October 10, 2011

Smith on 'the hit'



Everywhere Branden Smith found himself on campus Monday, classmates and friends have only wanted to talk about one thing - 'the hit.'

In case you missed it, it was the 5-foot-11, 176-pound cornerback who delivered the most impressive blow, against none other than Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers during Saturday night's 20-12 win over the Volunteers.

The bone-crunching shot was captured perfectly by a photographer from the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

"The picture been out, people been sending it to me, putting it on Twitter, Facebook, it's out there," Smith smiled after Monday's practice.

So much for the notion that the speedy Smith isn't a player capable of delivering a big knock when it counts.

"I really don't listen to what people say. I know some say I'm too small, I don't hit hard and everything. My thing is, when I have to hit, I'll hit. When I don't, I don't," Smith said. "It was just my time to try and make a big play."

To Rogers' credit, he still caught the ball.

"He's a great player," Smith said. "When he came on his visits I got a chance to talk to him and stuff; I thought he was coming here. I know he's not in the favor of the Georgia fans, so everybody wanted to get a piece of him."

Smith laughed when it was suggested that Georgia fans likely hold him in higher regard than ever before.

"I was just doing my thing," he said. "I was just playing football, that's all."

Smith said the normally loquacious Rogers didn't have anything to say after the play.

"Nah, he didn't say anything to me," he said. "I didn't hear anything from him, after the game I didn't hear anything from him. I guess that was a plus."

Fellow cornerback Brandon Boykin had a bird's eye view of the play.

"Oh, yeah. I honesty didn't expect him to hit him that hard but I saw just the way it was going, his momentum was coming up with him, so it was the perfect opportunity," Boykin said. "He took it. I think he might have hurt his shoulder a little bit, I think he made a statement with that hit."

That wasn't the only statement made by Smith on the evening.

Seeing his first action on offense, Smith provided a spark there as well with two rushes for 19 yards to go along with his three tackles.

"My hard work is paying off," Smith said. "I continue to work hard every day and give my best no matter what. So far, it's paying off."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.