Below is a running list of updates, notes, news, analysis and thoughts on the various announcements made by draft-eligble Georgia players. You can see the full list of who has declared, who is coming back and who is still deciding at the bottom.
Jan. 16, 6:30 p.m. update: Tyrique Stevenson entered the transfer portal on Monday. He exited it on Saturday, as he announced that he would be spending the 2021 season playing for the Miami Hurricanes.
The move had been expected after Stevenson entered the portal, but the news still stings for the Bulldogs.
It’s only up from here 🚀🖤 pic.twitter.com/KqCp4tkdKg
— The Freak 7️⃣⚡️™️ (@dreamchaserTy10) January 16, 2021
The secondary already figured to be the biggest weakness for Georgia to start the 2021 season and that was with Stevenson penciled in as a likely starter at cornerback for the Bulldogs.
He started at that position for Georgia in Peach Bowl and made a big-time pass breakup.
Now the Bulldogs will have to turn to an even more inexperienced player to try and fill the shoes of Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell.
The most obvious replacement at cornerback is Kelee Ringo. He was the top-rated cornerback in the 2020 recruiting class and a big-time win for the Bulldogs. But he didn’t play his freshman season due to labrum surgery.
The Bulldogs could also turn to Ameer Speed, Jalen Kimber and Daran Branch. Georgia signed Nyland Green and Kamari Lassiter as a part of the 2021 recruiting cycle, with Green already being on campus as an early enrollee.
Georgia is still recruiting 4-star defensive back Terrion Arnold, though he is expected to play safety at Georgia. The Bulldogs do bring back Lewis Cine and Chris Smith at the safety spot, so they do have some starting experience there. Latavious Brini also figures to see more snaps for Georgia next season after he got the start in the Peach Bowl.
With the lack of experience at cornerback, don’t be surprised to see Georgia try and add a cornerback via the Transfer Portal. With Stevenson now a Miami Hurricane, the Bulldogs are at 84 scholarship players, though that does not count the four 2021 signees who are not early enrollees.
Given Georgia opens the 2021 season against a Clemson team that will now bring back Justyn Ross, the secondary will need to come together quickly to start the 2021 season.
Jan. 14 5:00 p.m. update: Netori Johnson has a new home, as he announced he would be transferring to Middle Tennessee State. Johnson entered the transfer portal back in December.
Johnson announced the news via his Instagram account.
Johnson signed as a member of Georgia’s 2017 signing class and was high school teammates with fellow Bulldog Justin Shaffer. Johnson was the higher-rated recruit of the two, as he was the No. 87 prospect in the class.
During his time as a Bulldog, Johnson was unable to crack the starting lineup for Georgia. He bounced between the offensive line and defensive line to help out with depth at both spots.
Johnson is now the xx Bulldog to officially transfer out of the program, joining D’Wan Mathis, Trey Blount, Makiya Tongue and Jermaine Johnson.
There is still a marquee Bulldog in the portal as Stevenson went in on Monday. Miami should be considered a strong contender to land his services should he ultimately decide to transfer. One thing to monitor though is that the NCAA has not yet approved its one-time transfer rule, as the vote on the topic was moved along with the NCAA’s Name, Image and Likeness rules.
Jan. 13, 2:00 p.m. update: Georgia already figured to have a loaded offense in 2021 with JT Daniels, George Pickens, Darnell Washington and a host of other talented players.
Now the Bulldogs will have their leading rusher back as well for the 2021 season, as Zamir White announced he would be returning for the 2021 season.
Let’s run it back!!#UnfinishedBusiness💯🐶
— Zamir White (@zeus1_34) January 13, 2021
As a junior, he ran for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Georgia will now have six scholarship running backs for the 2021 season, as James Cook, Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards all return while the Bulldogs signed Lovasea Carroll.
In addition to being Georgia’s leading rusher, he was Georgia’s best pass-blocking running back and he was a key player on Georgia’s special teams. He sprung a number of big kick returns for Kearis Jackson and blocked a punt for Georgia in the win over Arkansas.
