Georgia football-offseason-winners-losers
041721 Athens: Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis gets his groove on during the G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in Athens. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”

Georgia football offseason winners and losers

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Georgia football offseason winners and losers entering 2021 season

The offseason officially ends this week for Georgia and football programs around the country as fall camp gets underway. With that in mind, let’s look back at some of the biggest storylines from the last seven months.

Winner: Georgia’s defensive line

The Bulldogs got big news back in January when they learned both Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt would be returning for another season with the program.

Add in that the Bulldogs also bring back former 5-star recruits in Travon Walker and Jalen Carter, the position quickly became Georgia’s biggest strength entering the 2021 season.

The unit shined in Georgia’s spring game, as Wyatt picked up 2.0 sacks and Walker grabbed one as well.

Davis enters the season as one of the faces of the program, as demonstrated by his appearance at SEC media days. The Bulldogs have to replace a lot of production at the outside linebacker spots. The defensive line seems poised to not just pick up the slack, but perhaps do even more for the Georgia defense.

“I feel like this time around I’m really taking my time this season and savoring the moment and enjoying and being grateful for the moment because not a lot of people can be in this position,” Davis said at SEC media days.

Related: Georgia’s Jordan Davis gets ‘riled up’ thinking about opening game with Clemson

Loser: Georgia Recruiting

Before you go overreacting to what I wrote, Georgia is still recruiting better than most programs in the country. The Bulldogs signed the No. 4 class in the 2021 cycle and currently sit with the No. 7 class for 2022.

But those following recruiting closely have to see that Georgia has taken a somewhat small step back. The No. 4 ranking for the 2021 cycle is the lowest-ranked class since 2016, which Smart put together in about two months.

As for the 2022 cycle, Georgia began the month of June with the No. 1 ranked class in the cycle. But de-commitments from Bear Alexander and Deyon Bouie hurt Georgia’s class. Since the return of visits, the Bulldogs have landed just two commitments in 4-star defensive back JaCorey Thomas and 4-star running back Branson Robinson.

Related: Branson Robinson commits to Georgia

The Bulldogs have time to trend back upwards in the 2022 recruiting cycle. They just need to demonstrate on-field success during this coming season to prove to recruits that they can in fact be an annual playoff contender.

Georgia has the same number of playoff appearances as Washington, Oregon, Florida State and Michigan State. The Bulldogs are easily better than those schools but at the end of the day Georgia needs to show on the field that it can get the most out of its talented recruits.

Specifically, at the edge and wide receiver positions, ass Georgia has missed on a number of top targets at those positions. Big seasons from Adam Anderson and Jermaine Burton would greatly impact Georgia on the recruiting trail.

Winner: Jahmile Addae

Most Georgia fans had no idea who Addae was at the start of the offseason. Now he’s the Georgia defensive backs coach, coming over from West Virginia.

Addae faces a monumental task in his first season, as Georgia must replace four defensive backs who were taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bulldogs also saw potential contributors Tyrique Stevenson and Major Burns transfer to other Power 5 programs.

Addae though was able to use the transfer portal to his advantage, bringing two experienced and talented contributors to help efforts in the defensive backfield. Tykee Smith, who played under Addae at West Virginia, announced in April he would be transferring to Georgia.