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Transfer portal opens possibilities for Georgia to improve roster
Georgia hasn’t had a problem adding transfer players to its roster in the Kirby Smart era. In 2016, it brought in Maurice Smith and Tyler Catalina to help improve the talent level. In 2017, punter Cam Nizialek joined the team, and he drastically helped Georgia’s special teams. This past offseason, defensive tackle Jay Hayes and wide receiver Demetris Robertson became Bulldogs after transferring from Notre Dame and Cal. respectively.
Georgia, despite having the No. 2 class in the 2019 recruiting cycle, still has some holes to fill. You can bet that the Bulldogs will once again explore the possibility of bringing a transfer player to improve the 2019 roster.
With the transfer portal now essentially a public database thanks to the people at 247Sports, fans can see which players have put themselves out there in hopes of possibly finding a better opportunity. Three members of Georgia’s 2018 team have already found new homes: quarterback Justin Fields is now at Ohio State, tight end Luke Ford is headed to Illinois and Deangelo Gibbs will be at Tennessee. Safety Tray Bishop has also placed his name in the transfer portal.
As far as positions and where Georgia might look to bring in a short-term stop gap, wide receiver seems like an obvious candidate. Georgia lost three of its top four wide receivers from the 2018 team, and missed out on 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood, a one-time Georgia commit who ended up signing with Oklahoma.
One name has already emerged for Georgia as a possible transfer, as DawgNation can report that wide receiver Lawrence Cager of Miami is set to visit Georgia this coming weekend. Cager — listed at 6-foot-5 —caught 6 touchdowns for the Hurricanes last season. While some may want to see either Matt Landers or Tommy Bush emerge, Cager is a more proven option as that big-body wide receiver.
Tight end is also a spot where Georgia could look to add a more experienced player. Georgia only has three scholarship tight ends for the 2019 season, and one of them — 2019 signee Ryland Goede — is coming off a torn ACL. Georgia is a finalist for 2019 tight end Brett Seither, but should the Bulldogs miss out on him, it would make a lot of sense for Georgia to try and bring a tight end. Charlie Woerner is the only Georgia tight end on the roster that has recorded a catch heading into the 2019 season.
Of course, this is only January. The transfer portal figures to become more populated once spring practice ends, as players likely have a better idea where they stand as the season gets closer. Though as Robertson showed last season, transfer players don’t always make the impact that some expect. Often times transfers are coming in at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the team, due to the unfamiliarity with the coaching staff and playbook.
Much like recruiting, the transfer portal will become a 365-days-a-year topic, with new names getting added every single day. Transfer players are going to become a bigger and bigger deal in college football, especially if more and more are granted immediate eligibility despite not having earned their degree. It may not be a good thing for college football long term, but it is a way to improve your team for the upcoming season.
RBU pitch already paying off
We’ve written at length about Georgia being RBU, or Running Back University. Well it looks like Smart and Dell McGee where trying hard to convince a number of highly touted running backs to become the next members of RBU this weekend.
Georgia had three of the top 10 running backs in the 2020 recruiting class on campus this weekend. No. 1 running back Zachary Evans, No. 4 running back MarShawn Lloyd and No. 10 running back Seth McGowan all made the trip to Athens this weekend.
Evans is the No. 2 overall prospect in the country, Lloyd the No. 23 prospect and McGowan is the No. 109 player.
The most impressive thing about McGee and Smart having all this running back talent on campus this weekend? None of those three prospects, all on unofficial visits, hail from the state of Georgia. Evans and McGowan both came from Texas while Lloyd is from Maryland.
— MarShawn Lloyd (@LloydMarshawn) January 26, 2019
— Seth McGowan🦇™ (@Sjmcg_28) January 26, 2019
Those three names aren’t the only ones that Georgia fans should be paying attention to in the 2020 class. There’s also 5-star running back Kendall Milton out of California to focus on.
Running back very much will be a position of need in the 2020 recruiting class, given that Georgia is very likely to need to replace two running backs in Brian Herrien — who will be a senior this year — and D’Andre Swift, as he is eligible for the draft after this season.
Of course how much immediate help Georgia will need won’t be answered until we have a better idea of where things stand with Zamir White. He was the No. 1 running back in the country in the 2018 class, but White tore his ACL in fall camp for Georgia. White has a lot of hype entering this season, but he has to prove that he’s fully healthy once again.
McGee did land a commitment from 5-star running back John Emery Jr. in the 2019 recruiting cycle, but he ultimately backed off that pledge and flipped to LSU. Georgia will need to very likely bring in at least one big-time running back if not two in the 2020 class.
The Bulldogs did sign 4-star running back Kenny McIntosh as a member of the 2019 recruiting class.
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Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) January 27, 2019
ICYMI: Had ourselves a pretty productive day of shooting in the Steg yesterday 🏹🏀 pic.twitter.com/A0kEDLfIig
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) January 27, 2019
Final: NC State 4, #12 Georgia 3
The Bulldogs return to action at home on Sunday, Feb. 3, as they take on Georgia Tech at 1 p.m.
— Georgia Tennis (@UGAtennis) January 27, 2019
— Barstool UGA (@ugabarstool) January 24, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
THERE’S A DOG SITTING AT THIS BAR WEARING A HAT AND EATING AND EVERYONE IS JUST PRETENDING LIKE ITS NO BIG DEAL??? pic.twitter.com/vA4AdvSCqo
— Josie Brechner 🌺🗡 (@visagermusic) January 14, 2019