The white news generated a lot of excitement on social media, as he was the latest to use the Unfinished Business moniker.
Run dat back ya heard me! 🐶🔴⚫️ https://t.co/fnrIbslfsY
— Cortez Hankton Jr. (@Coach_Hankton) January 13, 2021
Wowow. Zeus is back too. https://t.co/kWcYOUp6b2
— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) January 13, 2021
Complete the mission 🤝 https://t.co/1GwBwtOOmQ
— Malik Herring (@HerringMalik) January 13, 2021
— Logan Booker (@LoganMBooker) January 13, 2021
— Glenn Schumann (@CoachSchuUGA) January 13, 2021
The Bulldogs open the season against Clemson on Sept. 4 in Charlotte. White will be one of the key leaders for Georgia this offseason and while some might want to see Milton or McIntosh get more carries, White absolutely makes Georgia better.
With White and Cook both returning, it harkens back memories of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel doing the same. Chubb and Michel were both eligble for the 2017 NFL Draft, but both decided to return for their senior years. Both running backs topped 1,000 yards rushing and led Georgia to an appearance in the national championship game. They then went on to be taken with the No. 31 and No. 35 picks in the 2018 draft
Georgia won’t rely on White and Cook like it did with Chubb and Michel, but the two current running backs will help Georgia in 2021.
Jan. 11, 6:20 p.m. update: While Georgia’s secondary will be a major question, the front seven figures to be very stout as Adam Anderson will now also be back for Georgia in 2021.
Anderson made it official on Monday night.
— Adam (DaFreak) Anderson (@AdanAnderson5) January 11, 2021
Anderson had 6.5 sacks last season for the Bulldogs, including 2.0 in the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati. He and Nolan Smith figure to be a big part of the Georgia pass rusher next season, with Azeez Ojulari and Jermaine Johnson no longer with the program.
Georgia has now gotten three confirmations that they would be back for the 2021 season as Jamaree Salyer and Jake Camarda announced they would be back as well. Zamir White is the last big domino that Georgia is waiting on with regards to the 2021 decisions.
Jan. 11, 5:50 p.m. update: Georgia couldn’t get all good news on Monday, as defensive back Tyrique Stevenson entered the transfer portal. Stevenson seemed to confirm the news as he retweeted a news story about his transfer decision.
Stevenson was expected to be a significant piece of Georgia’s 2021 secondary, playing at either the cornerback or the star position for the Bulldogs.
Miami has been widely speculated as a potential landing spot for Stevenson, as he is from the area.
Just because Stevenson is in the transfer portal does not yet officially mean that he is no longer a member of the team. It just allows other coaching staffs the ability to openly communicate with a player.
If Stevenson does leave Georgia, it would put an even further strain on the secondary, as the Bulldogs were already set to lose Mark Webb, Richard LeCounte, Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel.
Stevenson appeared in all 10 games for Georgia last season, starting four of them. Stevenson did appear to indicate on his Facebook page that he would be headed to Miami.
Jan. 11, 4:40 p.m. update: Georgia got some big and great news on Monday afternoon when offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer announced he would be returning to Athens for another season.
Salyer was just the latest member of the team to note that he had unfinished business with Georgia.
— Jamaree Salyer ♠️ (@jamareesalyer69) January 11, 2021
Salyer joins JT Daniels, Devonte Wyatt, James Cook, Justin Shaffer and Kearis Jackson as players returning to the team for the 2021 season.
Salyer started nine games for Georgia at left tackle this past season before moving down to left guard for the bowl game against Cincinnati. It is expected that Salyer will play at left guard for the 2021 season, as that is where his NFL future lies. Expect Xavier Truss, Broderick Jones and Amarius Mims to compete for the left tackle spot next to Salyer for the 2021 season.
Georgia will lose its two best offensive linemen from the 2020 team in Ben Cleveland and Trey Hill, but it brings back Salyer, Shaffer, starting right tackle Warren McClendon and Warren Ericson, who willed in at center when Hill had knee surgery.
