At the start of every month, we take a look back at all that had transpired from the month before with what we loved and hated to see from the program. Think of this like winners and losers, only better.
You love to see it: Matt Luke’s recruiting chops
It seems like it happened ages ago, but the 2020 National Signing Day was in February. At the beginning of the month, there was much hemming and hawing about whether or not Georgia would hold on to 5-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones and the nation’s No. 1 center in Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.
The Bulldogs were able to do just that as Jones and Van Pran-Granger signed with Georgia. The Bulldogs also landed offensive lineman Cameron Kinnie, giving the Bulldogs seven offensive linemen in the 2020 class.
Georgia ended up with the No. 1 recruiting class for the 2020 recruiting cycle, and that wouldn’t have been possible without Luke. He retained all but one of the offensive line commitments from Sam Pittman while adding three other talented prospects.
And Luke has already made a big impression on some of the top 2021 offensive linemen, as Amarius Mims, Terrance Ferguson and Micah Morris have all taken visits to Georgia since Luke took over.
It seemed like it at the time given how Luke may now be overqualified to be an offensive line coach, but it seems like Kirby Smart couldn’t have done a better job in hiring a replacement for Pittman. The offensive line doesn’t look like it will be taking a step back at all under Luke’s guidance.
You hate to see it: Jake Fromm’s NFL combine showing
Of all the players with the most to show at the NFL combine this past week, no one had more at stake than Fromm. It’s a loaded year at the position, with guys like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert all looking like top-10 picks.
A strong showing for Fromm could show that he should be seen as a possible starter at the next level. But Fromm didn’t exactly have that. He was never going to blow anyone away physically but even he likely would’ve wanted to have had a better showing from a physical standpoint.
His hands measured in under nine inches, a red flag for quarterbacks. He also had the slowest 40-time of any quarterback. Neither of those are killers for Fromm, but they don’t exactly answer any of the questions that will still persist at the next level.
Fromm was always going to be impressive at the combine in the meetings and interviews with teams, something the media isn’t privy to. He very likely impressed some team with his knowledge of the game.
And he had pretty great retort when asked if he had any concerns about his hand size.
“It’s the same hands that went to three SEC Championships, a Rose Bowl, a national championship and some Sugar Bowls,” Fromm said. “So I think it’s played plenty of football and done well enough so far.”
You love to see it: Kirby Smart’s hiring skills
Georgia filled its final on-field coaching vacancy and Smart could not have landed a big name and mystery in the hiring of Scott Cochran. He was the long-time Alabama strength coach, as both he and Smart were on Nick Saban’s first staff at Alabama back in 2007.
The move comes as a critical blow to the Crimson Tide, as just about every player who has worked with Cochran raves about his personality and his importance to the program.
“He was a special guy. He doesn’t get as much credit as people give him,” Tagovailoa said. “He’s been the backbone for the organization at Alabama.
“It’s going to be hard. Alabama is definitely going to miss him.”
As for what he’ll bring to Georgia, Cochran will serve as the special teams coach. He also figures to be a real asset for the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail, given his ability to develop relationships with young people and his track record of developing elite high school players into NFL draft prospects.
His on-field value to Georgia will be worth monitoring, but given how the hirings of Dan Lanning, Todd Hartley and Charlton Warren have worked out so far, Smart’s track record has shown he knows what he is looking for in assistant coaches.
You hate to see it: Florida’s new tight ends coach
Florida hired a new tight ends coach in Tim Brewster. He has a reputation of being a strong recruiter but perhaps more interestingly Brewster has a history of creating drama and intrigue with some of his comments.
And it didn’t take long for Brewster to take his first shot at Kirby Smart and Georgia, as he recently made it a point to say that Florida is now going to start making things more difficult in the state of Florida for the Bulldogs.
Not really sure why Dan Mullen and company waited until year three to start doing that, but Brewster is likely going to continue to troll and tweak Georgia through Twitter given that helps drum up interest in what he and the Gators are doing.
Brewster has already picked up a commitment as the Gators landed 4-star prospect Gage Wilcox. And despite Georgia not showing a lot of recent interest in Wilcox, the Bulldogs were still one of his finalists, only for him to end up picking the Gators. This isn’t something that’s totally uncommon, as a number of Georgia 2020 signees did the same to Florida in the previous cycle.
Things figure to get a lot spicier on the recruiting trail between these two schools with Brewster now in the mix. But so long as Smart is still the head coach at Georgia and Mullen is still at Florida, the Bulldogs will likely always recruit better than the Gators.
You love to see it: Georgia football’s 2021 home opener
At the beginning of the month, Georgia was set to open the 2021 season against San Jose State at home. Now, the Bulldogs will be playing Clemson in Charlotte, N.C. It figures to be quite a contest when these two teams meet up for the first time since 2014.
This will be the first of six scheduled times the Bulldogs and Tigers meet during the regular season. Given both teams are annual title contenders that number might rise should these two teams meet in the College Football Playoff, something that could happen as soon as this coming season.
Dabo Swinney has said in the past that he’d like to see Georgia on the schedule every season. That might be unrealistic but it’s clear these two teams are going to be seeing each other quite a lot of the next couple of years. And college football will be better for it when these two titans meet.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Former Alabama All-American: Scott Cochran will ‘undoubtedly be successful’ as UGA assistant
- WATCH: D’Andre Swift step ahead of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel in NFL combine 40
- WATCH J.R. Reed: Georgia football defense won’t be ‘No-Name’ unit much longer
- Raneiria Dillworth: Hyperfast LB gears up for his first big visit to UGA
- Former Georgia football running backs on Zamir White: ‘He has to be ready to go early’
- Brian Herrien shares a perfect Nick Chubb story that captures Georgia football culture