Smith had been looking to transfer to SEC rival Georgia, but Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had been unwilling to grant an unconditional release. According to SEC bylaws, coaches are allowed to block players from transferring from one conference program to another.
Kirby Smart, Georgia's new head coach, spent the past six years as Alabama's defensive coordinator.
A backup on last year's national championship team, Smith hoped to be a graduate transfer, which would allow him to play immediately.
"I'm willing to go as far as it takes to play the season at the school that I desire, which is Georgia," Smith said earlier this week.