomasBrown Why is what? Do I see what? A troll is a person that has a different opinion than your's? So, are you a UGA fan? Anti-Richt? It's hard to tell by your posts. Does it make UGAG a national title contender by beating Tech? Or, have they been average as your posts/statistics indicate?



GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

All your watered down stats mean nothing. Zero for 14 in national titles or even game appearances is the real measurement- particularly during a decade of SEC dominance. Expect mediocrity and that's what you will get.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@ThomasBrown


Dear Idiot:


Sometimes(it's getting fewer and fewer) you make good sense and provide lots of interesting data but you are showing your ignorant side on this post.


Nick Marshall signed with UGA as a DB because he planned to play Basketball also. His reasoning(as reported widely in the media) was DB would allow him adequate time to play both where QB would be too demanding to allow him to devote the necessary time to BB. Nick was quoted by the media. (Wish you could have been there). Whether he actually stole anything was made irrelevant when he refused to cooperate with authorities during the investigation. By law he became an accessory and he was dismissed BECAUSE UGA has WRITTEN rules and regs as to how violation(s) punishment will be doled out. Administering such is a part of HC  CMR's duties because CMR signed the contract containing that information.


Mettenberger, who was redshirted, got into trouble over a female and was found GUILTY of Sexual Assault. As in the case with Nick Marshall, Mettenberger was dismissed as required in the UGA Rules and Regs.This action was administered by CMR as required in his contract as UGA  HC.


I hope you will join me in now seeing that it would have been difficult to play Mettenberger since he was no longer in school. (he did participate in spring practice prior to being dismissed)


Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@GeorgeJetsen


Nobody in Dawg Nation wants or needs your hairlipped advice because you OBVIOUSLY know less about more than anyone posting on here and couldn't find your azz with both hands in your hip pockets!!!!!! Inbred !!!!!  Idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@ThomasBrown


Once you get ALL the facts about ALL those you refer to then someone might respect some of what you throw out. Once Murray regains his physical condition we will hear/see an apology from you or we will never hear from you again.


Or maybe you will just change your handle because you will NEVER apologize!!!