Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at Georgia football’s visit to Camp Sunshine, a couple Bulldogs ranked as one of the top DL duos in the SEC and rank the quarterbacks UGA will face in 2017.
Who is the best QB Georgia football will face this season?
As we continue to navigate the doldrums of the offseason, I thought it would be fun to take a gander at some of the players Georgia will face this season. And what better way to do that than to go position by position and rank the best individuals UGA will face at each spot on the field.
Like my series of early previews of Georgia’s 2017 opponents, this won’t be an everyday feature. Depending on what’s happening in the world of UGA football, I may take days off to write about some other things. But, generally, expect me to make my way through rankings of every position or position group on the field in the next three weeks or month.
We begin this series with the most obvious position: quarterback. For the QBs, I’m going to rank the projected starter for each of UGA’s opponents based on their threat to UGA, not necessarily how good of a player they are overall. I won’t stick to this format (i.e. ranking starters) for every position, though. Instead, I’ll likely list top 10s from here on and allow myself the option of including more than one player from each team. But for the QBs, I thought it just made sense to include all 12 opponents.
So, without further ado, here are the rankings for the most dangerous QBs Georgia will face in 2017:
12. Quinten Dormady, Tennessee — Dormady will likely start the opener against Tech as the replacement to Josh Dobbs, but Josh Dobbs he ain’t. He hasn’t created enough separation from Jarrett Guarantano to quell any QB battle talks, so by the time UGA-UT rolls around in Week 5, he may not even be the man lined up under center for the Vols.
11. Matthew Jordan, Georgia Tech — I never worry about individuals on Tech’s offense as much as I worry about what they can do as a unit. Death by a thousand cuts. I don’t think Jordan changes the offense much, for good or ill.
10. Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State — Lamb’s has started three seasons for the Mountaineers and thrown for about 2,300 yards in each. He’s a good QB, but Georgia should worry about the damage App State’s running game can inflict more than Lamb.
9. Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt — Shurmur threw for 2,400 yards last season, including 400 in an upset of Tennessee in the final game of the regular season. If he continues that form into 2017, the Vandy offense will be more difficult to stop than most folks might reckon.
8. Devlin Hodges, Samford — Yep, the Samford guy isn’t ranked last. Hodges passed for 4,000 yards with a 70 percent completion percentage on the way to winning SoCon offensive Player of the Year. Georgia should still roll Samford, but Hodges is no joke.
7. Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame — Wimbush is a wild card. He has loads of potential, but we’ve never seen him in a college game. I could easily be ranking him too low right here, but we won’t know for sure until the Dawgs visit South Bend.
6. Stephen Johnson, Kentucky — Johnson was solid in limited action last season as a replacement to the injured Drew Barker, throwing for 2,000 yards and 13 TDs. An offseason of preparation as the starter should help him improve, as will four returning starters on the offensive line.
5. Malik Zaire, Florida — I’m not completely sold on Zaire yet, just because he hasn’t seen much game time in his career. But if he plays as well as he showed in flashes over his Notre Dame career, he’ll cause problems for the Bulldogs.
4. Jake Bentley, South Carolina — Bentley showed flashes of brilliance as a freshman, but his real strength is drawn from the talented group of receivers who surround him. With the limited talent South Carolina has on its roster, an upset of Georgia would have to be won on his and his receivers’ backs.
3. Drew Lock, Missouri — Lock put up big numbers as a sophomore, including more than 400 yards and 3 touchdowns vs. Georgia. If he cuts down on the picks (he had 3 last season vs. UGA), he’s one of the best in the SEC.
2. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn — The last time Auburn picked up a transfer QB who was a perfect fit for Gus Malzahn’s system, it won a national championship. And Stidham is the closest to a perfect fit the Tigers have had at QB since Cam Newton left. This edition of the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is shaping up to be one of the best QB matchups of the year.
1. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State — Fitzgerald is a player I think is underrated and one who could do some damage in a game UGA fans aren’t really thinking about right now. He ran for 1,375 yards last season. The defense will have its hand full trying to contain him on the ground, which should help open up MSU’s passing game.
UGA has one of the best DL duos in the SEC
Edward Aschoff of ESPN ranked the best defensive line duos in the SEC and the Georgia pairing of Trent Thompson and Jonathan Ledbetter ranked second.
2. Georgia: Trenton Thompson, Jonathan Ledbetter: Thompson is a rising star despite missing all of spring with a medical issue. He has a chance to be one of the SEC’s best interior linemen this season. Ledbetter was suspended for seven games last season because of two alcohol-related arrests during the offseason, but made a full turnaround this spring, both on and off the field. He started in four of the seven games he played in last year.
Dawgs in the NFL
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) June 22, 2017
ICYMI, Camp Sunshine Edition
The Georgia football team made its annual visit to Camp Sunshine, a summer camp for kids with cancer, on Wednesday. It’s always cool to see the players interact with the kids on this trip every year, and I know a lot of fans do as well, so I figured I’d separate out the UGA media’s coverage of the visit from the regular “ICYMI” below.
- Georgia’s Camp Sunshine trip drawing more players (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Message of Camp Sunshine will stay with Georgia players past visit (Nicole Saavedra, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Camp Sunshine campers interview Jacob Eason, Mecole Hardman on campus radio (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Kirby Smart on what Camp Sunshine means to him (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Georgia football partakes in dodgeball at Camp Sunshine (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Sony Michel on what Camp Sunshine means to him (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- Here are photo galleries from the Athens Banner-Herald, Dawgs247 and UGASports.com.
- You can also check out DawgNation reporter Seth Emerson’s Twitter feed for more photos.
Go here to learn more about Camp Sunshine, including information on how to donate or volunteer.
- Georgia’s most important players of 2017: The kicker (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- UGA recruiting: 10 things to know about the Zamir White decision (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Kirby Smart on what Brice Ramsey’s return means to Georgia (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Vince Dooley wouldn’t have fired Mark Richt but loves Kirby Smart (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- UGA recruiting: Bulldogs make final 3 for nation’s No. 5 DE Stephon Wynn (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Mount Rushmore of UGA DEs and OLBs (Patrick Garbin and Dave McMahon, UGA Sports)
- Another one of those ‘It’s June’ posts (Senator Blutarsky, Get The Picture)
Brooks is bad at his job.
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) June 20, 2017
Brooks takes out kids while running the bases.
— Frisco RoughRiders (@RidersBaseball) June 20, 2017
Despite that, Brooks is a very good dog.