Georgia is still waiting on an announcement from Zamir White, as he is the last major offensive piece to make a decision. Defensively, Adam Anderson is worth monitoring as well.
Punter Jake Camarda also announced that he would be returning for the 2021 season. Camarda was aRay Guy finalist this season for the Bulldogs.
Grateful to have had a 2020 season and finish out with a win in Atlanta. I am more excited to get back to work this week with our team preparing the 2021 season! Let’s Ball!#Unfinishedbusiness #Godawgs
— Jake Camarda (@jakecamarda) January 11, 2021
Jan. 11, 1:30 p.m. update: Still no new announcements since that of Kearis Jackson on Friday evening. Georgia is still waiting on Zamir White, Jamaree Salyer, Adam Anderson along with others to announce their intentions.
Georgia is set to begin classes this week on Jan. 13, though that is not a binding date for a player to be enrolled, as the drop-add period for Georgia this year extends to Jan. 20. Players declaring for this year’s NFL draft must do so by Jan. 18.
As far as the transfer portal, Georgia has still not received any commitments from that end of things. Arik Gilbert has not made a decision yet regarding his future. The Bulldogs have not had any players announce they were entering the transfer portal either, with Matt Landers being the last scholarship player for Georgia to do.
One interesting nugget to keep an eye on is that Auburn defensive end Big Cat Bryant announced that he would be entering the transfer portal. Bryant was a recruiting target for Georgia in the 2017 class and was high school teammates with Georgia linebacker Quay Walker. At 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, Bryant could possibly fill a hole at outside linebacker for Georgia after Azeez Ojulari and Jermaine Johnson left.
— BigKat Bryant (@BigKat) January 10, 2021
Jan. 9, 1:30 p.m. update: After a busy week of roster movement, Georgia and coach Kirby Smart have a better idea of where they sit with regards to roster numbers.
Factoring in the players who have publicly declared they are either moving on to the NFL draft or in the transfer portal, Georgia is currently at 69 scholarship players. That does not factor in the 16 early enrollees. It does include Julian Rochester, Demetris Robertson and Walter Grant, seniors who have not announced what their future plans are.
Georgia does have four signees who will not enroll early — Dylan Fairchild, Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Kamari Lassiter and Jared Wilson — and will not factor into the 85 until they arrive this summer. The Bulldogs also made the final three for 4-star safety Terrion Arnold on Friday evening.
2021 Georgia football early enrollees: Brock Vandagriff, Lovasea Carroll, Jackson Meeks, Adonai Mitchell, Brock Bowers, Amarius Mims, Micah Morris, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Jonathan Jefferson, Marlin Dean, Chaz Chambliss, Xavian Sorey, Smael Mondon, Nyland Green, David Daniel and Javon Bullard.
The Bulldogs are still waiting on decisions from a handful of members of the 2020 team. The three biggest in terms of impact are Zamir White, Jamaree Salyer and Adam Anderson.
With White, Georgia did learn that running back James Cook would return earlier this week. Should White return, that will give the Bulldogs six scholarship running backs on the 2021 roster.
Georgia did get a boost on the offensive line on Friday when Justin Shaffer announced he would return. Salyer has not made a decision yet, though there is the expectation that should he return Salyer will do so at left guard next season.
Anderson showed real promise as a pass rusher this season as he finished second on the team in the sacks with 6.5. Georgia also has some holes to fill at outside linebacker with both Azeez Ojulari and Jermaine Johnson leaving the program.
Jan. 8, 5:30 p.m. update: Kearis Jackson is the latest member to join the Unfinished Business train as he indicated that he would be returning for the 2021 season.
He joins JT Daniels, James Cook, Justin Shaffer, Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis as the players who have announced they would be returning.
— Kearis Jackson (@king_kearis) January 8, 2021
Jackson had a breakout season for the Bulldogs as he led the Bulldogs in receiving yards with 514 yards on 36 receptions. Jackson also served as the kick and punt returner for Georgia this season, being a key reason the Bulldogs excelled on special teams.
