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The most underrated player at every position for Georgia football
Quarterback: Jake Fromm, junior
Most Georgia fans know and get how good Fromm is at the quarterback position. The underrated part comes from Fromm’s national perception. Despite racking up win after win and throwing for 30 touchdowns a season ago, many still feel he isn’t on the same level as some of the other elite college football quarterbacks.
But make no mistake about it, Fromm is exactly that. He’s done everything that’s been asked of him to this point. And his head coach has made sure to praise just how good Fromm has been for the Bulldogs.
“The games that he has not won, we have not supported him defensively all the time,” Kirby Smart told Paul Finebaum. “He is just a good leader. He has good players around him and he knows how to use those guys.”
Most won’t give Fromm his proper credit until he either beats Alabama and/or wins a national championship. But he’s certainly capable of doing that for Georgia. And there aren’t a lot of college football quarterbacks you can say that about.
Running back: James Cook, sophomore
Some might be tempted to say Brian Herrien here. We get why, but it’s had to underrate Herrien after his impressive spring and spring game performance. So we’re actually going to give some love here to James Cook.
Unlike most guys on this list, Cook was a highly-touted recruit. He was a top-50 prospect coming out of high school and is the brother of former Florida State star Dalvin Cook.
But Cook was behind a loaded depth chart as a freshman and battled injuries as well. A lingering ankle injury slowed Cook at the beginning of spring camp.
“He’s not hitting his GPS marks that he was before. He’s not complaining a bit,” Smart said. “He was electric last year in practices and especially in fall camp. He’s just not 100 percent.”
Given the talk about Herrien, D’Andre Swift and Zamir White, it seems easy for Cook to get lost in the shuffle. But it’s important to note how well Cook played last August. If he can do so again — either through running the ball or showing off his abilities as a pass catcher — he can be yet another key weapon for the Georgia offense in 2019.
Wide receiver/tight end: Tyler Simmons, senior
Simmons is more than just a meme at this point. He showed off some big-play ability last season, as he finished with four touchdowns on 14 total touches a season ago.
Georgia has a number of holes to fill at the position this year, and many have already penciled in highly touted players like Dominick Blaylock, George Pickens and Demetris Robertson. But based off the spring game, Simmons seems pretty entrenched in his position, given that he was working as an outside receiver with the first-team offense.
Simmons has long been lauded for his ability as a blocker as well as his work on special teams. He might not be as high-profile as some of the other Georgia players given his recruiting status. But he was a one-time Alabama commit, which should count for something. And he’s shown — beyond just the one play that should’ve counted in the 2018 National Championship Game — that he’s the type of player capable of making winning plays.
Offensive line: Solomon Kindley, redshirt junior
Much like Simmons, Kindley wasn’t a mega-recruit. And given how well Georgia has recruited along the offensive line, it always seems like some want to push Kindley out of the way for some of the higher-rated prospects.
But that’s clearly not going to happen. Kindley started every game at left guard during the 2018 season. While Andrew Thomas missed time with injury, and it seemed almost like a revolving door at right guard due to injuries, Kindley was a rock for the Georgia offensive line.
When center Lamont Gaillard left the Kentucky game, the unit didn’t miss a beat as freshman Trey Hill took over. Kindley is a reason why the Bulldogs had the best rushing offense in the conference.
He’s heading into his redshirt junior year and he’s already racked up 21 career starts. He’s pretty clearly a very good player for the Georgia offensive line and someone who won’t be easy to replace should he have to exit a game with an injury.
Defensive line: Julian Rochester, senior
You could pick a number of candidates here. Most would say Tyler Clark given his performance in the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma. Some would say Malik Herring, given how he played against Florida and Georgia Tech last year.
But we’re going to say Rochester. He’s been a contributor for Georgia for his three seasons in Athens. He’s racked at least 20 tackles in every season. The knock against him is that his best statistical season though came as a freshman. He hasn’t developed in a star like some thought he could.
Factor in the fact that he was hurt this spring with a knee injury, and it’s easy to see why he’s been overlooked. But at the very least we know Rochester is going to be a solid contributor for the Bulldogs. And if Jordan Davis can continue to improve at nose tackle, it should make things much easy for Rochester as a senior.
Outside linebacker: Adam Anderson, sophomore
Part of the reason Anderson is underrated now is just how much talent Georgia has brought in at the outside linebacker position. A year ago, Anderson was the shiny new toy and the 5-star prospect many fans were excited to see. Now that mantle belongs to Nolan Smith. Factor in Jermaine Johnson and the improvements made by Azeez Ojulari this spring as well, and it’s easy to see why some of the shine has come off of Anderson.
Anderson was always going to have to change his body once he got to college, given his slender frame. But now with a full offseason in the Georgia weight program, he should be better acclimated for the rigors of college football.
And Anderson has enough athleticism to where he doesn’t need to be stationed on the line of scrimmage every play. Much like Leonard Floyd when he was at Georgia, Anderson has the ability to move around the Georgia defense and fill a variety of roles. That is something — at least right now — some of the other outside linebackers aren’t able to do.
Inside Linebacker: Monty Rice, junior
A number of Georgia fans have made the case that had D’Andre Walker not gotten hurt in the SEC Championship game, Georgia ends up winning the game. They’re not totally off base. But Georgia was also missing another linebacker that was crucial to its success in 2018 and that was Monty Rice.
Up through the UMass game, Rice was the team’s leading tackler. But he suffered a foot injury in pregame warmups and ended up missing that game, the Georgia Tech game and the Alabama game.
After spring practice, it was clear that freshman linebacker Nakobe Dean is a budding star. But we still shouldn’t overlook how well Rice played when healthy last season. While some have big expectations for Dean this season, it should be a shock to no one to see Rice have a better season than the freshman.
Defensive back: Eric Stokes, redshirt sophomore
This is one where the national perception will differ drastically from the local one. Georgia fans understand how good Stokes is, given how well he played once taking over for Tyson Campbell in the Auburn game.
Stokes had another strong spring and capped it off with a pick-6 on the opening drive on G-Day. Stokes likely won’t be a preseason All-SEC defensive back in the coming months, just given that he doesn’t have a ton of starts from last season. But he’s shown that he’s capable of playing with the best wide receivers in the conference.
But it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Stokes step right into Deandre Baker’s role and become a very, very good cornerback for the Bulldogs in 2019.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
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- Georgia freshman QB D’Wan Mathis in ICU, recovering from brain surgery on cyst
- No. 5 Diamond Dawgs digging the drama with another come-from-behind win vs. Arkansas
- Elite OL Sedrick Van Pran shares why Georgia cracked his final 8
- Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm named college football’s most irreplaceable player for 2019 season
- Details remain sketchy on Georgia Bulldogs’ new football facility
- Georgia commits make it very clear 5-star running back Kendall Milton is a top target
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) May 24, 2019
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— Southeastern Conference (@SEC) May 24, 2019
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— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 24, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
RT if Finn deserves the hot dog
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 24, 2019