One of National Signing Day’s most anticipated announcements was that of Arian Smith. All signs pointed towards Smith choosing between Georgia and Alabama. Want to know why the two SEC powers coveted his services? Watch the film.
HUDL doesn’t allow their highlight videos to be embedded, but you can watch his longer film here. My first thought when watching the tape was that he looks similar to Percy Harvin and Mecole Hardman in many ways.
Georgia desperately missed the game-breaking speed of Mecole Hardman this past season. With legitimate sprinter speed, Smith is the type of player who can fill that void, and he mentioned that the UGA coaching staff sold him on a Hardman type of role in the offense. He was the state of Florida runner-up in the 100 meters with a time of 10.39 seconds, and the state champion in the 200 meters at 21.14 seconds. Smith combines long strides and excellent balance with elite stop-go ability and incredible burst. Perhaps most impressive is his tackle breaking ability and willingness to run through contact. He uses his speed smartly, showing excellent quickness and field vision as a ball carrier.
Smith, a Lakeland, Florida product, played in all three phases of the game for his high-school team, and could return punts immediately at the next level. While his achievements up to this point have earned him a place as the nation’s #14 receiver and #72 overall player according to the 247 Sports Composite, he is still fairly raw.
Arian will need some solid position coaching, as he can sometimes let the ball get into his chest a little too quickly, but he is one of the best athletes in the 2020 class. Possessing as much upside as anyone in the nation, it will be interesting to see how Smith develops. Having scored touchdowns as a returner, pass catcher, H-Back, from the Wildcat and on reverses, the priority with Smith should be getting him the ball in space.
Grabbing Smith out of Florida represents another coup for the Bulldogs in the Sunshine State. Having now signed with Georgia, it will be interesting to see how he grows over the next few years.