Daniels is a big beneficiary of this announcement, as he will now officially have his top-five leading receivers from the 2020 team returning. The Bulldogs should have one of the passing offenses in the country next season, as Daniels will get to work with offensive coordinator Todd Monken for another season.
Jackson signed with Georgia as a member of the 2018 signing class out of Fort Valley, Ga.
Jan. 8, 11:30 a.m. update: Georgia’s offensive line, a concern after the performance against Cincinnati, got some good news in the form of Justin Shaffer announcing he would return to Georgia for a fifth season for the Bulldogs.
He joins JT Daniels, James Cook, Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt as Georgia players announcing that they would return for the 2021 season. He and Wyatt both were seniors this season but elected to return following the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
— Justin Shaffer (@ShafferJustin54) January 8, 2021
Shaffer started nine games at left guard for Georgia this season before moving over to right guard in the Peach Bowl against Cincinnati. It was not a stellar effort for the Georgia offensive line in that game, as the Bulldogs had just 45 rushing yards and three sacks.
Georgia will have to replace Trey Hill and Ben Cleveland, as those two are both moving on to the NFL. Jamaree Salyer has not yet made his decision to return to Georgia, though if he were it seems he would line up at the left guard spot next season.
The Bulldogs have a number of talented linemen waiting behind Shaffer, such as Sedrick Van Pran, Tate Ratledge and Clay Webb at the guard position. Georgia also signed four offensive linemen in the 2021 recruiting cycle, with Dylan Fairchild, Micah Morris and Jared Wilson all having the ability to play guard.
Shaffer and Georgia will open the 2021 season against the Clemson Tigers on Sept. 4.
Jan. 7, 8:45 p.m. update: Another Georgia senior is moving on as Mark Webb announced that his time at Georgia had come to an end.
He thanked Georgia fans in a post on his Instagram page.
Webb had been a starter over the past three seasons for Georgia, working mostly at the star position. As a senior, Webb had 21 tackles, while picking up his first career interception in the Auburn win.
With Webb moving on, Georgia has a number of options it could turn to at star. His back-up this past season was Tyrique Stevenson. When Webb missed the Peach Bowl due to injury, Latavious Brinni got the start as Stevenson moved over to cornerback.
Georgia could also put someone like Kelee Ringo at that position as well. Webb joins Eric Stokes, DJ Daniel, Tyson Campbell and Richard LeCounte in heading to the NFL next season. All four of those defensive backs were either seniors or fourth-year players. Webb signed with Georgia as a member of the 2017 recruiting class.
Jan. 7, 2 p.m. update: Georgia got great news on Thursday when nose tackle Jordan Davis announced he would be returning to Georgia for his senior season. He joins JT Daniels, James Cook and Devonte Wyatt as those coming back.
— Jord9n D9vis (@jordanxdavis99) January 7, 2021
Thought Davis had first round ability. Massive player with impressive quickness. Early name to know for 2022 https://t.co/cH3UQ4Us1w
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 7, 2021
The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman has been a massive reason Georgia has finished first in the country in rush defense in each of the past two seasons.
Davis did miss three games this season with an elbow injury he suffered against Kentucky. One of those games was the 44-28 loss to Florida, which prevented Georgia from winning the SEC East.
In the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnatti, Davis was dominant for Georgia as he picked up his first sack of the season while also blocking a field goal. That proved to be pivotal as the Bulldogs came away with a 24-21 victory over the previously unbeaten Bearcats.
With Davis back, Georgia almost certainly will have one of the top defensive lines in the country, as he, Wyatt, Travon Walker and Jalen Carter all figure to make life miserable for opposing offensive lines.
The Charlotte reference in Davis’ tweet should be noted as it is his hometown. It is also where Georgia’s first game of the 2021 season will be played, as the Bulldogs take on Clemson on Sept. 4. Clemson’s offensive line had problems in the College Football Playoff loss to Ohio State. The Tigers will also lose Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and left tackle Jackson Carman.
As big as Daniels was for the offense, Davis carries a similar mark for the Georgia defense. He will now be one of the key faces of the program in 2021 for the Bulldogs.
