Georgia eager to scratch its 41-year national championship itch

'We came here to be legendary,' 6-foot-3, 235-pound junior Nolan Smith says

Georgia photo by Tony Walsh / Alabama quarterback Bryce Young eludes the pressure from Georgia junior outside linebacker Nolan Smith during last month's 41-24 win by the Crimson Tide at the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta. The two programs will vie again Monday night in Indianapolis for the national title, with the Bulldogs seeking to end their 41-year drought.

Nolan Smith is a chiseled 6-foot-3, 235-pound junior outside linebacker for the University of Georgia who arrived in Athens as college football's highest-rated recruit in the 2019 signing class.

Early last month, moments after his Bulldogs fell to Alabama 41-24 at the Southeastern Conference championship game in Atlanta, the usually imposing Smith was a blubbering mess.

"Want the honest to God truth? I cried," Smith said during a recent group Zoom call for national media. "I'm 20 now. I've been playing football since I was 4 – for 16 years - and haven't won anything. I've won a couple of bowl games, but I haven't won anything big like a championship.

"I could care less how it gets done or how pretty it looks.