ESPN names top newcomers for 2023 Georgia football team
Georgia signed the No. 2 overall recruiting class for the 2023 cycle, adding in a number of talented players to the program. Of the 26 signees, 12 rank among the top 100 overall prospects in the class.
But in the eyes of ESPN’s Mark Schlabach, the top additions to the 2023 Georgia team won’t be an incoming freshman. Instead, it will be a pair of players they grabbed out of the transfer portal.
Schlabach tabbed Mississippi State transfer RaRa Thomas and Missouri wide receiver Dominic Lovett as the new Bulldogs most likely to make an impact early for Georgia.
“As good as the Bulldogs were on offense in 2022, they didn’t have many consistent receivers outside of Ladd McConkey. Adonai Mitchell, who transferred to Texas, and Arian Smith were hurt for much of the season,” Schlabach wrote.
Thomas and Lovett led their respective teams in receiving last season. Georgia saw Mitchell, Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock depart the position this offseason. McConkey does return, along with Smith, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and tight end Brock Bowers is also back next season.
Georgia will have a new starting quarterback, with one of Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton replacing Stetson Bennett. Rumors continue to swirl regarding offensive coordinator Todd Monken, as he has interviewed with multiple NFL teams at this point.
Georgia wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon spoke about what he expects from Thomas and Lovett prior to Georgia’s game against Ohio State.
“They’ve done well and made plays and everything else in our conference playing against the same competition that we’re playing against,” McClendon said. “You know you can always judge what they’re doing vs. the level of competition that they’re going up against.”
Thomas has already gotten into trouble, as he was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges following a domestic dispute in January.
Among the incoming freshmen, Damon Wilson is best positioned to make an immediate impact. Georgia saw outside linebackers Nolan Smith and Robert Beal depart for the NFL, while MJ Sherman left via the transfer portal. Outside linebacker Marvin Jones Jr. also will miss spring practice following shoulder surgery.
Related: Marvin Jones Jr. to miss spring drills due to surgery per report
Wilson was the No. 20 overall player in the 2023 class, and one of three outside linebacker signees by Georgia this cycle.
Georgia did not take any players out of the transfer portal last offseason, whereas the Bulldogs brought in Thomas, Lovett and Smoke Bouie from the portal this offseason.
The Bulldogs have also made it a habit of finding freshmen who can play right away at Georgia. Bowers led the team in receiving in 2021, while Mykel Williams led the team in sacks this past season. Safety Malaki Starks also started 14 games for the national champions.
A start date for spring practice has not been announced yet, though the G-Day game will take place on April 15. That will likely be our first chance to see Thomas and Lovett in Sanford Stadium.
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