georgia football-transfer portal-2023
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks during the Champions News Conference at the LA Airport Marriott, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Los Angeles, Ca. (Jason Getz /

What we learned about Georgia football in first transfer portal window

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What we learned about Georgia football in first transfer portal window

ATHENS — The dust on the transfer portal has settled, for now. The first transfer portal window closed on Wednesday, 45 days after it opened. In all, Georgia saw 10 players from its roster enter the portal.

The first to do so was Bill Norton, as he entered on Dec. 11. The last was AD Mitchell, who waited until the final day of the window to put his name into the transfer portal. Players can still find new homes but only those officially in the transfer portal can be contacted by others coaches.

Related: Georgia football 2023 roster tracker: Live updates on transfer portal, NFL draft decisions and coaching news

The transfer portal will reopen on May 1 so Georgia and other college programs will still have to contend with players coming and going later in the offseason. But for now, we have a better idea of where things stand with Georgia’s roster entering the offseason.

10 players enter the portal for Georgia football

Georgia saw 13 players enter the transfer portal last offseason. That the Bulldogs had double-digit players enter is not a surprise. When you have as many talented players as Georgia does and not all of them are getting playing time, you’re going to have players look elsewhere.

Three of the 10 players to enter the portal have already found new homes. Norton is with Arizona, tight end Brett Seither followed Buster Faulkner to Georgia Tech and MJ Sherman is now a Nebraska Cornhusker. Of the players who entered, only Norton and Gilbert elected to do so before Georgia wrapped up its season.

Georgia football players in the transfer portal

  • Bill Norton -- transferred to Arizona
  • Brett Seither -- transferred to Georgia Tech
  • MJ Sherman -- transferred to Nebraska
  • TE Arik Gilbert
  • TE Ryland Goede
  • CB Jaheim Singletary
  • LB Trezmen Marshall
  • WR Dominick Blaylock
  • WR AD Mitchell
  • OL Jacob Hood

The positions hit hardest were tight end and wide receiver. Neither should be that surprising, as the Bulldogs signed two tight ends in the 2023 recruiting cycle and are still recruiting Duce Robinson and Walker Lyons in the run-up to National Signing Day.

Related: Duce Robinson: How in the Todd Hartley did the ‘Dawgs become a strong contender for the 5-star TE?

The loss of Mitchell no doubt stings given his ability to make big plays for Georgia, while Blaylock was a beloved figure on the Georgia team. But Georgia prepared for life without both, as it signed three wide receivers in the 2023 cycle. Tyler Williams, Yazeed Haynes and Anthony Evans are all on campus already.

Georgia also went out and added two players of its own through the transfer portal. The Bulldogs landed Missouri wide receiver Dominic Lovett and Mississippi State wide receiver RaRa Thomas. The Bulldogs were proactive in doing so, landing both before either Mitchell or Blaylock entered the transfer portal.

Only two of the players in the transfer portal were in their first year in the program, with cornerback Jaheim Singletary and offensive lineman Jacob Hood leaving after signing as members of the 2022 signing class. Norton, Seither, Marshall, Goede and Blaylock signed as members of the 2019 class. Sherman was a 2020 signee, while Mitchell and Gilbert both joined Georgia before the 2021 season.

Chiefly, Georgia did not see any quarterbacks or running backs enter the transfer portal. Stetson Bennett and Kenny McIntosh will both move on to the NFL but Georgia is in a good depth standpoint for the time being. Singletary was the only defensive back to depart, while Sherman, Hood and Marshall were the lone players from their respective positions to transfer.

As for what Georgia football adds via the transfer portal

After not taking any players out of the transfer portal last offseason, Georgia added three this offseason. The additions of Lovett and Thomas have already been well-covered and will continue to do so so as spring practice approaches. With Mitchell, Blaylock and Kearis Jackson all departing the program, Georgia will need someone to replace their production.

Lovett and Thomas seem like prime candidates to do so.

“You really like the people that they are. They’re phenomenal people,” Georgia wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon said prior to the Peach Bowl. “They’ve done well and made plays and everything else in our conference playing against the same competition that we’re playing against. You know you can always judge what they’re doing vs. the level of competition that they’re going up against.”

The other transfer Georgia brought in is defensive back Smoke Bouie. While Lovett and Thomas are proven players at the SEC level — they each led their respective teams in receiving last year — Bouie played in only seven games for Texas A&M last season.

He was a one-time Georgia commit during the 2022 recruiting cycle, only for him to end up signing with Texas A&M.

Bouie is the rare example of a player Georgia missed on in recruiting but still believes in the long-term upside in he offers. The Bainbridge, Ga., native will have three years of eligibility remaining, looking to make the most out of his second chance.

Georgia did see Kelee Ringo and Chris Smith depart for the NFL draft. Bouie is not expected to be a cornerback for Georgia, as he is likely to slot into the star or safety roles. Georgia does bring back Javon Bullard and Malaki Starks. Bouie will have the chance to compete for a starting spot this spring, alongside Dan Jackson, Tykee Smith and David Daniel-Sisavanh. Georgia also signed safeties Joenel Aguero, Kyren Jones and Justyn Rhett in the 2023 signing class.

What comes next for Georgia football via the transfer portal

Georgia is likely to see more transfer portal movement come the May window. Last year, Georgia saw Tymon Mitchell transfer to TCU after the spring and he went on to become a key player for the Horned Frogs this past season.

Related: TCU defensive lineman Tymon Mitchell hopeful to win his second national championship against his old team

The Bulldogs also saw offensive tackle Amarius Mims briefly enter the portal before he elected to remain a member of the team. He is now expected to be one of Georgia’s starting offensive tackles next season.

For a program as big as Georgia, the goal won’t be to bring in more players than it loses. That is impossible at a place that places such an emphasis on high school recruiting.

The goal will be to retain your best players. For the most part, Georgia did that in this first window, knowing that some talented players are always going to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

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