What the next steps of Georgia’s 2021 offseason look like
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What comes next for Georgia football during the 2021 offseason
The early entry date for NFL decisions has come and gone. Most of the coaching vacancies have been filled, with Tennessee having the only head coach opening at the FBS level. Georgia has started classes and the drop/add period has come to an end.
Even the Georgia football program has begun offseason workouts.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) January 26, 2021
So what comes next for Georgia? The Bulldogs’ first game isn’t until Sept. 4. But Georgia still has a number of key offseason tasks to complete before the season-opener against Clemson.
As recent weeks have shown, Georgia still has quite a bit to do before spring practice even starts. Below we take a look at what is to come in the coming weeks for the Georgia football program.
Hire a new defensive backs coach
Georgia has had this position open since Jan. 17, when Charlton Warren left to become the defensive coordinator at Indiana. Kirby Smart has taken a methodical approach to the process, not rushing to fill the opening just because it is open.
We know Georgia has interviewed at least one candidate in Glenn Ford, with the news of the interview first reported last Friday. Ford played with Smart at Georgia but Ford has not held a formal coaching position at the college level. He has worked as a personal trainer. Some of his clients included NFL defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Marlon Humphrey as well as current Bulldogs William Poole and David Daniel. It would certainly qualify as an outside the box hire.
The last time the defensive backs job came open in the 2019 offseason, Smart took nearly six weeks to fill the opening before finally hiring Warren. That same offseason, Smart waited even longer to promote Dan Lanning to the defensive coordinator opening, vacated by Mel Tucker.
Another name to monitor, though not so much for the defensive backs opening, is that of Will Muschamp. Georgia has already denied that he had been hired, but the former South Carolina head coach has been around the Georgia facility. He also has a long-standing friendship with Smart as well as a son who is a walk-on quarterback at Georgia.
Muschamp received a $12.9 million buyout payment from South Carolina. He doesn’t have to rush into any role, but it seems like he has an analyst role waiting for him should he want it.
2021 National Signing Day
This date is set for Feb. 3, a week from Wednesday. Most of the work for Georgia’s 2021 recruiting class is already done, with the Bulldogs having already signed all 20 of their commitments. Of those signees, 16 are already on campus and taking classes.
Georgia has one major target remaining in the 2021 cycle in 4-star defensive back Terrion Arnold. He announced a final three of Georgia, Alabama and Florida. Arnold is from Tallahassee, Fla., and rates as the No. 106 prospect in the 2021 cycle, though it is believed he will be a big riser in the upcoming recruiting rankings.
Arnold is a playmaking safety, something the Bulldogs don’t exactly have at the moment. Landing Arnold would also secure the No. 3 overall class for Georgia in the 2021 recruiting cycle. It would still be behind the Crimson Tide and Ohio State. But for a Georgia program that was hurt by not being able to host visitors, in addition to its recent reliance on out of state prospects, it would be a strong close to the 2021 recruiting cycle.
While Georgia is just waiting on Arnold to announce for the 2021 cycle, the 2022 recruiting cycle is going to pick up in the coming weeks.
The Bulldogs landed their sixth commitment in the 2022 class with a commitment from linebacker Donovan Westmoreland. Georgia has the No. 4 recruiting class, with the three teams ahead of the Bulldogs all having at least two more commitments at this point in time.
Some of Georgia’s top targets have also made it known in recent days that they will be announcing their public commitments. They include 5-star running back Emmanuel Henderson and 4-star defensive tackles Mykel Williams and Chrisitan Miller.
Committing March 13th!!!! God is good🙏🏾
— emmanuel henderson (@emmanuelhende17) January 24, 2021
COMMITTING MARCH 15th 💯
— Mykel Williams (@MykelW_50) January 23, 2021
Decision Made I will Be Committing April 4 #AGTG 🙏🏿🛸
— Christen Miller (@Trenchking2) January 26, 2021
Georgia traditionally hasn’t racked up a ton of early commitments, such as Ohio State and Clemson. It will also be worth monitoring what the NCAA does with regards to visits. The current dead period, which has been in place since last March, is set to run through April 15. Where the country is with regards to COVID-19 will determine if the dead period is extended.
