Georgia football-national champinoship-transfers
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks in to the locker room prior to the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann

WATCH: Georgia football championship expectations don’t change after transfer portal additions

Georgia could’ve very easily stayed pat with its roster. The Bulldogs have a stable of young options at wide receiver, tight end and defensive back who Georgia needs to get on the field.

With JT Daniels and a significant chunk of the offense, the Bulldogs were already going to start the 2021 season as one of the top teams in the country. As the roster was constituted on May 31, Georgia was going to be a trendy dark-horse pick to make the College Football Playoff and possibly win the national title.

But after pulling former LSU Tiger Arik Gilbert and former Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick out of the transfer portal, there will be nothing trendy about Georgia entering the fall. The Bulldogs aren’t a dark horse anymore.

Georgia is a front-runner, a favorite. That’s exactly why head coach Kirby Smart went out and brought in Gilbert and Kendrick.

Related: Here’s why there’s buzz around Arik Gilbert’s UGA transfer

Gilbert should be seen as a replacement for the injured George Pickens. The latter went down with an ACL injury after Gilbert committed and then de-committed from Florida.

While the Marietta, Ga. native was the highest-ranked tight end prospect in the history of recruiting rankings, it’s been made clear he’s coming to Georgia to play wide receiver.

“Being brought in to play wide receiver, I definitely think I can help the team win,” Gilbert told Rusy Mansell of 247Sports. “Nothing is going to be given to me, so I am ready to get there and get to work with the team.”

While Gilbert hasn’t been enrolled in a program since withdrawing from LSU, he’s continued to stay in great shape.