Georgia starting cornerback Branden Smith was arrested early on Sunday night in Alabama and charged with marijuana possession.
The Henry County Sheriff's Office says Smith and a companion, Danze Woods, were pulled over on Highway 481 for a missing tag light and following too close. Upon approaching the car, the officer smelled an odor of marijuana.
An ounce of marijuana was seized from the car. The officer said both Smith and Woods were cooperative. They were booked at 11:41 p.m. on Sunday night, then bonded out a couple hours later.
Smith posted bond of $2,000 and Woods posted bond of $3,000. Both were cited for possession of marijuana 2, a misdemeanor.
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Smith was driving the car. The sheriff's office confirmed that it was Branden Marquan Smith, the same name listed in the UGA directory for the player.
The story was first reported early Monday morning by an outlet called Ricketystokesnews.com. Georgia head coach Mark Richt is due to speak to the media at 11 a.m., in a previously scheduled session to preview spring practice.
The news on Smith is yet another hit to Georgia's secondary:
- The other starting cornerback, Sanders Commings, was arrested in January for misdemeanor domestic battery, and has been suspended the first two games of the season.
- Jordan Love, who projected as a nickel or dime cornerback, transfered in January. That followed the departures during last season of cornerback Derek Owens and safety Jakar Hamilton.
- Freshmen Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders were dismissed from the program in February following a theft incident in which there were no arrests.
Richt said on Monday that he had a "very brief" conversation with Smith, but the phone was cutting out.
"It's very frustrating," Richt said. "If you were the head ball coach you'd be very frustrated. ... Yeah I'm frustrated. The timing wasn't very good either."
Richt also defended the team's drug discipline policies.
“I think we handle that more strict than most people do," he said. "If you look at other people’s policies, ours is much tougher than just about anybody I’ve ever seen. …Our goal when guys make mistakes is to handle it properly. Now the second thing that’s important is how they respond to it.”