Georgia signed the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the country for the 2024 recruiting cycle. It’s hardly a new feat, as it marks the third time in Kirby Smart’s tenure that Georgia has done so.

And even with Georgia boasting one of the most loaded rosters in the country, more than a few of those freshmen have a chance to make contributions right away.

ESPN’s Craig Haubert singled out defensive end Joseph Jonah-Ajonye, defensive backs Ellis Robinson and KJ Bolden and inside linebacker Justin Williams as promising young Bulldogs.

“Jonah-Ajonye was the lowest rated but perhaps had the best spring. Robinson and Bolden have been as advertised,” Haubert said. “The latter’s speed and athleticism at safety may be too good to keep him on the bench. Williams will be one of the fastest linebackers in the SEC but is still developing the size for a full-time linebacker role and is part of arguably in the most talented inside linebacker room in all of college football.”

Jonah-Ajonye shadowed star edge rusher Mykel Williams during spring practice and already possesses impressive size, especially for a freshman defensive lineman.

No one expects Jonah-Ajonye to be Travon Walker or Jalen Carter right away, but with how often Georgia rotates on the defensive line, he has a chance to carve out a meaningful role.

“Honestly, the biggest thing is want-to and work ethic,” Georgia offensive lineman Earnest Greene said of Jonah-Ajonye. “That guy’s always getting after it, giving everything 110 miles an hour, 110 percent. It’s just a want-to and the fact that he’s buying into the program.”

Robinson was Georgia’s highest-rated signee in this recruiting class and is pushing veterans Daylen Everette, Daniel Harris and Julio Humphrey to crack the rotation at cornerback. Bolden may have an easier path to the field, as the 5-star safety looks like someone who could help in Georgia’s dime package.

Malaki Starks, a 5-star prospect like Robinson and Bolden, started 14 games as a freshman in 2022. The Bulldogs have shown that if you’re good enough to play, you’re old enough to do so.

Williams isn’t the only elite linebacker Georgia brought in this spring, with Chris Cole impressing as well. Georgia did have two freshmen take major snaps at inside linebacker last season in CJ Allen and Raylen Wilson. Both of those players return this season, as do Smael Mondon and Jalon Walker.

“I think you’ve got to know the defense,” Starks said this spring on what it takes to play as a freshman. “You don’t have to know it perfect, you don’t have to be a master of the defense. But you have to know what to do and when to do it and how to do it. You also have to have effort. People have got to be able to count on you.

“If I can look over there and know what you’re going to do and I can count on you to do your job, then you can play. That goes not just for freshmen, but anybody in the room. If you can be accountable and you have effort, you’ll play.”

The first game of the 2024 season comes against the Clemson Tigers on Aug. 31. That will be the first chance to see what Jonah-Ajonye, Robinson, Bolden and Williams can do for Georgia. In Starks’ first game in 2022, he came down with a leaping interception against Oregon, while Brock Bowers led Georgia in receiving in his first game in a Georgia uniform. That performance also came against Clemson.