Georgia tight end commit Ty Smith (Moultrie, Ga./Colquitt County) pauses when asked if he is still solid to the Bulldogs. He indicates that he is, but he doesn’t speak in absolutes.
“I hear from Oregon from time to time,” Smith said. “Florida is not on my list anymore.
“All I am going to say is that I am a Dawg fan. I've got to look at the academic part of it first. I want to major in business. Whoever has a great business school for me, I will go there.”
Luckily for tight ends coach John Lilly the University of Georgia is home to the Terry College of Business, which was recently ranked among the top 20 public business schools by U.S. News & World Report.
“That is half of it,“ Smith said. “I am a Dawg fan and that is my dream.”
Since he has a head for numbers Smith was able to give a quantitative evaluation of his commitment.
“I would say I am 90 percent committed, with the other 10 percent just keeping my options open,” Smith said.
Georgia will need Smith next year, especially if Orson Charles leaves early for the NFL. Aron White and Bruce Figgins are seniors, so the Bulldogs will have some openings.
“They said they were going to recruit two tight ends and I am one of them,” Smith said. “I think Orson is gone. He is going to go pro.”
Replacing Charles is a tall order, but Smith has put up some impressive numbers. Last year he caught 56 passes and this year he has more than 30 receptions. He lines up in the slot often to create mismatches with defenses in addition to his more traditional tight end duties.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senioir is looking forward to the challenge awaiting him in Athens.
“I am a good kid, I stay out of trouble and other folks’ business,” Smith said. “I am just trying to get out of Moultrie. That is my goal really. It is pretty boring. If you don’t have something like sports, you will find yourself in some trouble. This is my ticket out.”
Smith is easily recognized in the small town and is often asked if he is still committed while receiving well-wishes everywhere he goes.
“It’s crazy, people in the neighborhood will just mail me stuff, like ‘Keep up the good work,’” Smith said. “They are always leaving comments on my Facebook. It is just crazy.”
It is hard to imagine the mild-mannered young man with the huge smile as having a dark side, but his coaches warn not to get Smith riled up on the field. He agrees.
“When I step between the lines my attitude does change,” Smith said. “You've got to be tough out there. When you push my buttons, you push my buttons and I go off. I swell up, buck up, and take it out on the first person I see.”