Just days after Georgia Bulldogs’ Jalen Carter made headlines for an arrest warrant in his name, another Bulldogs player is lifting their name back up to where it should be. Outside linebacker Nolan Smith impressed everyone watching with some great stats on the Combine workouts, especially his 40-yard dash time.
The 22-year-old defensive player suffered a torn pectoral muscle in October last year. This prevented him from displaying his skills to potential teams in the final run of the season. However, it seems he is determined to make up for that lost chance, by putting in mind-boggling numbers at the Combine. So far, he is on target with his performances.
Nolan Smith records a faster time on the 40-yard dash than receivers
Smith sent the NFL community into a frenzy after he completed his 40-yard dash in a stunning 4.39 seconds. He is now the second-fastest defensive lineman since 2003. What’s more interesting, is that his time is faster than that of what receivers like Saquon Barkley, Stefon Diggs, and DeAndre Hopkins have recorded. However, that is not the only place he has outmatched an NFL player.
He also impressed everyone watching his vertical leap attempt. Even with his 238-pound body, he managed to jump 41.50″. This makes him the heaviest player to have a 40″+ vertical, and a sub 4.40 40-yard time since 2003, beating the last record holder DK Metcalf. If teams did not know of Smith before, they certainly are taking notes right now.
Nolan’s teammates at Georgia recorded themselves watching Nolan on his 40-yard attempt, and the reaction is just incredible. It almost felt like the players were locked in step with Smith himself, cheering him on to the 40-yard mark. The noise when he recorded a 4.40 on the screen must have echoed throughout the campus.
Smith reveals the human side of his performance-driven machine of a body
While fans are no doubt awestruck with his stats, they also got to witness the personal side of Smith. During the Combine interview, Smith teared up as he spoke at length about deceased teammate Devin Willock. Willock passed away last month in a car crash that involved Jalen Carter, for which the latter was arrested by Athen police a day ago.
“This is the first time I’m talking about it,” Smith said. “That’s my guy. That’s one person that never did anything wrong. I get sensitive talking about it just because I love him and he never did anything wrong in his three years. He was supposed to graduate. Most people don’t know his brother passed like that. And I’m sorry to his mama. No one should live like that.”
“No one deserves to die like that. He never did shit wrong. I’m sorry for my language, he never did anything wrong. Three years in a row that man showed up, worked day in and day out, he’s a two-time natty champ, you know? It’s written in stone. That’s all I’m going to say. . . . Devin, I love you,” he added.
Nolan Smith does appear to be the complete defensive package. Any team looking for a strong defensive player will be fixated on Nolan till draft day. Who will swoop in and snatch away this young gem? Will Smith take this league by storm?