Jump to content


Featured Entries

  • Will Morrison

    A Recap of UGA Baseball and Softball From This Weekend

    By Will Morrison

    Tony Baldwin and his UGA Softball team entered a three-game series with #15 LSU in Baton Rouge on a six-game winning streak but unfortunately couldn't keep it alive.  The Dawgs dropped two games out of three during the weekend. Georgia did win game one of the series 3-1, highlighted by a 3rd inning Sara Mosley home run, and then Dallis Goodnight and Jaiden Fields knocked in one run each in the 4th inning. Madison Kerpics was excellent on the mound allowing only one run through 6.2 innings p
  • Graham Coffey

    UGA RB Daijun Edwards Dealing With MCL Sprain

    By Graham Coffey

    DawgsCentral has learned that UGA RB Daijun Edwards suffered an MCL sprain to his knee in a recent practice. Sources are hopeful that Edwards can be ready for UGA’s opening game against UT-Martin on September 2nd, but the senior from Norman Park has not been participating in drills so far this week. Edwards was Georgia’s second leading rusher last year with 797 yards on 140 carries.  To put it mildly, UGA’s running back room has had a bad run of injury luck lately. Senior Ken
  • Graham Coffey

    Todd Monken Changed Georgia… But Kirby Smart Put The Plan in Motion

    By Graham Coffey

    Kirby Smart met with UGA donors last week at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte. A person who was in attendance shared some of the details from his remarks on DawgsCentral’s subscriber forum. Some of Smart’s remarks caused me to look back on how UGA got to the top of the sport. They also provided insight that made me see UGA’s offensive coordinator change in a new way…    There has been a fair amount of hand wringing amongst certain factions of the Georgia fan base since Todd Monke
  • Graham Coffey

    DawgsCentral Exclusive: Carter’s attorney says evidence disproves previous reports that Ex-UGA tackle fled scene

    By Graham Coffey

    DawgsCentral spoke to Jalen Carter’s attorney on Thursday afternoon in an effort to gain further clarity on the former UGA player’s actions in the moments after the tragic crash that took the lives of Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and Bulldogs recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy. His statements refuted reports that Carter fled the scene of the accident prior to the arrival of law enforcement and medical personnel.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first broke the news that Carter’s
  • Will Morrison

    COMMIT: 2024 4-Star OL Michael Uini Commits to UGA

    By Will Morrison

    Stacy Searels gets his third offensive lineman commit of the cycle, and it's the biggest one yet in 4-star Michael Uini.  The offensive line prospect is a 6'7" and 290-pound offensive tackle for Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas. He's rated as the #8 OT in the 2024 cycle and the #130 overall ranked recruit. For his high school, he lines up at left tackle.  Uini chose UGA over Michigan and Alabama. Georgia wasn't believed to be in the lead for getting the commitment of U

Alabama Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs (-5.5) vs The Alabama Crimson Tide 3:30 P.M. (EST) on CBS Broadcasters: Brad Nessler (Play by Play) and Gary Danielson (Color)   UGA UA Head Coach Kirby Smart Nick Saban Record at School 93-15 205-28 2023 Record

Alec Smith

Alec Smith in 2023-2024 Previews

Hoop Dawgs Rally From 17 Down to Beat Florida State

The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Tallahassee to take on the 4-1 Florida State Seminoles in the ACC vs. SEC Challenge. After winning last Friday against Winthrop, the Bulldogs were looking to gain some momentum.  Florida State jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead over the Dawgs, but they battled and entered the half down 25-21. Georgia struggled shooting the ball in the first half, as they only made 7 field goals and only 2 three-pointers. Their first-half field goal percentage was 29.2% (7/24),

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Previews Alabama in Monday Press Conference

Coach Smart met with the media today to talk about the game against Alabama in the SEC Championship this Saturday. His quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: We got to get started yesterday on Alabama and putting the last game out of the way and get a little bit of a head start on these guys today.  On Jalen Milroe: He is a tremendous football player. I didn't really know until I got further into the games and watching him last night how good he really is at what he does. I think any

