What you need to know about Georgia football 2021 early enrollees

Georgia football-2021-early enrollees
Amarius Mims and Brock Vandagriff headline Georgia's early enrollees.

The University of Georgia starts its spring semester on Wednesday. And for 16 members of the 2021 signing class, they begin their college careers.

Of Georgia’s 20 signees in the 2021 recruiting cycle, 16 of them have already graduated high school and are now attending Georgia this spring, getting a jumpstart on their college careers.

Those players — and their 247Sports Composite rankings — are:

  • OT Amarius Mims, Cochran, Ga., No. 7 overall player
  • QB Brock Vandagriff, Bogart, Ga., No. 14 overall player
  • LB Xavian Sorey, Graceville, Fla., No. 20 overall player
  • LB Smael Mondon, Dallas, Ga., No. 27 overall player
  • OL Micah Morris, Kingsland, Ga., No. 63 overall player
  • CB Nyland Green, Covington, Ga., No. 69 overall player
  • S David Daniel, Woodstock, Ga., No. 92 overall player
  • TE Brock Bowers, Napa, Calif., No. 102 overall player
  • RB Lovasea Carroll, Warrenton, Ga., No. 112 overall player
  • DL Jonathan Jefferson, Douglasville, Ga., No. 149 overall player
  • DL Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Gaffney, S.C., No. 152 overall player
  • LB Chaz Chambliss, Carrollton, Ga., No. 310 overall player
  • WR Adonai Mitchell, Antioch, Tenn., No. 380 overall player
  • DL Marlin Dean, Elberton, Ga., No. 495 overall player
  • DB Javon Bullard, Milledgeville, Ga., No. 634 overall player
  • WR Jackson Meeks, Phenix City, Ala., No. 645 overall player

The 16 early enrollees are the most Georgia has ever had under Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs had just six early enrollees in the 2020 class. Smart did believe that COVID and the impact it had played a role in so many players being able to graduate and enroll sooner.

Georgia had a couple of positions of need in this cycle and that’s reflected in the early enrollees, as the Bulldogs have three linebackers and three defensive backs already in Athens.

The big names to know

The biggest name to know for Georgia fans is quarterback Brock Vandagriff. He’s a top-15 prospect in the country and a significant reason Georgia has the No. 3 recruiting class in the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Related: Brock Vandagriff: Elite QB trainer Ron Veal breaks down his potential at UGA

Vandagriff though isn’t the highest-ranked player in the class, as that distinction belongs to Amarius Mims. The 6-foot-7 offensive tackle was the top prospect in the state of Georgia for this cycle. This was the first season that Smart signed the top-ranked player in the state of Georgia since he took over as head coach during the 2016 recruiting cycle.

The Bulldogs also added two 5-star linebackers in Smael Mondon and Xavian Sorey. The former picked Georgia in November while the latter committed to and signed with Georgia on the first day of the early signing period.

Mondon projects as an inside linebacker while Sorey has the versatility to play at either inside or outside linebacker at the college level.

Who might play early

The 2020 class saw big-time contributions from Jalen Carter and Jermaine Burton, with players like Darnell Washington showing flashes late in the season.

Based on need and talent, there are a few players who will have a chance to do the same in the coming 2021 season.

The player with perhaps the best chance is cornerback Nyland Green. He was Georgia’s top-rated defensive back signee. The Bulldogs also lost their top three cornerbacks from the 2020 team, and could possibly see Peach Bowl starter Tyrique Stevenson depart as well.

Working in Green’s favor is that he was already with the team during bowl practices. He’s also got tremendous size at 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds.

Another spot where Georgia has a need is left tackle, with the expectation that Jamaree Salyer will move to left guard. It has been very difficult for freshman offensive linemen to play early at an SEC level, but Mims might be good enough to do so for Georgia. He’ll have to beat out Xavier Truss and Broderick Jones for that chance, but Mims is a special tackle prospect.

Georgia isn’t very deep at the outside linebacker position, so Sorey could find his way onto the field with a strong offseason. He spent his senior season at IMG Academy, preparing for this opportunity.

Related: How Georgia football found its barber in 5-star linebacker Xavian Sorey

Injury updates

Not every player coming into Georgia is 100 percent healthy and ready to go. We saw in 2020 that Washington and 5-star cornerback Kelee Ringo had surgeries to clean up injuries stemming from their high school career.

One Georgia signee has already done that, as Micah Morris had shoulder surgery according to a report from Jake Rowe of 247Sports. The expectation is that Morris will not be able to go for spring practice.

Vandagriff did suffer a torn PCL injury during his senior season at Prince Avenue Chrisitan, but the Bulldogs got some good news with regards to him in that the injury will not require surgery, just rest and rehab. His status for spring practice could be similar to that of JT Daniels from this previous fall, where he is cleared for practice but not game action.

Related: A very positive timetable now yields encouraging news for his torn PCL

Mondon did have surgery to repair a meniscus injury in his knee that cost him most of his senior season prior to arriving at Georgia. He is expected to be able to participate in spring practice when that rolls around.

What’s left for Georgia in the 2021 recruiting cycle

The Bulldogs have four more signees who will arrive over the summer. Those players are:

  • OG Dylan Fairchild, Cumming, Ga., No. 97 overall player
  • LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Baltimore MD., No. 190 overall player
  • CB Kamari Lassiter, Tuscaloosa, Ala., No. 249 overall player
  • OL Jared Wilson, Clemmons, N.C., No. 407 overall player

The Bulldogs are involved with only one prospect who is yet to announce his intentions in 4-star defensive back Terrion Arnold.

Arnold recently put out a top-3 of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. He will announce his decision on Feb. 3, which is National Signing Day.

Related: Terrion Arnold: 2021 All-American DB breaks down Alabama, Florida and UGA

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