West Virginia

Georgia adds ex-West Virginia safety Tykee Smith via transfer portal

Georgia has added a significant piece to its defense.

Former West Virginia safety Tykee Smith announced Sunday night that he will continue his college football career at Georgia. It’s a big pickup for the Bulldogs. Smith earned third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press in 2020 as a sophomore.

Smith, a native of Philadelphia, was a four-star recruit in the 2019 class who made an immediate impact once he arrived at WVU. As a freshman, Smith started eight games and registered 53 tackles and two interceptions. In 2020, Smith accumulated 61 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two interceptions and five pass breakups.

Smith decided to leave Morgantown as WVU was beginning spring practice last month. WVU head coach Neal Brown framed it as a mutual parting of ways. Once Smith hit the transfer portal, he was heavily sought after.

Eventually, he decided that Georgia — which hired defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae from WVU in January — was the right fit to continue his career.

West Virginia's Tykee Smith (23) during an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)West Virginia's Tykee Smith (23) during an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

West Virginia’s Tykee Smith (23) during an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Georgia lost starting safeties Richard LeCounte and Mark Webb to the NFL. Several of the team’s top cornerbacks from the 2020 season also left for the pros. Smith will provide the team with some much-needed experience on the back end of the defense.

Smith told UGASports.com that he is planning to finish this semester at West Virginia before enrolling at Georgia in the summer.

“I’m just going to come in, put in the work, and get the respect from my teammates and help them do anything I can do to help the team win,” Smith said.

Georgia went 8-2 in 2020.

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