— JT Daniels (@jtdaniels06) January 7, 2021
Perhaps the player happiest about the Davis news is linebacker Nakobe Dean. With Davis clogging up blocks, it should make life much, much easier for Dean next year.
The rising junior linebacker for Georgia had the perfect response to the Davis news.
— Nakobe Dean🔝 (@NakobeDean) January 7, 2021
Jan. 6, 4:38 p.m. update: Georgia senior captain Richard LeCounte makes official what most already knew, that he’s taking his game to the NFL. LeCounte made it official on his Twitter account.
— Richard LeCounte III (@LilEasy_35) January 6, 2021
LeCounte capped his career by entering the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on the final play, a reward from Kirby Smart for all he had put into the program over the past four seasons.
LeCounte was having a stellar season for the Bulldogs, including winning SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Kentucky. But following the Kentucky game, LeCounte was involved in a motor bike accident. The resulting injuries from that crash forced LeCounte to miss the final four games of Georgia’s regular season, including the 44-28 loss to Florida.
With no LeCounte Georgia did get a taste of what life will be like without the star safety. Junior Chris Smith replaced him in the starting lineup and the Bulldogs did play better defensively after the Florida game.
In addition to LeCounte leaving, Georgia will lose Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and Mark Webb, meaning the Bulldogs must replace four of the five starters from Georgia’s first game of the season.
Jan. 6, 2:15 p.m. update: Georgia has seen another cornerback leave the team, as Tyson Campbell declared for the NFL draft. Campbell made the announcement via his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
— Tyson Campbell™ (@tysoncampbell_) January 6, 2021
Campbell signed as a member of Georgia’s 2018 class and started 24 games over his career. He hauled in his first career interception against South Carolina this season.
With Campbell joining Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel at the next level, Georgia has a pretty big hole to fill at the cornerback position. The Bulldogs turned to Tyrique Stevenson to replace Campbell in the bowl game and he will play a significant role in Georgia’s secondary.
Georgia has a number of talented but unproven options it can turn to in Kelee Ringo, Jalen Kimber, Daran Branch and Nyland Green.
Campbell is the third Georgia Bulldog junior to declare for the draft, joining Azeez Ojulari and Trey Hill.
Jan. 6, 12:30 p.m update: Let’s reset where we are after a very busy Tuesday for Georgia.
The big names to know as far as draft-elilgble players who have yet to make the decision as to whether or not they will enter the NFL draft are: Jordan Davis, Tyson Campbell, Zamir White, Jamaree Salyer, Adam Anderson and Justin Shaffer.
DawgNation’s Mike Griffith wrote in detail on the latest news regarding Davis earlier this morning.
Campbell could be the third Georgia cornerback to declare for the draft, joining Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel. Should Campbell head to the NFL, that would put a lot more on the plate of Tyrique Stevenson, Kelee Ringo and Jalen Kimber going into 2021.
White will be interesting to watch, especially after fellow running back James Cook announced he would be returning for his senior season. If White enters the fold, that would give Georgia six scholarship running backs on the roster next season. White led the team in rushing and rushing touchdowns this past season.
Salyer takes on added importance after center Trey Hill announced he would head to the NFL draft. Salyer is widely expected to return and will most likely play guard next season for the Bulldogs.
Anderson is an interesting name to monitor because for seemingly the first time in years, Georgia isn’t gushing with talent at the outside linebacker spot. Azeez Ojulari declared for the draft and Jermaine Johnson is now at Florida State. Anderson showed he’s a dynamic pass rusher this past season, as he finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks.
Shaffer is another Georgia offensive lineman that has a decision to make. He was a senior this past season, but could take advantage of the same NCAA rule the defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt did. Shaffer started at left guard in 2020 before flipping over to right guard for the game against Cincinnati. Georgia must replace Ben Cleveland as well.
The Bulldogs also saw another player enter the transfer portal, as walk-on kicker Brooks Buce made his intentions known.