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Press Conference Notes Following A 31-23 Win Over Georgia Tech

Coach Smart met with the media following a 31-23 win over Georgia Tech last night. His quotes are in italics.  Opening Remarks: Great atmosphere for college football. It was a lot of fun having that kind of atmosphere. I think our kids really enjoyed it. Our fans showed up and did a great job... Made it feel like it was 50/50 out there with our fans. A lot of credit to Georgia Tech. They did a really good job, played hard, and played physically. I thought Buster and his staff did a great jo

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Recapping Georgia's Week on the Hardwood

The Hoop Dawgs have taken the court twice since last Saturday's game against Miami.  Georgia played against Providence in the loser's game of the Bahamas Championship. The Bulldogs held a 2-point halftime lead in that game but fell behind and couldn't regain it as they lost 71-64. They shot 38.1% (24/63) from the field and 31.6% (6/19) from the three-point line. The Dawgs shot well from the line, knocking down 10 of the 12 shots they took. 4 out of 5 starters for Providence were in double f

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Gives Promising Injury Updates on Key Bulldogs During Monday Press Conference

Opening Remarks: We're on to Georgia Tech and excited for the prep. I love rivalry week across the country. What makes college football really special to me is all the rivalries you get to watch this week. Very unique week...timing wise. A lot of distractions with Thanksgiving going on. Those are good distractions, but they're different. How you manage that and how you deal with that is important. A lot of respect for Brent Key and his staff. I've known Brent a long time; he played at Tech when

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Press Conference Notes Following A 38-10 Win Over Tennessee

Coach Smart met with the media following a 38-10 win over Tennessee. His quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: I'm really proud of our resiliency...You know the kids did a great job. They knew it would be a tough environment. They responded to a not so great start, and we continued to improve and get better. I can't say enough good things for our offensive staff and our offensive game planning. Our kids buy in each week to the plan, and they get better each week. All we're trying to do i

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Hoop Dawgs Lose 79-68 to Miami

Mike White and the Georgia Bulldogs flew down to the Bahamas to compete in the Bahamas Championship Tournament. The tournament includes Miami, Providence, and Kansas State.  The Bulldogs started the game against Miami great. They held an 8-point lead over the Hurricanes with 11 minutes left to go in the half due to Blue Cain scoring 7 straight points. Miami then came firing back to close the Georgia lead and then grew a 10-point lead of their own with just over 2 minutes to play. That lead

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Tennessee Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs (-10.5) at The Tennessee Volunteers 3:30 P.M. (EST) on CBS Broadcasters: Brad Nessler (Play by Play) and Gary Danielson (Color)   UGA UT Head Coach Kirby Smart Josh Heupel Record at School 91-15 18-8 2023 Record

Alec Smith

Alec Smith in 2023-2024 Previews

COMMIT: Dawgs Flip 4-Star Nasir Johnson Away From Florida

The University of Georgia has flipped their second commit away from the Florida Gators, as this time they snag 4-star DL Nasir Johnson.  Johnson is a 6'5" and 300-pound defensive lineman out of Dublin, Georgia. He's rated as the 208th overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting cycle. As a junior, he played both ways for Dublin. On offense, he lined up at right tackle, and on defense, he lined up on the interior DL. He also does some field events in track, placing 4th in shotput and 5th in disc

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Commitment

Kirby Smart Speaks on Mike Bobo During Tuesday Press Confernceo

It was a rather short press conference from Kirby today, but he did highlight the play-calling of Mike Bobo. It doesn't seem like the Bulldogs had a good Bloody Tuesday practice.  On Simulating Pace in Practice: I don't think you can simulate their pace. They're really good at what they do. They're fast at what they do. We try to, but I don't really delve into how we practice publicly. We keep that in-house, but it is tough to simulate.  On Amarius Mims: He's looked good. Played good.

