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Christopher Smith Will Return to Athens for Final Season

Georgia safety Christopher Smith will become the first draft eligble player to return to Athens instead of declaring for the NFL Draft

Georgia safety Christopher Smith will become the first draft eligible player to return to Athens instead of declaring for the NFL Draft.

"I want to start by saying that I am very blessed to be in the position I am in today. The past few years have been some of my best years of my life. None of thhis would have been possible without the love and unwavering support of my family, coaches, and teammates. I am extremely grateful. This year was nothing short of amazing! With that being said... I have decided to return to the University of Georgia for my last year of eligbility."

NFL Draft Declarations Update:

  • January 14, 2022 - Georgia S Christopher Smith to return to Athens for another season
  • January 14th, 2022 - Georgia RB Zamir White declares for the 2022 NFL Draft.
  • January 12th, 2022 - Georgia RB James Cook declares for the 2022 NFL Draft.


  • January 13th, 2022 - Latavious Brini Announced he will be entering the NCAA Transfer Portal
  • January 12th, 2022 - Sources confirm Georgia DB Jalen Kimber is in the NCAA transfer portal
  • January 12th, 2022 - Georgia WR Justin Robinson has requested to enter the portal according to sources.
  • January 11th, 2022 - Georgia WR Jaylen Johnson has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal according to sources
  • Janaury 11th, 2022 - Sources confirm DB, Ameer Speed has entered the NCAA Transfer portal

The conclusion of this season now sparks the conversation of players who are draft-eligible and could be leaving the program to chase their dreams of becoming an NFL player. It also creates the question of players who could possibly be returning for another season as a Georgia Bulldog, and with the additional year of eligibility granted by NCAA due to COVID-19, things are gonna get messy.

The following players listed below are ones who have obtained the required three years in college football and are eligible to enter the 2022 NFL draft:

  • Warren McClendon, OL, RS Sophomore
  • George Pickens, WR, Junior
  • Nolan Smith, LB, Junior
  • JT Daniels, QB, Junior
  • Kenny McIntosh, RB, Junior
  • Lewis Cine, S, Junior
  • Nakobe Dean, LB, Junior
  • Tykee Smith, DB, Junior
  • Travon Walker, DL, Junior
  • Warren Ericcson, OL, Junior
  • John Fitzpatrick, TE, Senior
  • James Cook, RB, Senior *declared for NFL Draft
  • Zamir White, RB, Senior *declared for NFL Draft
  • Quay Walker, LB, Senior
  • Kearis Jackson, WR, Senior
  • Ameer Speed, DB, Senior *Entered Transfer Portal
  • Jaylen Johnson, WR, Senior *Entered Transfer Portal
  • Derrion Kendrick, DB, Senior
  • Stetson Bennett, QB, Senior
  • Christopher Smith, DB, Senior *Returning to Athens
  • William Poole, DB, Senior
  • Robert Beal Jr, LB, Senior
  • Latavious Brini, DB, Senior
  • Channing Tindall, LB, Senior
  • Justin Shaffer, OL, Senior
  • Jamaree Salyer, OL, Senior
  • Jake Carmada, P, Senior
  • Julian Rochester, DL, Senior
  • Devonte Wyatt, DL, Senior
  • Jordan Davis, DL, Senior

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As stated above, during last year's season all college athletes were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the chaos that the global pandemic created. Therefore, that means a player who has completed all four years as a college football athlete would still have another year of eligibility left at the college player.

This provides the opportunity for a player like Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who is currently a senior of the team, the ability to still return for the 2022-23 college football season.

Prior to last season, Georgia had a good number of players announce they would be returning for another season with the program instead of declaring for the draft. With a long list of draft-eligible players, it will be very interesting to see over the next month who decides to declare for the draft, third-year players who return, and those who take advantage of the extra year of eligibility that they have been granted.

Buckle up, because things are about to get very interesting in regards to how Georgia's roster shapes up for the upcoming season.

As for the Transfer Portal, Kirby Smart mentioned in his championship press conference and said that they are expecting quite a bit of portal movement as well, conversations that they've already had with players about leaving.

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