Georgia running back Kendall Milton (2) celebrates his 11-yard touchdown run with offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) and offensive lineman Tate Ratledge (69) during the second quarter against the Ohio State in the Peach Bowl Playoff Semifinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Sat., Dec. 31, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 42-41. (Jason Getz /

Spring practice shows what most obvious strengths are for Georgia football

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Spring practice shows what most obvious strengths are for Georgia football

If you want to get a good idea about the two most obvious strengths on Georgia’s 2023 team, it’s perhaps best to look at the guys who aren’t expected to be starting.

Xavian Sorey was a 5-star linebacker prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Micah Morris and Dylan Fairchild were both top 100 overall prospects in the same recruiting class. All were expected to be big-time contributors for Georgia and could still end up being so.

That they aren’t right now isn’t so much a reflection of their abilities, but just how much talent Georgia has.

“Micah Morris and Dylan Fairchild are both really impressive right now. Jared Wilson,” offensive lineman Tate Ratledge said. “He’s an athlete. He’s physical. He’s smart. There’s a lot. Monroe [Freeling] came in. He’s athletic. He just shows how athletic he is. Of course, he’s got things to learn here and there just about college ball, but a lot of people have come in and started doing really well.”

Georgia brings back both starting linebackers in Smael Mondon and Jamon Dumas-Johnson. They each have All-American potential, should they continue to improve.

On the offensive line, Georgia does have to replace both its starting offensive tackles. In bringing back Xavier Truss, Sedrick Van Pran and Tate Ratledge — the starting left guard, center and right guard from the 2022 team — Georgia is still expected to have one of the best offensive lines in college football.

The Bulldogs do have their fair share of questions and those will need to be answered. Who starts at quarterback? Who replaces All-Americans Chris Smith and Jalen Carter? What does a Mike Bobo offense look like?

With both coming back, Trezmen Marshall elected to transfer to Alabama of all places for more playing time. He likely knew that Mondon and Dumas-Johnson were only going to get better with another offseason in front of them.

“I still feel like we’ve got a lot left to show,” Mondon said of himself and Dumas-Johnson. “You know, we’ve got a lot of room to grow still. We’re not really complacent or stuck on last season. We know we’ve still got a lot of room for improvement, so really just working on things like that.”

Getting strong play from the inside linebackers and offensive line in 2023 should also help ease some of the concerns at other positions. Defensively, Georgia may lean on the blitzing abilities of Mondon and Dumas-Johnson to make up for the youth at outside linebacker.

Smith and Dean both had over 6.0 sacks in their Butkus-winning seasons at Georgia. Mondon and Dumas-Johnson each picked up sacks in the win over Ohio State, showing they may have more defensive playmaking in them.

Related: Smael Mondon raves about CJ Allen, Raylen Wilson: ‘Everything you want in a linebacker’

The two also led Georgia in tackles last season.

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