A deeper look at Kirby Smart’s transfer portal comments after Amarius Mims returns to Georgia football program

Georgia football-elite-2022 season
Kirby Smart talks with Bryan McClendon During Georgia’s practice session in the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS — Kirby Smart made his thoughts on the transfer portal incredibly clear when asked about it on Saturday.

Given the recent reversal from offensive lineman Amarius Mims, we now see why the Georgia head coach was so matter of fact about the subject. Just over a week after putting his name in the transfer portal, Mims removed his name on Monday morning with the intent of staying at Georgia. DawgsHQ was the first to report the news.

Related: Broderick Jones takes on greater importance for Georgia football offensive line after Amarius Mims transfer

Georgia’s first-team offensive line on Saturday was Jones at left tackle, Xavier Truss at left guard, Sedrick Van Pran at center, Devin Willock at right guard and McClendon at right tackle. Ericson was held out of the spring scrimmage with an ankle injury. Tate Ratledge also is working his way back from a foot injury that limited him this spring.

As for the backups, Smart did praise early enrollee Earnest Greene for the job he had done this spring. He played left tackle for the second-team offense, with Micah Morris at left guard, Jared Wilson at center, Dylan Fairchild at right guard and Austin Blaske at right tackle.

“Earnest has come a long way, from getting here and having to lose 25 to 30 pounds, he did that before spring, and then once he got on the field, because of his conditioning level, he was able to handle the number of reps we gave him,” Smart said.  “He took almost every rep with the twos and the threes for all spring, and just think he’s going to be a talented player that’s extremely tough, does things the right way.  We’re very fortunate to have Earnest in the program.”

As Smart also mentions, Georgia does have a recent track record of players who weren’t immediate starters developing into draft picks. Tindall is expected to be taken in the first two days of the upcoming NFL draft despite never starting a game for the Bulldogs. Travon Walker could be the first overall pick even though he did not become a full-time starter until this past season.

Mims is not the first Bulldog to flirt with the transfer portal only to remain at Georgia. Outside linebacker Robert Beal did the same and he ended up leading Georgia in sacks last season.

Players have until May 1 to enter the transfer portal in hopes of retaining eligibility for the fall. Clay Webb also entered the transfer portal during spring practice.

As for Georgia’s projected scholarship count, the addition of Mims puts Georgia back at 90 projected scholarships. The Bulldogs will have to get that number down to 85, as those are the roster limits.

But like the transfer portal, Smart likely isn’t too worried about that. These things have a way of working themselves out for Georgia, often for the betterment of the Bulldogs.

“I don’t even think of this next phase as transfer portal phase, I think of it as get stronger, get bigger phase,” Smart said. “Like we have to get better.  We’ve got to physically get better, so we’ve got to lift in May, we’ve got to work out in May.  We’ve got to get some guys academically in a good place.”

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