WATCH: Nolan Smith slams phone in frustration, makes surprising admission after running 40-yard dash

On3 imageby:Nick Schultz03/02/23


Nolan Smith
Justin Casterline / Stringer PhotoG/Getty

Nolan Smith has become the talk of the NFL scouting combine after running an impressive 40-yard dash. The former Georgia star still wasn’t impressed, though.

Smith slammed his phone on the ground after his unofficial 4.44-second run, which was the best of the EDGE rushers on Thursday. NFL Network’s Stacey Dales spoke with him about his disappointment, and there’s a reason for it.

“I went over and I asked him, ‘What was wrong with that? That was a great performance in all aspects.’ He said, ‘You know what? I wasn’t running full speed,'” Dales reported. “I said, ‘What?’ … He was livid because he told me, ‘I’ve been training in the 4.3s for the 40. That wasn’t up to my standards.'”

Dales then caught up with Smith afterward and he explained his reaction.

“I was just upset, I really wanted to just do everything full speed today,” Smith said. “I thought I didn’t run my best race. … I thought I had a little more juice. I felt like I was going 85%.”

It’s worth noting Smith’s official 40-yard dash time came in at 4.39. When Dales told him that, his face lit up — and he shared his motivation, including the memory of former teammate Devin Willock, who was killed in a car accident in January.

“That made my day. … That got me really going,” Smith said when he found out his official time. “I just wanted to do it for my mom and do it for Dev, man. Shoutout to 77. I love you, baby.”

Smith is coming off another impressive year as an anchor of the Georgia defense, totaling 18 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in eight games due to injury. He was a key piece of the Bulldogs’ second consecutive national championship.

But he still thought he could’ve done better. Don’t worry, though. He’s going to give it his all on Georgia’s pro day.

“When you see the numbers and you just think in your head, ‘Man, I should’ve been running faster and I thought I could really go faster,'” Smith said. “I’m happy with that. I had a good day, I had fun. I just felt like I couldn’t be 100% in the drills, so I’m going to save everything else for pro day and just show everybody that I can still move around and I can still run.”