What happens with Georgia football spring practice and G Day?
Georgia did not have a spring practice last offseason, and we saw the impact it had on the development of the offense. Though that was due in large part to not having a plan to safely combat COVID-19. After having completed a regular season, college football has a better idea of how to keep players and coaches safe.
Georgia has not announced yet when or if there will be a spring practice, but there are a few things to keep in mind with regards to how spring practice has traditionally been scheduled.
Georgia in the past has not started spring practice until after spring break. Georgia though does not have a spring break this year. The school does have what it calls an instructional break set for March 12, a Friday. Classes resume for Georgia on March 15.
The April 15 dead period also looms large, given the potential for prospects to visit schools following the lifting of that date, which falls on a Thursday. With the 2021 Masters set for April 8-11, it would seem that the earliest Georgia in theory would hold G-Day would be April 17, so that Georgia could host potential recruits. Final exams for Georgia begin on May 5, meaning the Bulldogs wouldn’t want to push spring practice so far back that it interferes with those dates.
Do we get a full schedule announcement?
As of this writing, Georgia knows the dates for four of its 2021 opponents. Clemson in Charlotte on Sept. 4, UAB in Athens on Sept. 11, a Nov. 20 contest against Charleston Southern in Athens and a Nov. 27 game against Georgia Tech. The 2020 game against the Yellow Jackets was supposed to be in Athens, but seeing as how the SEC made the decision to not have non-conference games in 2020, it seems like the 2021 game will be played at Georgia Tech.
The SEC also seems likely to go back to an 8-game schedule, as opposed to the 10-game conference slate it had in 2020. Georgia’s opponents include home games against Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina and Arkansas. Road games will be against Tennessee, Auburn and Vanderbilt. Georgia will play Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.,
Traditionally, we know the dates for the SEC games by this point. But 2020 was an unprecedented year. The conference turned the schedule reveal into a televised event this past year and it would not come as a surprise to see the league do so again. When that might be is a question that is still yet to be answered and will likely be determined by where the country is with regards to the pandemic and the vaccination effort.
Any more player movement?
Georgia currently has 84 scholarship players, which includes the 16 early enrollees. Georgia has four more 2021 signees who will join the program this summer. Georgia knows it will have at least two seniors back whose scholarships will not count against Georgia in Devonte Wyatt and Justin Shaffer. The status of Demetris Robertson, Walter Grant and Julian Rochester is not publicly known.
The Bulldogs are also waiting on the decision of Arnold and will likely look to improve the roster through the transfer portal. Arik Gilbert is still in the transfer portal and has not made a decision as far as his football future. Georgia would also like to get some more experience at the cornerback position, as no member of Georgia’s secondary has a start at cornerback.
Say the Bulldogs land Arnold along with two graduate transfers. Add in the other four recruits and subtract the five seniors and that puts Georgia at 86 scholarship players. The Bulldogs are going to see further roster movement, though it is likely that will not happen until after spring practice.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia sports round-up: Matthew Boling shines, women’s basketball has another top-25 matchup
- Georgia football podcast: A big task awaits JT Daniels and UGA’s offense in 2021
- Mykel Williams: Top junior D-line prospect in Georgia hits the gas pedal on his decision
- Mecole Hardman demonstrates the value of speed and why Georgia offense needs more of it
- Wake Forest helmet for Jamie Newman at Senior Bowl after ‘tremendously tough’ fall
- WATCH: ‘Wild card’ Jamie Newman primed, focused on Senior Bowl week showing
- Georgia football podcast: The media should stop comparing Kirby Smart to Mark Richt
- Jared Wilson: Impressive 3-star is the next 2021 signee in the DawgNation film room
- Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions expected to part ways this offseason
- Georgia football, Kirby Smart being diligent with defensive back coaching hire
Dawgs on Twitter
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 26, 2021
— Georgia Basketball 🏀🐶 (@UGA_WBB) January 26, 2021
— Josh Brooks (@Brooks_UGA) January 25, 2021
— CJ Fogler 6'7" IQ 269 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) January 25, 2021
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