This spring I did a post about the fact that I loved hearing that Branden Smith was spending almost all of his time working on his defense. As explosive as he is and as much as I think he can offer on offense I don't think he should spend much time working on that side of the ball until he has mastered his primary duties as a corner. Well it appears that is starting to pay off as Smith had 5 picks in a practice, not in all practices combined, but in a single practice. He has all the talent in the world to be a shut down corner and hopefully this is a sign that he is finally reaching his potential.
Smith stepping up gives coach Grantham options on defense. If the safety position needs help then Commings can move to that position feeling good about Smith starting opposite of Boykin. If the players already at safety step up and show they can handle it then the depth at corner will be a huge strength for Georgia. Smith stepping up also offers Grantham the ability to match up with teams that run multiple offenses.
Having Smith be able to play corner means that Grantham could run out a back eight that looks something like this; Boykin, Smith, Commings, Rambo, Jones, Ogletree, Washington and Robinson. The defense can show a base look of the 3-4 with Commings at safety. With Ogletree having experience at safety they can also shift him back and move Commings up into a nickel position to handle a 3 wide set by an offense. With the same personnel the defense can be multiple without having to sub, taking away an offenses advantage of being able to dictate matchups to the defense based on personnel groupings.