ATHENS — Everyone loves a winner, and the Georgia football 2021 season was the equivalent of a bull market.
Most everyone on the Bulldogs’ football team looked good and drew praise en route to the program capturing the CFP Championship.
Coach Kirby Smart has turned the page, however, and instructed his players to do the same.
RELATED: Honest takes on the G-Day Game, one quarterback looked better than the starter
The G-Day Game on Saturday at Sanford Stadium was an opportunity for the players to compete with one another and improve.
It was but one of 15 practices in the head coach’s eyes, but for many it was an opportunity to form opinions about which players are on the rise.
Here’s a look at the spring game stock report.
TE Arik Gilbert: The LSU transfer was targeted five times and caught three touchdown passes and drew two pass interference penalties. MVP of the G-Day Game, even if Smart said he missed a couple of run blocks.
WE Kearis Jackson: The fifth-year senior came back to have just this sort of impact, leading the receivers with 107 yards in catches including 42 yards after catch. Jackson also had a key catch to set up the game-winning field goal.
RB Kenny McIntosh: Bigger than James Cook, better vision than Zamir White, McIntosh had 4 catches for 48 yards and set the pace among backs with 4.2 lads per carry. Smart has identified McIntosh as a team leader.
DL Jalen Carter: Meet Georgia’s dominator, No. 88. The junior has been good since his freshman year, and he’s gotten better and has fewer defensive linemen to share the spotlight with. Carter’s hit on powerback Kendall Milton was a moment.
TE Oscar Delp: The incoming freshmen did his best Brock Bowers imitation with a game-high 7 catches and 26 glorious yards after the catch that saw him breaking tackles and running through defenders.
WR Arian Smith: Smith’s 60-yard catch from Carson Beck was a thing of beauty, reminding us Smith is more of a football player who has run track, rather than the other way around.
Reloaded defense: Georgia lost 10 of the 11 players on defense who started against Clemson, and yet it held the starting QB to 43 percent passing with two interceptions and limited the top two backs to 12 carries for 29 yards.
Carson Beck: The third-year quarterback looked most fluid among his QB peers and he was the first-half MVP with 13-of-21 passing for 246 yards with the second team against the second-team defense. Beck’s NFL prototype size and arm has its advantages.
Jamon Dumas-Johnson: Every time “Pop” takes the field he impressed, and Saturday was no exception as he recorded a team-high 7 tackles.
Kelee Ringo: Ringo’s cover skills have noticeably improved, and he’s still physical enough to make plays in run support. Ringo’s humble approach suits him well and will make him even more of a fan-favorite.
Daylen Everette: The freshman cornerback had five tackles and showed he could come up in run support. Everette was beat by Smith on a 60-yard bomb, but the fact he was in decent position against one of the fasted players in college football is impressive.
Daijun Edwards: Edwards doesn’t run like a reserve back, even if that’s the type of carries he gets. Edwards ability to juke Nyland Green in the open field was impressive, and he had 3 catches for 28 yards.
Stetson Bennett: There were some really nice throws, but a couple of bad decisions over the middle and 4 batted down balls. Bennett didn’t show the sort if improvement Smart indicated he had in other scrimmages that were closed to the public.
RELATED: Kirby says the team knows Stetson Bennett is the starter, not worried about bad stats
Jack Podlesny: Podlesny was 3-for4 on his field goal attempts with makes of 24, 28 and 33 and a near-miss from 48. Solid player, average day.
Christopher Smith: Returning team captain had 2 tackles but was a half-step late on a few plays, raising a suspicion that he’s not completely back to full speed.