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The Georgia football 2020 signees best positioned to make an early impact
*We’re limiting it to players who will enter the players as freshmen. Obviously Georgia expects both quarterback Jamie Newman and tight end Tre Mckitty to contribute next year, otherwise, it wouldn’t have used a scholarship on them.
Jalen Carter, defensive tackle:
Carter made a massive leap in the recruiting rankings late to end the 2020 cycle as a 5-star prospect. Given his dominant showing at the Under Armour All-American Game, it’s easy to see why he’s earned that ranking.
But Carter is on this list beyond just his high recruiting ranking. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle has a chance to play early on, much like Travon Walker did a season ago.
The Bulldogs have to replace five defensive linemen from the 2019 team and Carter feels he can come in and make up for some of the production lost from the likes of Tyler Clark and Michael Barnett.
“Tyler Clark is a very good player and I feel like I can come in and play exactly like him at the next level,” Carter said.
Carter and Walker aren’t exact replicas of each other, as the former’s game is built much more on power as opposed to Walker’s athleticism. And Carter isn’t enrolling early, which is worth keeping in mind as Walker was the only of the five freshman defensive linemen Georgia signed in 2019 to see meaningful snaps for the Bulldogs.
Kirby Smart highlighted on National Signing Day that the Bulldogs had 37 players log at least 100 snaps last season. Georgia won’t need Carter to become a destroyer of worlds yet, but there’s a real chance it will need him to be a depth piece in a defense that plays a number of guys.
Justin Robinson, wide receiver:
ESPN’s Tom VanHaaren made the case that above all other players, Arian Smith was going to be the player most likely to make an instant impact for the Bulldogs next year. That does make some sense, given Smith’s incredible speed and the fact that wide receiver is clearly one of the bigger positions of need on the Georgia roster.
There’s good reasoning for a number of the incoming wide receivers to be impact players, given how Marcus Rosemy excels at winning in tight spaces, while Jermaine Burton might be a great mix of what Rosemy and Smith both thrive at.
But we’re actually going to give love to a wide receiver that’s already on campus and working out with the Bulldogs. That would be Robinson.
What Robinson has that the others don’t — beyond a headstart on his college career — is size. Robinson is the tallest of Georgia’s five wide receiver signees at 6-foot-4 and he’s only going to continue to fill out that frame now that he’s taking part in the strength and conditioning program.
For as much that has been made about Georgia’s lack of speed on the perimeter, the Bulldogs will also see their best big-bodied wide receiver depart as Lawrence Cager exhausted his eligibility. Unless Matt Landers can replace Cager’s physicality and blocking ability on the outside, it shouldn’t be a total surprise to see Robinson out there.
And as former Georgia great Terrence Edwards told DawgNation, Robinson is already turning heads in Athens. For a wide receiver room that badly needed an infusion of talent, the Bulldogs got plenty of that in the 2020 cycle.
Kendall Milton, running back:
Similar to the defensive line, we’ve included Milton because he is both a talented individual and Georgia must replace multiple contributors at the position.
D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien have both departed for the NFL, leaving a vacancy at the running back position. Zamir White figures to fill part of it as well as the likes of Kenny McIntosh and James Cook.
But Milton is going to be a name worth remembering. Of Georgia’s six early enrollees, Milton was the highest-ranked in the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was also a key behind the scenes leader for Georgia in putting together the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
Milton is also a pretty darn good football player in addition to what he brings off the field. He was named the California running back of the year and figures to be about as fun to tackle as taking a sledgehammer to the knees.
Milton’s size will make an asset to the Georgia backfield next year. To have a running back that can wear a defense down over the course of the game proved to. be a huge part of Georgia’s 2018 offense when Elijah Holyfield filled that role.
Darnell Washington, tight end:
Washington is on the list because there simply isn’t another player on the Georgia roster like him. It’s hard to grasp just how big he is until you see him on the field. He simply towers over some of the defensive backs he could be matched up against.
Washington isn’t going to step in next year and be like Rob Gronkowski or even OJ Howard, who had a lot of success when Todd Monken was his offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay. But Georgia should be able to find a way to use his size as a mismatch in certain areas of the field.
Georgia has to replace Charlie Woerner and Eli Wolf at tight end in 2020. On raw talent, Washington and Mckitty feels like an upgrade for the Bulldogs. If Monken and the offensive staff are willing to get creative, it should be able to put Washington in a position to make a few plays early in his Georgia career.
More Georgia football stories from DawgNation
- Georgia football podcast: Why experience will matter in UGA’s QB competition
- Micah Morris: The future criminal justice major is still a Georgia priority
- ESPN identifies which 2020 signee is most likely to become Georgia football’s impact freshman
- Georgia football freshman early enrollee Kendall Milton finding quick fit
- Recent history shows it’s more likely Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge redshirt than start
- Class superlatives for Georgia football 2020 recruiting class
- WATCH: Georgia football ramps up championship facility construction
- Terrence Ferguson: Nation’s No. 8 OT hasn’t let Georgia’s coaching transition affect his outlook
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