The 5 best players on Georgia’s team, regardless of position
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The 5 best players on Georgia football’s 2019 team
5. JR Reed, safety
Reed had a decision to make at the end of last season. He could’ve capitalized off a strong junior season and left for the NFL. Fortunately for Georgia fans, Reed made the decision to return to Athens for one last season.
Entering 2019, Reed is the unquestioned leader of Georgia’s defense. This will be his third year as a starter. Last season, he racked up 79 tackles, 5.0 which were for a loss. He also forced 2 interceptions, one of which came in the SEC Championship game against Alabama.
JR Reed! 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/UtqdbW6PKP
— WeAreDBnation (@WeAreDBNation1) December 1, 2018
Georgia coach Kirby Smart seems very bullish on his secondary and Reed is a big reason why that is a case. The team brings back a ton of experience, and Reed is the best of a talented bunch.
As for why Reed made the decision came back, he explained he has one clear goal in mind.
“It’s always been my goal since I came here to win a national championship,” Reed said. “Coach Smart told me that’s what he wants this team to be; I told him I want to be a part of a championship team. So my goals haven’t really changed. That championship thing is always on your list, every time you play.”
4. Rodrigo Blankenship, kicker
There may not be a more popular player on Georgia’s 2019 team than the senior kicker. Blankenship has blossomed into one of the best kickers in the country, as he hit on 19 of his 23 field goal attempts last season. Equally important, 85 percent of Blankenship’s kickoffs went for touchbacks last season. That was good for third in the country.
Blankenship did help cover some less than stellar areas of Georgia’s 2018 team — mainly red zone offense and the team’s kickoff coverage unit. The senior kicker has also shown he’s capable of hitting big-time kicks, as he did so numerous times in the 2018 College Football Playoffs.
— Rodrigo Blankenship (@RodTheKicker3) January 5, 2019
It wasn’t out of the question for Blankenship to go pro after his junior season, but he made the decision to return for his senior season. He’ll likely want to atone for his missed field goal in the SEC Championship game last season. But other than that one kick, it’s hard to find many faults in Blankenship’s game.
3. Jake Fromm, quarterback
In terms of body of work, there may not be a more accomplished Bulldog on this list. Fromm has won 24 games as a starter, and threw 30 touchdown passes a season ago. There have been some questions about where Fromm stacks up with the rest of college football’s top quarterbacks, but he’s at the very least a great player.
Heading into his junior season, it’s been made very clear that Fromm will have more input on the Georgia offense this coming season. The Bulldogs will have a new offensive coordinator in James Coley. But it should be pointed out that Fromm did make big strides last year while working with Coley as the quarterbacks coach.
If you wanted to make an argument that Fromm is the most talented player on Georgia’s team, you wouldn’t be wrong to do so. No player has to do more for the Georgia team than Fromm. We just have him ranked third because the two players above could be the best players in the country at their positions.
2. D’Andre Swift, running back
Georgia has had a number of talented running backs in recent years. And Swift is every bit as good as some of those past Georgia greats.
Last season he racked up 1,049 rushing yards while finishing just shy of 300 receiving yards. Heading into his junior season, he’ll get to play behind one of the best offensive lines in the country and with one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Swift, with his devastating cuts and open field ability, is going to a major headache for opposing defenses.
The biggest thing to monitor with Swift will be his health. At the beginning of his sophomore season, he was still recovering from offseason groin surgery and wasn’t the player many thought he would be. But from the Florida game on, Swift was one of the best running backs in the country.
Swift won’t be asked to carry the whole load this season, as he’ll likely split carries with Brian Herrien, Zamir White and James Cook. But make no mistake, if the game is on the line, Swift is going to be the guy with the ball in his hands. And that should make Georgia fans feel very confident and comfortable heading into 2019.
1. Andrew Thomas, offensive tackle
Georgia might have the best offensive line in the country. And Thomas is the best offensive lineman on Georgia’s 2019 unit.
Thomas is the only returning Georgia player to make First Team All-SEC last season. After starting 15 games at right tackle as a freshman, he started 13 games at left tackle as a sophomore. In both of those seasons, Georgia has led the SEC in rushing.
He’s been consistently mentioned as a possible first-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft as well. It might not be exciting to say your best player is your left tackle, but that’s pretty clearly the case for Georgia’s 2019 football team.
Honorable mention: Solomon Kindley, Jeremiah Holloman, Richard LeCounte, Eric Stokes, Isaiah Wilson
Georgia baseball named a top 4 seed
Georgia baseball learned its NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, as the Bulldogs were named the No. 4 overall seed in the tournament. That is the highest the Bulldogs have ever been ranked.
Because of the Bulldogs are a top 8 seed, Georgia will host the regionals and super regionals, should Georgia advance. The three teams in Georgia’s regional are Mercer, Florida Atlantic and Florida State. Georgia’s first game is on Friday night against Mercer at 7 p.m. ET.
“We’re excited and know there’s a lot of Georgia kids on the rosters of Mercer and Florida State, and it’s going to be a really tough regional with them and Florida Atlantic,” Georgia baseball coach Scott Stricklin said. “Mercer is a tough draw for the first game; they’re playing really well and just won their conference tournament. It’s going to be a big challenge.”
Should the Bulldogs advance past this weekend — something they didn’t do a season ago when they hosted — the Bulldogs will play the winner of the Baton Rouge regional. The Bulldogs won the regular season series against LSU, taking two of three games when the teams met back in March.
This is the first time in program history that Georgia has hosted a regional in back-to-back seasons. The Bulldogs went 44-15 this season and finished with the second best record in the SEC. Georgia made it to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. This was the first time since 2011 that Georgia had won a game in the SEC Baseball Tournament.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
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- Former UGA star suspended first four NFL games with New England Patriots
- Show and tell: Georgia’s Kenny McIntosh motivated by episodes with Alabama, Ohio State
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- Georgia freshman QB D’Wan Mathis’ condition upgraded after emergency brain cyst surgery
- Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart addresses getting over ‘hump’ vs. Alabama, Clemson
- The most underrated player at every position for Georgia football
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2⃣0⃣1⃣8⃣-1⃣9⃣ Katarina Jokic
NCAA Singles Runner-Up
NCAA Doubles QF
ITA All-America Singles & Doubles
NCAA All-Tournament No. 1 Singles
First Team All-SEC
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