An offseason arrest for marijuana possession won’t result in a suspension of any time this season for Georgia cornerback Branden Smith after all.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said after Saturday’s practice that Smith has been cleared to play right away. Smith, also speaking to media, said he passed two separate drug tests in the spring — one from the university and one in the state of Alabama — and eventually received pre-trial intervention.
The corner was pulled over near Headland, Ala. back in March for following too closely and having a tag light out. According to a police report, the officer on site smelled pot in the car and found a bag under the seat during a search. Smith and a passenger were arrested.
Athletic Director Greg McGarity later said pot-related arrests carry a mandatory suspension of 10 percent of the season. That’s usually just one game for football players. The Bulldogs open the season against Buffalo.
Smith, a senior, appeared in 14 games last season with seven starts. He recording 24 tackles and two interceptions. He also rushing 13 times for 100 yards and a TD and caught three passes for 39 yards. On special teams, Smith returned seven kickoffs for 131 yards and returned nine punts for 70 yards.
Smith is also on this year’s preseason Hornung Award watch list for college football’s most versatile player.