Georgia gets All-American Tykee Smith from West Virginia
(Photo: Tykee Smith’s Twitter)
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made it clear recently that he doesn’t want to use the NCAA student-athlete transfer portal unless he finds a player worth his time.
Well, it seems like the rising sixth-year head coach did on Sunday night as news broke that West Virginia defensive back Tykee Smith would be joining the Bulldogs next season in Athens.
This is a huge pickup for Georgia as the competition in the secondary just got a little bit more interesting. As a sophomore, Smith was dubbed AP Third-Team All-American following a season where he racked up 61 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five pass deflections and two interceptions.
Smith also reunites with old position coach Jahmile Addae, who was hired by UGA earlier this year. At 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds, Smith is a workhorse on the field. He brings a lot of experience to a young Georgia secondary. When the Philadelphia native joins the team during summer workouts, he should start competing for a starting job immediately.
Currently, there are only three Georgia defensive backs that have seen playing time at cornerback Those names include Jalen Kimber, Daran Branch and Ameer Speed. Nevertheless, Smith will also be competing with Kelee Ringo and Nyland Green as well.
Last week, Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown spoke with reporters about Smith’s decision to leave the program.
“I want to start off and just address Tykee’s departure, a mutual separation, and it’s a lot like some relationships I’m sure everyone on here has been in,” Brown said. “It just gets to a point where it’s best for both parties, and that’s kind of where we were. Nothing negative to say about it. Had a really good two years here being productive on the field, and I wish him the best.”
So far, the addition of Addae seems to be paying off for the Bulldogs. Earlier this year, Smart spoke about Addae’s skillset with recruiting and coaching top-notch talent.
“I’m a lot more interested in his relationship with the players, how he treats the players, can he develop the players, does he have a skill set to coach them,” Smart said. “And that’s what I was impressed with Jahmile-wise, his demeanor, intelligent, he thinks things out before he says them, and he’s done a tremendous job of gaining the trust of those players, while also learning a pretty complicated defense.”
It was forthcoming that once Smith announced his departure from WVU, that UGA was one of his top choices.
According to Pro Football Focus, Smith is one of the top returning defensive backs in the country for the 2021 season. In 2020, Smith only allowed 25 receptions of 38 targets attempted for 110 yards, which is an impressive feat. Of those 13 incompletions, three were pass breakups and two were interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.