New beginnings! pic.twitter.com/wPCHCiZ8K3
— Brooks Buce (@brooksbuce) January 6, 2021
It is believed that players have until Jan. 15 to make a decision regarding the NFL draft. Classes begin at the University of Georgia on Jan. 13.
Jan. 5, 2:00 p.m. update: While Georgia learned that three key members would be returning for the 2021 season, the Bulldogs did learn that one player would be entering the transfer portal, as AL.com’s Matt Zenitz is reporting that wide receiver Matt Landers intends to transfer.
Landers caught just two passes for 27 yards this season while appearing in eight games. As a sophomore, he caught 10 passes for 105 yards and scored a touchdown in Georgia’s Sugar Bowl win over Baylor.
He signed with the Bulldogs as a member of the 2017 class and redshirted his first season on campus.
Landers will be the third Georgia wide receiver to transfer this offseason, as Trey Blount has landed at Old Dominion and Makiya Tongue will play for Oregon State.
Georgia should be set at wide receiver next season as George Pickens, Kearis Jackson and Jermaine Burton all return. The Bulldogs will also look to get more out of the likes of Dominick Blaylock, Arian Smith and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, who all had their 2020 season cut short by injury.
The Bulldogs will also be once again be led by quarterback JT Daniels after he announced that he would be returning for the 2021 season.
Jan. 5, 1:30 p.m. update: JT Daniels made it official and announced that he had unfinished business and will return to Georgia for the 2021 season.
Found my new home, now we got unfinished business
Go Dawgs 2021 pic.twitter.com/UgAMJb5ToL
— JT Daniels (@jtdaniels06) January 5, 2021
This will provide a huge boost on Georgia’s title chances for next season. In four games as a starter for Georgia in 2021, Daniels threw 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions. The Bulldogs went 4-0 in those games while averaging 37 points per game and 486 yards of offense.
Daniels should help lead a strong passing attack, as Georgia’s top three wide receivers and top tight end are all set to return. Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken will also return.
Daniels spoke very highly of Monken and the relationship he had with Georgia’s play-caller prior to the Peach Bowl.
“Obviously we speak the same language, especially in terms of football. It’s something that I learn more as the season goes on,” Daniels said. “But even when I wasn’t playing, I was still on the sideline with Coach Buster (Faulkner) during the game. I was hearing all the play calls. Started learning more and more how he thinks.”
“It’s something that I got to learn originally when we were on Zoom calls when I was getting recruited here. We used to watch film, do whatever we could through transfer portal rules. I think it’s just grown and developed.
Georgia also got official confirmation that defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt is returning as well. Wyatt was a senior this past season for Georgia but is going to take advantage of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility granted due to the pandemic.
— Devonte Wyatt (@datboi_vontae) January 5, 2021
Wyatt started every game this season for the Bulldogs at defensive tackle. He had 21 tackles and 14 pressures for Georgia during the regular season.
In the same hour, Georgia also learned it would be getting back James Cook for the 2021 season.
Run it back🐶4️⃣ #UnfinishedBusiness
— James Cook (@thegreat__4) January 5, 2021
Cook will improve the running back room as both a runner and receiver. He had 303 rushing yards and 225 receiving yards last season. With Cook in the fold, Georgia will bring back its top five pass catchers from the 2020 season in George Pickens, Kearis Jackson, Jermaine Burton, Cook and Darnell Washington. To go along with Daniels that should make for a very strong and exciting passing attack in 2021.
Jan. 5, 11: a.m. update: Georgia saw one defensive lineman officially call it a career, as defensive end Malik Herring announced his time at Georgia was done.
Herring signed as a member of Georgia’s 2017 class and emerged as a key contributor on the defensive line in the past two seasons. At defensive end, Herring was largely asked to do the dirty work to allow the linebackers to make plays. Herring thrived in that role, starting 17 games over the past two seasons.
Herring will be one of seven Bulldogs participating in the Senior Bowl later in January. He had 20 tackles and 22 pressures this past season for the Bulldogs.
