Georgia has plenty of talent to replace off its 2021 title team. But that actually might not be the biggest concern for Georgia coach Kirby Smart in terms of re-stocking last year’s team.
Georgia has plenty of talented players back once again, as the Bulldogs have been one of the better-recruiting programs in recent years. Brock Bowers, Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo are all poised to build off what they did a season ago.
The more difficult challenge for those players and several others will be how they go about replacing the leadership void left by the likes of Nakobe Dean, Jordan Davis, Lewis Cine and Jamaree Salyer. The institutional knowledge those players possessed proved to be invaluable.
It’s why Smart at one point was legitimately worried about the team’s leadership heading into spring practice.
“There was some really good accountability in terms of holding each other accountable this spring that I was shocked by, that I was like, man, there’s going to be a void in leadership, how can we create leadership opportunities, and from the day one they were pushing each other, they were cheering each other on the sideline,” Smart said after G-Day.
Smart certainly felt more comfortable with his group after seeing how they handled this spring. Still, the Georgia head coach is taking measures to ensure this is a tight-knit, mentally connected team. Connection was one of the major buzzwords for the Bulldogs last season.
“It felt good to get away with the guys and learn how to be a better leader, be a better teammate,” Logue said in the video. “For the guys behind us, we gotta be a better example.”
Smart has alluded to the fact that this team will have to be different than the 2021 team. Obviously, when you have 15 players taken in the 2022 NFL Draft you have a whole lot of talent that needs replacing. With so much of that coming on the defensive side of the ball, the Georgia offense is going to have to carry a bigger load in 2022.
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But this won’t be a team that is going to overwhelm teams and just sit on games in the second half like Georgia did a season ago. Smart has said this will have to be a tougher team than what Georgia had a season ago.
“They can’t emulate what some of those guys do on the field,” Smart said. “They can emulate the standard, though, and I thought they really did that for 14 of the 15 practices. Man, I was like, dude, they had a great attitude, they worked really hard today and we made it tough, and they did it. We’re going to have to have a little different personality.”
Georgia is currently in the middle of summer workouts. Fall practice is expected to start around late July or early August. The Bulldogs will get 29 practices to further hone their skills before opening the 2022 season against the Oregon Ducks.