Former Georgia DE: Discipline being restored to UGA defense


It was a case of too much playing time too soon for Georgia's young defense last season. That's how Garrison Smith, a defensive end off that Bulldogs team and now a rookie with the Miami Dolphins, assessed his former team.

"When you already get slotted into a position and you never played a down, and you're already starting when you come in, you get a big head, and that's what happened to a lot of guys," Smith said, per The Telegraph of Macon, Ga..

While Smith didn't mention specific names, it's a safe bet he was referring to the likes of Tray Matthews and Shaq Wiggins, two freshman starters last season that are no longer with the program. Matthews was dismissed this week, reportedly due to a classroom disruption, and Wiggins has transferred to Louisville after what he described as a personality conflict with Georgia's new defensive coaches, according to The Telegraph.

Whatever conflict new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt encounters, Smith sees it as a good thing.

"I heard he ain't taking no crap," Smith said. "So that'll be a good thing for them. Get the defense to step up. Guys aren't gonna be able to get away with stuff no more."

Georgia's promising season, with expectations high after a 2012 SEC Championship Game appearance, stumbled to an 8-5 finish as the defense allowed 29 points and 375 yards per game. Smith said the defense was short on leadership at certain positions.

If lessons were learned, that shouldn't be a problem in 2014.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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