Nick Chubb ranked among nation’s top 25 players, recruit finally cleared to join team and a name you need to know

UGA Football Nick Chubb 2017
Georgia tailback Nick Chubb (27) goes through the ringer at UGA practice this week.

Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. In this edition, we look at a name to watch in the secondary, a Class of 2017 signee being cleared to join the team and Nick Chubb’s standing among the top 25 players in college football, according to ESPN.

ESPN lists Nick Chubb among nation’s top 25 players

ESPN convened a panel of its college football experts to vote on the top 50 college football players in America. Only one Georgia player earned a spot among those 50 names, and you’ve probably already guessed which one. Senior tailback Nick Chubb clocked in at No. 23 on the CFBRank list. According to ESPN:

If you were wondering how Chubb’s left leg would hold up after that vicious injury as a sophomore, worry no more. He definitely shook off the rust as a junior, rushing for 1,130 yards and 8 touchdowns last season.

Chubb is the third-ranked running back on the list, behind Saquon Barkley of Penn State (No. 4 overall) and Derrius Guice of LSU (No. 5). It also slates him as the sixfth-best player in the SEC regardless of position, behind LSU’s Guice and defensive end Arden Key (No. 19), the Alabama duo of defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 7) and WR receiver Calvin Ridley (No. 18), and Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham (No. 22).

Robert Beal cleared to join Dawgs

Class of 2017 signee Robert Beal has finally been cleared to join the team. Although the outside linebacker from Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge wasn’t at practice during the media’s viewing period on Tuesday, coach Kirby Smart announced afterward that Beal was “cleared to go.”

That leaves Devonte Wyatt as the only member of the Bulldogs’ highly touted 2017 recruiting class yet to be cleared to join the team.

J.R. Reed — a name to watch in the secondary

Here’s one player from the Georgia secondary you might be hearing a lot from in the future: sophomore safety J.R. Reed. According to Smart, Reed is lining up as a starting safety, with Aaron Davis shifting to star corner in the nickel package.

“J.R. Reed is probably one of the guys I’ve talked about the least that’s probably the most interesting,” Smart said. “He’s very intelligent. He’s fast. He’s a good tackler. He’s been one of the surprises in an area where we need to be.”

Big things come in (relatively) small packages

One look at the offensive recruits Georgia is bringing in will tell you that the Bulldogs want to get bigger up front. But skill will always trump size, and at the moment, one of Georgia’s best offensive linemen also is one of its smallest.

The one position on the offensive line that is locked up is Isaiah Wynn at left tackle. And Wynn is objectively small for a left tackle, measuring in at 6-foot-2. Contrast that with some of the tackles behind him on the depth chart, such as Isaiah Wilson (6-7), Ben Cleveland (6-6), Andrew Thomas (6-5) and D’Marcus Hayes (6-5). But it seems that size doesn’t matter with regard to Wynn.

“When you line up against Isaiah, you think, ‘Oh he’s a little short guy, he’s not going to be too bad,’” said Lorenzo Carter, the outside linebacker who goes up against Wynn in every Georgia practice. “I’m used to going up against a 6-6, 300-pounder. But man, he’s one of the toughest guys.”

“He’s definitely the anchor of the offensive line,” senior tight end Jeb Blazevich said. “We all trust him like he is 6-7. Shoot, it’s not even a thought for us.”

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