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Is Georgia building an offensive juggernaut?
It wasn’t long ago that UGA fans were really worried about the state of the Bulldogs offense. Georgia finished the 2016 season, Kirby Smart’s first as head coach, 93rd nationally in offensive S&P+. Because of some boneheaded play calls, poor offensive line play and a lack of reliable receivers, plenty of fans wanted offensive coordinator Jim Chaney run out of Athens.
How times have changed. In 2017, those issues disappeared. Chaney was more inventive and open with his offense. Sam Pittman turned the offensive line from a weakness to a strength. A slew of receivers stepped up as reliable targets for quarterback Jake Fromm.
Now, following a spate of departures on the defense, the offense won’t just be a strength, it will be the strength of the 2018 team. And despite the perennial strength of the defense, that trend could continue for years down the line.
In a post for ESPN Insider, Adam Rittenberg ranked the teams he believes will have the best offense in college football over the next three seasons, and Georgia ranks No. 1. That ranking is the result of the immense amount of offensive talent Smart has recruited, and continues to recruit, into the program.
Is Kirby Smart, a career defensive coach, building an offensive juggernaut in Athens? It sure seems that way. The quarterback position is secure with Jake Fromm’s emergence as a freshman in 2017, along with the signing of Justin Fields, ESPN’s top-ranked recruit in the 2018 class. Although Georgia loses standout running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, D’Andre Swift (618 rush yards, 7.6 yards per carry) is entering his sophomore year. The Bulldogs also signed Zamir White, ESPN’s top-ranked running back and No. 15 overall player in the 2018 class, and running back James Cook.
“That next back is going to be a dude,” a defensive coordinator who faced Georgia last year said of Swift. “He hurt us more than the other two. I don’t think that’s going to fall off very much, and then they have Zamir White coming in.”
Head to ESPN Insider to read the rest of what Rittenberg said about Georgia as well as the other offenses he figures will be dominating college football over the next three seasons. (Subscription required — and recommended.)
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The latest on spring practice
There wasn’t any hard news to come out of spring practice Monday, but there’s still plenty for you to read up on. For starters, Chip Towers of DawgNation looked at how Smart is managing a roster chock-full of blue-chip players. That includes some quotes from Smart about the quarterback battle between Fromm and Justin Fields.
Seth Emerson of DawgNation noted some reasons to worry and some reasons not to worry about Georgia’s defense ahead of the 2018 season.
In his “Punt, Pass & Pork” column, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated looked at the leadership Georgia lost with the departure of the latest senior class and broke down what Smart is doing to identify new leaders. Staples also gave his review of Athens’ own Pulaski Heights BBQ. (My review: Overrated.)
Here’s the latest on UGA recruiting from Jeff Sentell of DawgNation.
- How does priority CB target Andrew Booth feel about UGA?
- 5-star Dominick Blaylock sounds as committed as it gets to UGA
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) March 26, 2018
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) March 26, 2018
RETWEET Dawg Fans- Last camp of the spring! Appreciate @ChubbNA @Academy @richtakesports @XenithFootball for providing scholarships to deserving players! Register at https://t.co/V3TAEZbYih pic.twitter.com/oYVceBJgfJ
— Nick Chubb (@NickChubb21) March 25, 2018
Roquan Smith has rare coverage skills for a linebacker. That's never been more important in the NFL. TV angle doesn't do this play justice, but it's elite-level coverage: pic.twitter.com/i4AitFDEMP
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 25, 2018
When you’re so excited you forget how to open your eyes.
Big squinty smile = happiest dog ever 😍😍😍 pic.twitter.com/7gyIOjBrLD
— The Dodo (@dodo) March 26, 2018
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