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Read Kirby Smart's Monday Press Conference Notes

Kirby Smart met with the media this afternoon to talk about the Tennessee game and give some injury updates. As always, his quotes are italicized.  Opening Remarks: We're on to Tennessee. You know it's a really difficult prep week. It's probably the hardest one of the year in terms of trying to replicate what they do. They do a tremendous job stressing you in all phases. They've always been good with Josh in terms of offense, but I think you know what they've been able to do defensively thi

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Game Recap: Georgia Beats NC Central 64-54

Georgia hit the floor this afternoon to play their second game in three days as they took on NC Central.  The Bulldogs didn't look like the same Georgia team that played this past Friday against Wake Forest. At the break, UGA only led 27-23. The Dawgs shot 36.4% (8/22) from the floor and was only 16.7% (1/6) from three. They let the first-half turnover bug from the season opener creep back in as they had 7 turnovers. Georgia was exceptional at the charity stripe, as they went 91% from the l

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Speaks on Brock Bowers in Post Game Press Confernce

Kirby Smart met with the media tonight following a 52-17 win over Ole Miss.  Opening Remarks: I think we had 31 guys walk out there tonight that are all different ages and have been 4 or 5 years. There were a lot of walk-ons that don't get a lot of credit that got to go out there tonight. Just a lot of guys that give their bodies, time, and effort. I think we have one of the best scout teams in the country. Of those 31 guys, I'm sure there are 16 or 17 that practice every day for 4 or 5 yea

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Basketball Bulldogs Win Home Opener 80-77 Over Wake Forest

The Bulldogs returned to Stegman Coliseum for their home opener against Wake Forest. After suffering a loss to Oregon in the season opener, the Dawgs were looking to get in the win column.  Georgia played a phenomenal first half, as they led 40-36 going into the break. Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Noah Thomasson led the Bulldogs, as the two combined for 18 first-half points. A reason for UGA's struggles against Oregon was due to turning the basketball over. Well, the Bulldogs cleaned that up in th

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

My God a Podcast! Clocking in with Ladd McConkey

Jim and John Clock In with Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey. Special thanks to AXIA Time and Classic City Collective for making this episode possible. Find out more about the limited edition timepieces with a presentation box signed by Kirby Smart at axiatime.com.   Need help with your online presence? Check out Working Web Media!

Jim Wood

Jim Wood in Podcasts & Shows

Ole Miss Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs (-10.5) vs. The Mississippi Rebels Saturday, November 11th, 2023 Kickoff: 7:00 PM (EST) on ESPN   UGA OM Head Coach Kirby Smart Lane Kiffin Current Record 9-0 8-1 Record at School 90-15

Alec Smith

Alec Smith in 2023-2024 Previews

Read Kirby Smart's Tuesday Press Conference Notes

Coach Smart met with the media this afternoon following Tuesday's practice. He spoke more on Ole Miss and gave an update on Brock Bowers. Smart's quotes are in italics.  On Practice So Far This Week: It's been good. They've had two good days. Intro to Ole Miss yesterday and some red area downs today. We'll do some more red area and third down tomorrow. They've been locked in. It's a tough prep because they do a lot of different things offensively and create a lot of problems on defense. The

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Georgia Basketball Drops Season Opener to Oregon 82-71

Mike White and the Georgia Bulldogs returned to the hardwood today for their season opener against Oregon. Let's recap the game. The Bulldogs opened this game very sloppy. The team was taking good shots, but they weren't finding the bottom of the net. They started the game 3/17 from the field and found themselves down 17 points. Georgia found some rhythm mid-way through the half and was able to claw themselves back into the game. Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Blue Cain led the comeback for the Dawg

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Previews the Ole Miss Game in Monday Media Session

