Branden Smith returned punts for the first five games of last season.
The Georgia senior cornerback wants to secure the top spot again and hold on to it this time.
“That’s a big turn on the game, punt return or kick return,” said Smith, who averaged 7.8 yards on punt returns and 18.7 on kickoff returns last season. “That can make or break the game. You really need a key player back there.”
Smith and Malcolm Mitchell returned punts in Wednesday’s scrimmage. Keith Marshall and Gurley handled kickoff returns. Smith has said that Damian Swann is also getting return looks.
The now-departed Brandon Boykin added punt returns to his kickoff return duties last season and returned a punt 92 yards for a touchdown against Michigan State.
Smith returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown against Coastal Carolina, but it was called back by a penalty. He wants another chance to take a return to the end zone.
“It’s just a big competition and we’re just having fun out there,” Smith said.