ESPN writer says Georgia offense has brighter future than Alabama
Alabama led the SEC in scoring last year. It’s loaded with elite wide receivers, massive offensive linemen and one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Tua Tagovailoa. And yet, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg, Georgia is actually better set up in the years to come when it pertains to the offensive side of the ball.
Rittenberg released his Future Offensive Power Rankings on Monday. Clemson — led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence — came in at No. 1. Rittenberg had Oklahoma second, which can be attributed to Lincoln Riley’s offensive expertise and the fact that the Sooners signed a 5-star quarterback and two 5-star wide receivers in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Rittenberg then placed the Bulldogs at No. 3, ahead of Alabama who he has at No. 4. And part of the reason why is because a number of Alabama stars, like Tagovailoa, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and running back Najee Harris, can all declare for the NFL draft after this season.
Which #CFB programs are best set up for success over the next 3 seasons on the offensive side of the football?
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) May 6, 2019
That’s not to say that Georgia doesn’t have some of the same concerns. Quarterback Jake Fromm, running back D’Andre Swift and Andrew Thomas could all leave for the NFL draft after this coming season.
But Georgia has recruited well enough at a number of positions to offset those potential concerns in the eyes of Rittenberg.
“Arguably no team is recruiting offensive line better than Georgia, which has signed elite prospects at all three trench positions in recent recruiting classes,” Rittenberg wrote. “A Sam Pittman-coached line will provide the foundation for the unit in the next three years.
“Georgia’s wideout recruiting — decorated prospects Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens arrive this fall — and James Coley’s role as the team’s primary coordinator suggest good days are ahead.”
To Rittenberg’s point about the offensive line, there’s a very good chance that Georgia could have three former 5-star recruits — Cade Mays, Jamaree Salyer and Clay Webb —not start on the offensive line this year. And Georgia already has one 5-star offensive linemen committed as a member of the 2020 recruiting class in Broderick Jones.
As for the wide receiver position, Kirby Smart has made it no secret that he’s very excited about the prospects of Blaylock and Pickens. Multiple times this spring Smart has reiterated that Blaylock will play a variety of roles for Georgia this fall.
“We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside,” Smart said. “He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well. We think he’s going to help in the return game, too. But it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them.”
As for Pickens, Georgia was able to flip the long-time Auburn commit on National Signing Day. And when given the chance to speak about the 5-star wide receiver, Smart gushed about his potential.
“We know George is going to fit what we did,” Smart said. “He really was intrigued by the fact that we had the guys come out early, and he knew that he fit in our style system. And we think he’s a talented player that we’re looking forward to working with.”
Georgia does seem to have an apparent replacement for Fromm in the 2020 recruiting class, as it has a commitment from 4-star quarterback Carson Beck. Throughout the recruiting process, Beck has actually drawn some comparisons to Fromm as well.
Georgia’s offense will be under new management this year with Coley taking over for Jim Chaney. Coley will have plenty of toys to play with as Georgia figures to be one of the best offenses in the SEC. The Bulldogs led the SEC in rushing last year and averaged 37.9 points per game.
The Bulldogs open the 2019 season on Aug. 31 when they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores.
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