Georgia football added a major piece to its offense on Saturday when graduate transfer Jamie Newman announced that he would be playing for the Bulldogs during the 2020 season.
“As I look ahead, I am excited about joining such a great football program under the leadership of coach Smart and offensive coordinator, Coach Coley,” Newman said. “I believe in UGA’s amazing staff, great football program and the passionate fans supporting this team.”
— Jamie Newman (@jlmn12_) January 11, 2020
Newman, however, won’t be a panacea for Georgia’s offense, which is set to undergo a radical transformation. The Bulldogs still must replace their leading rusher in D’Andre Swift, four offensive linemen with starting experience, their top two tight ends and their No. 2 wide receiver in Lawrence Cager.
Fortunately, Georgia has some time, and targets, to help sort out the offense before opening the 2020 season against Virginia on Sept. 7.
Retaining Broderick Jones and Sedrick Van Pran-Granger
Georgia’s 2020 signing class has two players who are publicly committed to the program but not yet signed. That would be 5-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones and 4-star center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.
Jones is the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country and a 5-star prospect. Van Pran-Granger is the No. 2 ranked center and a highly coveted 4-star prospect. And while both have remained publicly pledged to the Bulldogs, that hasn’t stopped other teams from pursuing them.
Jones has official visits set for Arkansas and Auburn, while Van Pran-Granger has one set for Florida. Both will also be in Athens on their official visits on Jan. 24. That becomes a huge weekend for Georgia and Matt Luke to make a major impression on both players. Luke also still has in-home visits he can use for both players.
With Cade Mays now at Tennessee, there is a gaping hole at the left tackle. And while Jones won’t potentially arrive untill June, he might be good enough to fill it. He’ll have to put on some weight when he gets to Georgia — he’s currently 6-foot-5 and 285-pounds — but the Bulldogs might not have a more talented option at the left tackle position for the 2020 season than him.
And Jones, when speaking at the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla., felt confident about his potential ability to play early.
“I know the playing time is going to come down to me. It’s not about the school,” Jones said. “Either way I know have to go in and work, learn the playbook, hit the weight room, work on my skillset. Hopefully, I won’t have to redshirt and can start my freshman year.”
Dip back into the transfer portal to add a veteran playmaker
Georgia is going to be very young at several skill positions next season. That’s why it would make a lot of sense to jump back into the transfer portal and see what other established playmakers the Bulldogs can add to the roster.
Last season Georgia added Cager and tight end Eli Wolf. While those additions weren’t fawned over at the time, both ended up playing huge roles for the Bulldogs in 2019.
As for some names to consider, there is Michigan wide receiver Tarik Black and Florida State tight end Tre McKitty. Both would be immediately eligible should they graduate this spring, meaning they could help provide some juice to positions that will need it in 2020.
— Tarik Black (@LetmeRockk_) January 5, 2020
Black has had multiple foot injuries in his time at Michigan but he played in 12 games during the 2019 season and hauled 25 passes for 323 yards and a touchdown. McKitty caught a combined 49 passes over the past two seasons for the Seminoles. Black is a former 4-star recruit from New Haven, Conn., while McKitty played for IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Georgia is bringing a number of talented freshmen — which we’ll get to in a moment — but adding some veterans to a still very young skill group would help round things out nicely.
Get a healthy Dominick Blaylock
Blaylock went down with a torn ACL in the first quarter of the SEC championship game. This proved to be a brutal loss to an already depleted wide receiver group.
But his injury in that game could end up having bigger reverberations if Blaylock is to miss time to start the 2020 season. According to DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell, Blaylock is expected to be back to full health in July, just in time for the start of fall camp.
But we’ve seen enough past ACL injuries to know that might not be the case. Blaylock’s work ethic has been well established but this might not be something he can totally control.
As a freshman, Blaylock was second on the team in touchdown catches and led the team in yards per catch. More importantly, having Blaylock out there would keep teams from being able to completely blanket George Pickens. Having both Blaylock and Pickens on the field together next season is a key to Georgia’s 2020 passing offense reaching its apex.
Have one of the freshmen wide receiver blossom early
Georgia signed four wide receivers in the 2020 class in Marcus Rosemy, Jermaine Burton, Arian Smith and Justin Robinson. All of them are 4-star prospects, with Rosemy Burton and Smith all are top-100 ranked prospects.
Of those four, only Robinson will enroll early, as the other three arrive in June. Pickens and Blaylock were not early enrollees and it did take some time for both them to make an impact against Georgia’s SEC opponents.
But given the difficult start to Georgia’s 2020 season — after opening with Virginia, the Bulldogs visits Alabama just 12 days later — Georgia won’t have a lot of time to integrate young players into the offense.
All four wide receivers come from elite programs and have played against elite competition before. And Georgia will need at least one, and hopefully more, to deliver on some of that promise early on.
Possibly add a running back to the 2020 recruiting class
Georgia always wanted to add two running backs in the 2020 recruiting cycle, given the Bulldogs figured to be losing Swift and Brian Herrien. Now with Zach Evans no longer in the picture, Georgia is set at the moment to only have four scholarship running backs.
That would be a first for Georgia under Smart, as he’s always had five scholarship running backs. But the Bulldogs still do have some options for the 2020 class that they can add in the run-up to National Signing Day.
The most logical move would be adding 4-star running back Daijun Edwards. He comes from Moultrie, Ga. and played for powerhouse Colquitt Country. He’s a 4-star running back and the N0. 19 ranked running back in the class. Adding him to go along with Kendall Milton, who is already enrolled, would give Georgia the depth it needs at the running back position to be comfortable.
Reaction to the Georgia football addition of Jamie Newman
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