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ESPN named safety J.R. Reed (No. 20) the most underrated player on the Georgia football team. Which other Georgia Bulldogs are underrated?

Who is Georgia football’s most underrated player?

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Who is UGA’s most underrated player?

The folks at ESPN named the most underrated college football player for every team in its Top 25, and safety J.R. Reed earned the nod for No. 4 Georgia. Here’s what ESPN’s Alex Scarborough had to say about Reed:

Of course we all understand that Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter are gone. We get it, Georgia’s defense will look different this season. But don’t forget a standout performer from last season: J.R. Reed. All the sophomore defensive back did was post 79 tackles, 2 interceptions and 6 QB hurries.

I don’t think there’s any question that Reed is an underrated player. Before last season, few college football fans knew who he was, even in UGA circles. And as Scarborough noted, it was Smith, Carter and, to a lesser extent, Davin Bellamy who received the most pub on defense, but Reed and his excellent ball-hawking skills contributed just as much to the defense’s success. But is he the most underrated player on Georgia’s roster? Maybe. To figure that out, we first need to look at the other options.

  • D’Andre Walker, OLB — While Smith, Carter and Bellamy were receiving national recognition for their play from Georgia’s linebacker corps, D’Andre Walker was quietly putting in work as a backup on his way to finishing second on the team in sacks (5.5) and tackles for loss (13.5).
  • Rodrigo Blankenship, K — Although I think most Georgia fans appreciate just how good Rodrigo Blankenship is, I also believe most college football fans underappreciate the value of a good kicker. Blankenship is one of the most dangerous weapons on the team, maybe even the SEC.
  • Terry Godwin, WR — Terry Godwin is one of those players unlucky enough to have to play in the shadow of his 5-star rating as a high school recruit. There are plenty of fans who don’t think Godwin has lived up to his potential, and they might be right, but don’t ignore how solid and consistent he’s been for three years.

I also considered Kendall Baker, Tyler Clark and Jonathan Ledbetter, but all three came up just short. So, out of the four players listed — Reed, Walker, Blankenship and Godwin — I have to agree with ESPN and pick Reed. His fantastic play was overshadowed a bit by the performances of Carter, Smith and Bellamy. With those three gone, Reed should step into the spotlight and finally receive his due credit for the integral role he plays in making the Georgia defense hum.

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