ATHENS — Kirby Smart has seen eight Georgia players enter into the NCAA transfer portal this offseason.
Three of them 5-star recruits at one point in their careers, most recently OLB Brenton Cox now headed to Florida.
Those on the outside without knowledge of the UGA program might consider such attrition alarming.
But Smart and his No. 3-ranked football team are taking it in stride.
Georgia football is loaded with talent, and other players are eager to assume opportunities. Though, it’s worth noting none of the transfers were expected to play major roles this season.
Smart recently explained why the NCAA transfer portal effect on the competitive teams in the SEC would be relatively minimal.
“At our level in the SEC, I don’t think you’ll see a ton of kids going to the portal and coming to the SEC,” Smart said. “What you see is grad transfers. You see guys that graduate from their university and then have an opportunity to go anywhere they want, and they choose to come to the SEC.”
Indeed, the Bulldog added two grad transfers themselves at need positions, Miami WR Lawrence Cager and Tennessee TE Eli Wolf.
“You’ll probably be seeing more guys exiting through the portal than entering through the portal in the SEC,” Smart said.
“I think from the players’ perspective, the NCAA transfer portal makes it easier to initiate contact with other schools,” Smart said. “It allows you an easier pathway when sometimes that may not be the best thing. But the players have to decide that.”
At least three of the eight players who are in the process of transferring or have already left Georgia had been suspended or dismissed from the program.
The Bulldogs still have 20 players on their current roster who earned 5-star ratings during their prep careers, 14 of them via the universally recognized 247Sports Composite rankings.