Georgia's Secret Weapon In 2009?

Wes HoltzclawCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 04:  Cornerback Branden Smith #1 of the white team plays defense in the All America Under Armour Football Game at Florida Citrus Bowl on January 4, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Not since the likes of Lindsay Scott, Gene Washington and Buzzy Rosenberg in the 1970’s, has Georgia possessed a player that could be considered a weapon in the return game.

Every once in awhile, during the Richt era, there has been a player that would take one back on occasion: Thomas Brown in ‘06, Prince Miller in ‘08, Mikey Henderson in ‘06, Thomas Flowers in ‘05 and Damien Gary in ‘01 and ‘02.

But have they had that player that opposing teams will try and kick away from because they are afraid for that player to get his hands on the ball?

Teams like Florida with Percy Harvin, Miami with Devin Hester, Michigan with Charles Woodson, and Missouri with Jeremy Maclin all  forced teams into mistakes, simply because they were a weapon no one wanted to face.

Now Georgia has that player in Branden Smith.

Smith, a true freshman out of Washington High School in Atlanta, plays both receiver and corner. During his senior season, no matter where he played, when he touched the ball something good happened.

His senior season consisted of 32 receptions for 1,085 yards (a 33.9 average), 12 kickoff returns for 481 yards (a 40.1 average) with three touchdowns and 20 punt returns for 456 yards (a 22.8 average) with two touchdowns.

One of his attributes is his speed. He currently holds the fourth fastest time in Georgia history in the 100-meters with a time of 10.5 seconds.

He turned down schools like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and Tennessee to become a Dawg.

With his skill set there is no reason coach Richt wouldn’t want to put him on the field as soon as possible.

Right now, Prince Miller is the punt return guy and Smith is competing with several others to be the team’s return man.

So my question to you is, if we have a player that can be that much of a force in the return game should he play as a true freshman?


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