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Ranking the most important 2019 Georgia football additions still to come
Georgia had 14 members of its 2019 signing class enroll early. The likes of Nolan Smith, Nakobe Dean and Lewis Cine all stood out during spring practice, and showed why Georgia had the No. 2 signing class in the 2019 cycle.
But the Bulldogs are set to add another host of players later this summer. Georgia will be bringing in the other 10 members of its 2019 class, along with transfers in Lawrence Cager of Miami and Eli Wolf of Tennessee.
Below, we’ve ranked the top 5 incoming players, based on how important they will be to Georgia early on in their careers:
5. Tymon Mitchell, defensive tackle
Georgia’s defensive line was perhaps its weakest unit last season. The unit improved against the run when now-sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Davis was inserted into the lineup. But when Davis missed the Texas game, the Bulldogs once again struggled to stop the run.
Mitchell should act as a potential cover for Davis as Georgia’s nose tackle. Davis is likely to still be the guy, but with Mitchell coming in, it does ease the burden on the mammoth sophomore. Mitchell is only rated as a 3-star recruit, but that can be attributed to the fact that nose tackles don’t really project as first round picks
4. George Pickens, wide receiver
Georgia hasn’t signed a wide receiver as talented as Pickens since 2009. That was the last time Georgia signed a true 5-star wide receiver.
When Kirby Smart was asked about Pickens earlier this spring, he didn’t exactly hide his excitement.
“We know George is going to fit what we did,” Smart said. “He really was intrigued by the fact that we had the guys come out early, and he knew that he fit in our style system. And we think he’s a talented player that we’re looking forward to working with.”
The only reason we have him at No. 4 is that it is still not 100 percent known when Pickens will arrive at Georgia due to his grades. But Georgia would not have made such an effort to flip him from Auburn if it didn’t think that he would be able to qualify.
3. Travon Walker, defensive tackle
Walker is the highest rated member of Georgia’s 2019 signing class that did not enroll early. He was rated as the No. 22 overall player in the class and the No. 3 overall defensive tackle.
Like Mitchell, he fills a major need for the Bulldogs, and he’ll have the opportunity to play right away at Georgia. The Bulldogs defensive line has plenty of capable bodies, but a few of them were injured during spring practice. If Walker plays like some of Georgia’s other 5-star freshmen when he gets to campus, it’ll be hard to keep him off the field in some way.
2. Lawrence Cager, wide receiver
Sensing a theme here? Smart has said that wide receiver is a pretty big need for the Bulldogs.
“It (receiver) is probably more concerning than tight end,” Smart said, “only because those guys play on special teams, and we lost a tremendous amount of special teams snaps out of our wide receiver room.”
That’s why Georgia went out and added Cager as a graduate transfer from Miami. Unlike Pickens and Blaylock, Cager does have experience at the Power Five level. Last year he caught 21 passes at Miami while playing with a disastrous quarterback situation. Only Jeremiah Holloman had more catches among Georgia’s returning wide receivers.
At 6-foot-5, Cager fits a mold similar to that of former Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims. In 2017, Wims ended up leading the Bulldogs in receiving yards and was a key reason why the Bulldogs were able to get to the College Football Playoff. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm could really use a big-bodied receiver like Cager in the Georgia offense.
1. Dominick Blaylock, wide receiver
So yes, Blaylock over Pickens might seem a little bold. Pickens was the higher rated receiver of the two. But Blaylock offers a versatility that Pickens doesn’t project to right away.
“We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside,” Smart said. “He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well. We think he’s going to help in the return game, too. But it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them.”
And that’s before even getting into what Blaylock could possibly bring as a punt or kick returner. Smart has also mentioned that Blaylock could fill that role as well.
Freshman wide receivers haven’t exactly shined under Smart in his time at Georgia. The most receptions a Georgia freshman receiver has had in the Smart era was Riley Ridley’s 12 back in 2016. But if Blaylock — or Pickens — match their hype, there’s a good chance they can shatter that mark.
Two Georgia offensive line targets set announcement dates
For the Georgia fans who have been waiting for some major recruiting news, you got some good news on Wednesday. Two major recruiting targets both set their announcement dates, and both will be within the month.
Tate Ratledge, a 4-star offensive tackle from Rome, Ga., announced that he will be picking between the Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers on Monday, May 13. Ratledge would feel a major area of need for Georgia. He is the No. 39 overall player in the class and the No. 5 offensive tackle in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Justin Rogers, a 4-star offensive guard, will be announcing his commitment on May 20. Georgia will get an official visit from Rogers on May 17. The Bulldogs are one of five finalists for Rogers, along with Tennessee, LSU, Kentucky and Michigan. Rogers was high school teammates with Georgia freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis.
The Bulldogs have seven public commitments at the moment. Two of them are on the offensive line, as the Bulldogs have commitments from 5-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones and 4-star offensive guard Akinola Ogunbiyi.
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Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Softball (@UGASoftball) May 8, 2019
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) May 8, 2019
— Lance Taylor (@TheLanceTaylor) May 8, 2019
Look who’s on this years cover of Lindy’s Sports👀
I also love that headline: “Closing Time: Kirby, Dawgs eye final step.” pic.twitter.com/6iHcsNZMeo
— blakejmorgan (@bIakejmorgan) May 7, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
My idiot furry son has one job at night – bork at things and make them go away. Easy, right?
HOWEVER, a bear has learned that my furry son can be bought. This is the THIRD TIME he's been gifted deer bones in exchange for being allowed access to my trash, AND HE KEEPS DOING IT. pic.twitter.com/6NOKiFNLgm
— Jesse 'Writer, Not Writer*' Jordan (@JesseNeon) May 8, 2019