ATHENS — Georgia football is brimming with young talent. Signing elite recruiting class after elite recruiting class will do.

And with that in mind, ESPN has gone through and tabbed a breakout player for each team in its top 25 rankings for the 2024 season.

Unsurprisingly, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach tabbed an inside linebacker to make some waves for the Bulldogs. But instead of CJ Allen or Jalon Walker, it was sophomore Raylen Wilson who earned the nod.

“After a knee injury that he suffered in preseason camp in 2023, sophomore Raylen Wilson showed flashes of why he was one of the most coveted linebacker prospects in the country as a senior at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida,” Schlabach wrote. “Wilson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after totaling 15 tackles and a half-sack in 12 games. He was one of the fastest runners in the state in the 100-meter dash and was once clocked at 24 mph on GPS.”

Wilson earned his first career start in Georgia’s win over Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Wilson had 15 tackles and 0.5 sacks in 12 games last season for the Bulldogs. He was a 5-star signee in the 2023 recruiting cycle.

A season ago, it was Allen — who is also a sophomore — who stepped into the starting lineup when Jamon Dumas-Johnson went down with a forearm injury. Dumas-Johnson has since transferred to Kentucky.

Like Wilson, Allen will generate plenty of hype and headlines entering the 2024 season.

“On the field, he’s like a real hard worker,” linebacker Smael Mondon said of Allen. “Like, he takes his preparation seriously. Always taking notes, always asking questions, just always involved. Off the field, he just fits in with, like, the rest of us. He’s funny, likes to joke around, just that type of guy.”

Georgia does bring back Smael Mondon, who elected to return for his senior season. But Georgia won’t have Mondon this spring, as he recovers from foot surgery.

That will give Wilson an opportunity to earn significant snaps for the Bulldogs this spring.

Georgia has recruited extremely well at the inside linebacker position of late, signing two more 5-star prospects in the 2024 signing class in Justin Williams and Chris Cole.

Their presence will demand that Wilson be consistently at the top of his game.

“I think one of the biggest things is, like, trying to pour into the younger guys, trying to help them get right,” Mondon said. “You know, we’ve got Justin and the two Chrises — Chris Cole and Kris Jones. And then with CJ and Raylen too, they’re going to be stepping up. So just trying to, really, everybody in the room, trying to help them and guide them.”

The Bulldogs return to the practice field on Thursday for their second practice of the spring. Georgia wraps up spring practice on April 13 with G-Day. The annual spring scrimmage is set for a 1 p.m. ET start on SEC Network+.

Smael Mondon raves about Raylen Wilson, CJ Allen