What Georgia football’s 2020 signing class says about each position group
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What Georgia football 2020 signing class says about Georgia position
Quarterback: The Bulldogs signed 4-star quarterback Carson Beck out of Jacksonville, Fla. He is already on campus and will be practicing with the team through the Sugar Bowl.
Beck now gives Georgia another option at the quarterback position and he has more long-term upside than either Stetson Bennett or D’Wan Mathis, who is still not yet cleared to play. Should Jake Fromm return for his senior season, Beck would have the opportunity to sit for a year and grow.
But that might not be an option should Fromm declare for the NFL draft. He has not yet made a decision on that and likely won’t until after the Sugar Bowl. The fact that that option looms is why Georgia aggressively pursued 4-star quarterback C.J. Stroud. He ultimately signed with Ohio State, but the Bulldogs made a late push for his services.
With Stroud now off the market, Georgia could next turn to the transfer portal as an option. There are a number of talented options, such as Stanford’s KJ Costello or Houston’s DeRiq King, and one only has to look at the College Football Playoff — where three of the four starting quarterbacks are transfers — to see that it can be a successful way to add a quarterback.
Running back: Despite being involved with the likes of Tank Bigsby, Marshawn Lloyd and Zachary Evans, it looks like the Bulldogs will only be bringing in one running back in the 2020 class.
But that one back is Kendall Milton and Georgia coach Kirby Smart is very excited about what he might bring to Georgia next year.
“Kendall comes from a very strong family, they all formed a strong relationship, they came and visited all the schools across the southeast and really liked what Georgia had to offer,” Smart said. “I’m super pleased to get him. He was one of the leaders for our class, and I’m excited about what he’s going to bring to the table.”
How much Milton plays early on likely depends on what D’Andre Swift ends up doing. The junior running back is expected to be one of the top players taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, but a decision on that will come after the Sugar Bowl.
Should Swift leave, Milton — who will enroll early — will take on a bigger role with Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh and James Cook. Milton has great size as he’s listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, which should allow him to handle the punishment that comes with the college game.
Wide Receiver: No position group got a bigger upgrade than the wide receiver room. Georgia added four 4-star recruits in Justin Robinson, Marcus Rosemy, Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton.
The latter two names both committed to Georgia on Wednesday. They are both top 100-players and guys who should be able to help the passing game as freshmen.
Robinson and Burton are both early enrollees, meaning they will be with the team in January. Smith and Rosemy will join the team in June.
Following the Sugar Bowl, Smart said Georgia needed to do a better job of replacing some of the wide receivers who had left the Bulldogs for the NFL. The Bulldogs did just that this week with these additions. They’ll need to be good early on for the Bulldogs next year, but this is a positive start.
Tight end: As of this writing, Georgia does not have any tight ends in the class. That’s not what you want given that both Charlie Woerner and Eli Wolf are both set to exhaust their eligibility following the Sugar Bowl.
But Georgia could be in store to get a big boost on Jan. 2, should 5-star athlete Darnell Washington decide to commit to Georgia. Washington seemed to hint that he signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, and will wait to announce at the Under Armour All-American game.
There will be a total of nine Georgia signees and commits at that game and will no doubt be talking to Washington throughout. He is the nation’s No. 10 prospect and would be a significant addition to the class. While John Fitzpatrick, Ryland Goede and Brett Seither are all good players, none have the athletic upside of Washington.
— DBA_UNO (@_Dwfootball11) December 18, 2019
Offensive line: Georgia is set to lose Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson to the 2020 NFL Draft. Ben Cleveland will return next year, but Georgia is going to need bodies and options to replace them.
And to this point, the Bulldogs have done that. Georgia signed four prospects with the top two being Tate Ratledge and Chad Lindberg. There are two other big-time commits who did not sign, as Broderick Jones and Sedrick Van Pran will put pen to paper in February.
New offensive line coach Matt Luke did a good job of holding the class together. Should he hang on to Jones and Van Pran, the Bulldogs will not have missed a step following Sam Pittman’s departure.
Neither Ratledge nor Lindberg will enroll early, but when Thomas didn’t either when he joined the team in June of 2017 and was starting for the Bulldogs come December.
Defensive line: The Bulldogs will have to replace a number of seniors and key contributors at this position. But like the offensive line, Georgia signed enough players to offset the depth losses.
The top signee is Jalen Carter, who ranks as the No. 53 prospect in the country. Georgia did not earn the commitment from 5-star prospect Jordan Burch, but he has not yet sent in his letter of intent. Georgia will not stop pursuing him until that happens.
It’s hard to contribute as a freshman on the defensive line right away, as it even took Travon Walker a few games to get up to speed. If there’s one player who could crack the rotation, our bet would be Carter.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) December 18, 2019
Outside linebacker: A year after landing Nolan Smith and Jermaine Johnson, the Bulldogs weren’t going to add many outside linebackers. So instead they went after the best one they could get in 5-star prospect Mekahil Sherman.
He comes from Washington D.C. and at the moment is Georgia’s highest-rated signee and the No. 2 player at the position in the country.
Georgia is only set to lose Robert Beal among this position as he put his name into the transfer portal earlier this month, meaning playing time won’t be easy to come by for Sherman. But given he comes from one of the top high school programs in the country, Sherman should be used to some tough competition.
Inside linebacker: After missing out on 5-star target Noah Sewell, the Bulldogs do not have a commitment or signee at the position. While the Bulldogs will lose Tae Crowder to graduation, Georgia signed three inside linebackers in last year’s class, highlighted by Nakobe Dean.
But Georgia has sent out a few late offers at the position. The most intriguing name to watch here is DJ Lundy out of Irwin County in Ocilla, Ga. He is rated as a 3-star athlete.
— Dj Lundy (@djlundy01) December 17, 2019
Secondary: Georgia began the week with just one defensive back commitment in 4-star cornerback Jalen Kimber. But the Bulldogs landed a 4-star commitment on Tuesday in safety Major Burns. He signed on Wednesday and is a safety prospect out of Baton Rouge.
The Bulldogs could get more good news on Jan. 4 as that is when Kelee Ringo announces his decision. He is the nation’s No. 1 cornerback prospect and the top uncommitted prospect in the country. Ringo did visit Georgia last weekend and the Bulldogs have long been considered leaders for Ringo.
The Bulldogs will lose J.R. Reed to graduation. It could possibly lose Richard LeCounte and Eric Stokes to the NFL draft as well, should they elect to make that decision after the Sugar Bowl. The Bulldogs could look to add more recruits should that happen, such as recent Oregon de-commit Avantae Williams.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- What social media is saying about Georgia football 2020 signing class
- Georgia coach Kirby Smart: Needs, not geographical preference, led to less in-state signees
- Georgia football podcast: Arian Smith, Jermaine Burton provide UGA with Signing Day fireworks
- UGA still hoping to land multiple 5-stars for 2020 class
- Georgia basketball: One suspended player returns to court, another enters transfer portal
- Georgia’s Kirby Smart provides updates on Jake Fromm, Sugar Bowl practices
- Kirby Smart puts a wrap on Georgia 2019 early signees: ‘a good, balanced class’
- WATCH: Kirby Smart vague on Georgia coaching changes, denies interest in Mike Bobo
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