Georgia will have a good bit more of early enrollees going through spring practice next week. A year ago, Georgia had only six early enrollees in the 2020 signing class.
For this season, that number comes in at 16, with only four of Georgia’s 2021 signees set to arrive over the summer.
The headliners going through spring practice will be quarterback Brock Vandagriff, offensive tackle Amarius Mims and tight end Brock Bowers. But head coach Kirby Smart doesn’t want to overhype any of the first-timers this spring.
“I’m not ready to put any stamps on anybody or any unrealistic expectations on anybody,” Smart said back in February. “I know that’s what a lot of people want to talk about, is those guys, but for me, unrealistic expectations are the biggest avenue to failure. I don’t want to place that burden on anyone. I want these guys to grow and learn and work hard. They’ll get a chance to perform in the spring.”
However, Smart’s words haven’t stopped those outside the program from keeping an eye on Georgia’s young talent. The Bulldogs do have some needs in the secondary, with Georgia having to replace Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, DJ Daniel, Richard LeCounte, Mark Webb and Tyrique Stevenson.
Related: Kirby Smart on Georgia cornerback need: ‘Every guy on our team is a potential cornerback right now’
Georgia signed four defensive backs in the 2021 recruiting cycle, with three of them already on campus.
The early additions of those defensive backs is part of the reason why ESPN tabbed Georgia as one of the teams whose playoff chances were helped the most by its 2021 signing class.
“ESPN 300 CB Nyland Green and ESPN 300 S David Daniel may have the earliest opportunity to see the field, with both being in Athens for spring ball,” ESPN’s Tom Luginbill and Craig Hubert wrote. “A third defensive back from the class already on campus is CB Javon Bullard, who was a senior riser in the Peach State.”
In addition to the three defensive backs listed above, Georgia will also bring in 4-star signee Kamari Lassiter over the summer.
Cornerback is Georgia’s biggest need and Smart isn’t ruling anyone or anything out when it comes to the position, including some of Georgia’s 2021 signees.
“That position is up for grabs. There are no guys that are proven returning starters,” Smart said. “And every guy is working hard to learn the techniques and details that it takes to play winning football at that position.”
The Bulldogs will have a tough opening contest to start the 2021 season, as Georgia takes on Clemson on Sept. 4. The Tigers have wide receivers Justyn Ross, EJ Williams and Frank Ladson along with promising quarterback DJ Uiagalelei as well. Georgia does have starting experience at safety, with Lewis Cine and Chris Smith returning.
Georgia is set to begin its spring practices on March 16. The Bulldogs will have 15 practices to improve and find out what Georgia has. The final practice will be Georgia’s G-Day game, which is set for April 17.
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