— Malik Herring (@HerringMalik) January 5, 2021
There’s another interesting social media post, as the Georgia football account put out a post involving Jordan Davis. In the video, an emotional Davis is speaking about starting 2021 out on the right note.
Davis has yet to make an official announcement but his return would be huge for the Bulldogs. He’s a massive reason the Bulldogs had the No. 1 run defense in the country this past season. Outside of quarterback JT Daniels, a return from Davis would be the biggest boost to Georgia’s 2021 team.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) January 5, 2021
Jan. 4, 8 p.m. update: Georgia center Trey Hill has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He made the announcement official on Monday night, thanking Georgia fans in the process.
— CincoCinco‼️ (@hilldeontrey) January 5, 2021
Related: Trey Hill declares for the draft
Hill had started for Georgia along the offensive line in each of the past three seasons, with the last two as Georgia’s starting center. Hill did not play in Georgia’s final two games of the season after he had surgery on both of his knees following the win over South Carolina.
Filling in for Hill at center in the Missouri and Cincinnati games was Warren Ericson. During his Georgia career, Hill started 26-consecutive games. Prior to his surgery, that had been the longest streak on the current team.
It was rather noteworthy to see how much Georgia struggled in the running game against Cincinnati, as the Bulldogs ran for just 45 yards as a team in the game. Georgia re-made its offensive line, moving Justin Shaffer from left guard to right guard and Jamaree Salyer from left tackle to left guard. Xavier Truss took over at left tackle in the game. Only right tackle Warren McClendon was in his normal spot in the 24-21 win.
Ericson will likely be the favorite to replace Hill but there will be some competition. Georgia signed Sedrick Van Pran as a member of the 2020 signing class, and he rated as the No. 59 overall player in that recruiting cycle and someone the coaching staff spoke fondly of during his freshman season.
Georgia will also already have to replace Ben Cleveland, who did not play in the Peach Bowl as he declared for the NFL draft. Shaffer is a senior who does have the potential to come back as well, though he has not made any formal announcement when it comes to that. Salyer is also a draft-eligble player though he has also yet to announce what his future plans will be.
Hill is the second member of Georgia’s 2018 signing class to declare for the draft, as Azeez Ojulari did so on Saturday.
While the Hill loss certainly stings, Georgia has recruited very well on the offensive line and did so again in the 2021 recruiting cycle. The Bulldogs signed three top-100 offensive linemen, headlined by 5-star offensive tackle Amarius Mims. Competition will be fierce on the offensive line going into 2021, as former highly-touted players like Clay Webb, Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge will all be looking to crack the lineup in addition to Van Pran.
The group will be led by Matt Luke for a second season. Luke took the job from Sam Pittman, who became the Arkansas head coach prior to the 2020 season. A more normal or routine offseason might be a big benefit to Georgia’s offensive line. The Bulldogs open the season against what should be a very stout Clemson defense.
Jan. 4, 2:30 p.m. update: Georgia quarterback JT Daniels made a rather interesting Instagram post on Monday, with the caption “To be continued…” along with a #GoDawgs.
Daniels is a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore and stated previously that he had not put much thought into his future.
View this post on Instagram
“I’ve been here getting ready for the bowl since that Vandy week was over,” Daniels said. “I really haven’t given too much thought to anything. This week is Cincinnati. Once the off-season comes, I’ll be thinking about the off-season.”
Daniels threw for 392 yards, a touchdown and an interception in Georgia’s 24-21 Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati. The Bulldogs went 4-0 with Daniels under center this season, as the offense was markedly improved with him at the controls.
It should be noted that this is not a definitive announcement on his future. Daniels one of the many Georgia Bulldogs considering a jump to the NFL. Should he return, he figures to lead one of the most promising and potent passing attacks in the country.
The deadline for Daniels to enter the 2021 NFL Draft is believed to be Jan. 15.
Jan. 2 update: The page turned very quickly for Georgia from the 2020 season and team to 2021. The Bulldogs saw redshirt sophomore Azeez Ojulari declare for the NFL draft not even 24 hours after his defensive MVP performance in the Peach Bowl.
