OLB · Georgia
Summary: No. 1 overall prep recruit in 2019, Smith was consistently impressive in 46 college games — ended by a torn pectoral muscle last October — and was one of the showstoppers at the Indy Olympics, er, Combine. At 6-2 1/4, 238 pounds, Smith sped through the 40 yards in 4.39 seconds, tied for second fastest for a linebacker in Indy history. He also had best-of results by front-seven defenders with a 10-yard split of 1.52 seconds and a 41-inch vertical jump. He is a vocal team leader whose physical abilities appear to be better than the results. In 43 games, 23 as a starter, he made 21 tackles for a loss and collected 11 sacks.
FRANKLY: Smith has potential to be a real pain in the plans of opposing offenses, with the ability to rush the passer and drop off in coverage, though he will need to be more consistent at both. Smith has great tools, including strong hands, fast get-off, and agility. Experience and coaching should help him refine his techniques so he can become a major menace for opposing quarterbacks. Looks like he has value in the 15-20 range of the first round..
YEAR (GP/GS) TKLS TFL SACK FF PD INT
2019: (14/0) 18 2.5 2.5 0 1 0
2020: (10/1) 22 2.5 2.5 0 0 0
2021: (14/14) 56 9.0 3.5 3 2 1
2022: (8/8) 18 7.0 3.0 0 1 0
Total: (46/23) 114 21.0 11.5 3 4 1
HISTORY — From College Profile
* 8 tackles vs. South Carolina & Michigan, 2021
* 1.5 QB Sacks vs. Murray State, 2019; Arkansas 2021
* 2.0 Tackles for Loss vs. Alabama2, 2021
* 7 QB Pressures vs. Michigan, 2021
* 1 INT vs. Florida, 2021
* 1 forced fumble vs. South Carolina, Florida, 2021
* 1 recovered fumble vs. Florida, 2021
2022: Started at LB in eight games...had 18 total tackles and a team-high 16 QB hurries before going down with an injury in Florida game...three tackles, one for lost yardage, in win over Auburn...had two unassisted tackles and a team-high three QB hurries in season-opening win over No. 11 Oregon...one QB sack that forced an intentional grounding penalty in win over Vanderbilt...tackle for lost yardage and a QB hurry in win over Samford...named to preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy (nation's top interior lineman) and Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's top defender)...second-team pre-season All-America selection by Athlon Sports.
2021: Played in 14 of 15 games, starting in all 14...finished with 56 total tackles, fifth most on the team...also finished with 9.0 tackles for lost yardage (second on team), 3.5 of those coming on QB sacks, along with 27 QB pressures...led the Bulldogs in tackles (8) in Capital One Orange Bowl win over Michigan...also had a career-high seven QB pressures vs. the Wolverines...three tackles, one for loss, two QB hurries and a pivotal play of Georgia’s win over Missouri, when he blocked a second-quarter Tiger punt that resulted in a safety...four total stops in win over Florida...added three career firsts vs. the Gators: forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception, all in a 39-second span of the second quarter...twice named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week: vs. USC and Florida...had four tackles, one QB sack (8-yard loss) and two QB hurries in Georgia’s win over #3 Clemson...team-high eight tackles in win over South Carolina...caused a fumble and also assisted on a sack that resulted in a safety vs. the Gamecocks...named one of three team captains for the Vanderbilt game.
2020: Played extensively in all 10 of the Bulldogs' games...first starting assignment of the season in win over Tennessee...finished with 22 total stops and 20 QB pressures...credited with a career-best six tackles at Arkansas, including 1.5 stops for 14 lost yards...also had four QB pressures vs. the Razorbacks...had three stops and a pair of QB hurries in win over Auburn...four tackles and a QB pressure vs. Alabama...had three tackles in win at Missouri, including the Bulldogs' lone QB sack of the game.
2019: Co-winner of Defensive Newcomer of the Year, given at team’s post-season awards gala...played in all 14 games and finished with 18 total stops, including 2.5 sacks for 19 lost yards...also had 15 QB pressures, fourth-best on the team...three tackles and a QB pressure vs. Georgia Tech...two stops vs. Missouri included a QB sack for a 9-yard loss...had 1.5 sacks vs. Murray State...enrolled at UGA in January and participated in Spring drills.
High School: IMG Academy, coached by Kevin Wright…one of four finalists for the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year Award, given to the nation’s top senior offensive and defensive linemen…247sports.com five-star prospect, top-ranked prospect nationally…PrepStar Magazine five-star prospect, No. 2 prospect nationally, No. 2 WR…ESPN.com five-star prospect, No. 2 prospect nationally, No. 2 defensive end prospect nationally, No. 1 prospect in Florida...Rivals.com five-star prospect, No. 5 prospect nationally, No. 2 player in Florida…had 47 tackles, 14.5 for a loss and 6.5 sacks in his senior season…USA Today All-USA first team and No. 2 on the USA TODAY pre-season Chosen 25…as a junior, he had 41 tackles, 10 TFL, four sacks, two fumbles recovered, an interception, a fumble forced and a blocked punt…2017 MaxPreps Junior All-American Team First-Team offense…transferred to IMG Academy in January of 2017, after two years at Calvary Day, where he played DL and RB…2016 All-State Class A-Private First Team defense by both the Georgia Sports Writers Assn. and AJC…2016 MaxPreps Sophomore All-American Team Second-Team defense…defensively, he amassed 75 tackles – 16 for a loss – to go along with 27 QB hurries, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a blocked punt as a sophomore…offensively, he led the team with 712 rushing yards and scored 12 total TDs.
Full name: Nolan Sental Smith...Intended major: mathematics...recipient of the Joseph S. Espy Football Scholarship, as well as the John Tillman Football Scholarships.