Ojulari won’t be the last player from the 2020 team to make an announcement on their future in the coming days. Prior to the Peach Bowl, Georgia had Ben Cleveland, Tre’ McKitty, Monty Rice, Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel all declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and not play in the game against Cincinnati.
JT Daniels, Jordan Davis and Zamir White are just some of the Georgia players who will have decisions to make in the coming days. Add in players entering the transfer portal — such as Jermaine Johnson transferring to Florida State — and it will be a very busy time for Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart discussed what the coming days will look like in terms of the many conversations he will have. There is the added wrinkle that seniors can return this year due to a change in the NCAA policy stemming from the pandemic.
“I’ve got plans to go see juniors, seniors. I’m going to visit with guys on our roster. It never stops,” Smart said. “It’s just the beginning of the next. There won’t be any time off in terms of that for us as a staff because our 2021 team will be shaped from the minute that game ends, this game ends.
“It starts taking shape probably the second it ends. It begins to take shape. We’ll be visiting with guys, sharing time with their family, sharing information, making sure they can make good decisions in what they do.”
Below is a running list of players who have made their decision or have a decision to make. This will be updated in the coming days as players continue to make decisions and the 2021 Georgia football roster continues to take shape.
Georgia football players that officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft
- Offensive guard Ben Cleveland
- Tight end Tre’ McKitty
- Inside linebacker Monty Rice
- Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari
- Cornerback Eric Stokes
- Cornerback DJ Daniel
- Outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari
- Center Trey Hill
- Defensive end Malik Herring
- Cornerback Tyson Campbell
- Safety Richard LeCounte
- Defensive back Mark Webb
- Inside linebacker Nate McBride
Georgia football players that have officially transferred
- Jermaine Johnson — Florida State
- D’Wan Mathis — Temple
- Trey Blount — Old Dominion
- Makiya Tongue — Oregon State
- Netori Johnson — Middle Tennessee State
- Matt Landers — transfer portal
- Brooks Buce — transfer portal
- Tyrique Stevenson — transfer portal
Georgia football players that have announced they’re returning
*This will be updated as it is announced. The decision date for players to enter the 2021 NFL Draft is expected to be Jan. 15. The University of Georgia is set to start classes on Jan. 13.
- Quarterback JT Daniels
- Defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt
- Running back James Cook
- Defensive tackle Jordan Davis
- Offensive guard Justin Shaffer
- Wide receiver Kearis Jackson
- Offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer
- Punter Jake Camarda
- Outside linebacker Adam Anderson
- Running back Zamir White
Players transferring to Georgia via the transfer portal
*This will be updated as it is announced.
“I think people think we have people sitting down there checking on the ticker every three minutes. Since y’all are checking the ticker every three minutes, I don’t have to. It will be a story on the front lines that so-and-so jumped in the portal. It’s a need base for us. If I had my preference, I would rather not use the portal because schools like Cincinnati and Georgia shouldn’t have to, you should be able to go out and recruit the right kind of guys.” –Kirby Smart on using the transfer portal.
Georgia football draft-eligble players that have not yet announced their decision
- Wide receiver Demetris Robertson
- Defensive tackle Julian Rochester
- Inside linebacker Quay Walker
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Dan Lanning the latest to go all-in on Georgia football for 2021 season
- DawgNation Film room: 5-star signee Amarius Mims seen as a prototype OT
- WATCH: Georgia maintains championship balance, closer look at Jordan Davis’ return
- WATCH: Why 2021 will have a different feel to Georgia football offseason
- ESPN: Recruiting rankings project Georgia loaded with talent for 2021 title run
- Georgia football podcast: UGA RB depth could be key component of championship formula
- Grading the 2020 Georgia Bulldogs’ season of highs and lows
- The latest Georgia football roster movement regarding NFL draft, transfer portal and returnees
- The Zamir White announcement illustrates how much college football has changed since 2017
- ESPN makes obvious choice for Georgia football 2021 breakout player