Kirby met with the media today to start previewing the Ole Miss game and give injury updates on Brock Bowers and Juman Dumas-Johnson. His quotes are in italics.  Opening Remarks: Ole Miss has a really good football team. They've improved...If you watch the game tape throughout the year, they've improved with every game. They've played a tremendous schedule...some really tough teams they've played on their schedule. Lane's done a great job with this program and his team. Great staff. They've

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

Georgia Basketball Season Preview

Mike White and the Georgia Bulldogs make their return to the hardwood tonight with a game against Oregon in Las Vegas. Last season, the Dawgs posted a 16-15 record in White’s first year as the head ball coach and will look to improve on that record.              There has been some roster turnover since last season, but the Bulldogs are in a good spot. The biggest departures from last year’s squad are guards Terry Roberts and Kario Oquendo, and center Braelen Bridges. Roberts was the main b

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in UGA BASKETBALL

Kirby Smart Gives UGA Injury Updates in Post Game Press Confernce

Kirby Smart met with the media Saturday night following a 30-21 win over Missouri. As always, his quotes are in italics.  Opening Remarks: I'm proud of our players. I think we've built a group of men and a team that know how to play with resiliency and composure. Really, we talked all week about discipline to execute in crunch time...They did that. I thought that our first three points came from them jumping offside, and our kids were disciplined enough to stay onside. We stole a drive ther

Will Morrison

Will Morrison in Press Conference

  • Dawgs Central Blogs

    1. Alec Smith
      Latest Entry

      The Georgia Bulldogs (-5.5) vs The Alabama Crimson Tide

      3:30 P.M. (EST) on CBS

      Broadcasters: Brad Nessler (Play by Play) and Gary Danielson (Color)




      Head Coach

      Kirby Smart

      Nick Saban

      Record at School



      2023 Record

      12-0 (8-0)

      11-1 (8-0)


      36-0 in three consecutive regular seasons… my friends, do not forget to relish in these times. 29 wins in a row (SEC Record), 25 players selected in the ’22 and ’23 NFL Drafts, two national championships, All-Americans, award winners, the list goes on. In a time of college football where competition has never been so good and where roster maintenance has never been so difficult, Kirby Smart has built a self-sustaining ecosystem in Athens. The likes of Smart’s immediate success are uber rare and they should be marveled at by Georgia and college football fans alike.

      It is very important to realize that we are currently in The Golden Days of Dawg football, but this dynasty has been built upon forward thinking and the refusal of complacency. Ahead lies #8 Alabama and a trip to the College Football Playoff. In my opinion, no conference will get two teams in the playoffs, meaning this would be a de facto elimination game for the two SEC giants. This matchup has played host to so many classic finishes, and I think we are in for another knife fight on Saturday. Here are some of my insights on The SEC Championship Game.

      Alabama Offense

      No need to beat around the bush, I see Jalen Milroe’s legs as the biggest threat on this offensive unit. He has 126 gives for 439 yards, which only comes out to a YPC of 3.5, but Jalen has 12 TDs on the ground. He’s averaging 229.6 yards per game through the air with 21 TDs, 6 INTs, and a completion percentage of 66.4%. The Bama RB’s do get their share of the pie, with Jase McClellan leading the team with 166 attempts, 803 yards, and 6 TDs. Roydell Williams rounds out the main ball carriers with 94 touches for 497 yards and 4 touchdowns. My take on Milroe as a quarterback is that he is a pocket passer by nature but possesses the speed to cause a lot of issues. He also throws the deep ball up there with the best in football (97.9 Grade on throws of 20+), and he excels off play action. Despite my singing his praises, there are weak areas to exploit. Jalen’s PFF Passing Grade goes from an 87.8 off play action, to a 78.8 mark on straight drops. His Pass Grade goes from a 91.6 to a 51.2 on plays when kept clean vs. under pressure. Milroe also seems to struggle on intermediate throws, especially between the hashes. Of 22 attempts on intermediate throws over the middle, Jalen has a grade of 43.9, 50% CMP, and 3 TDs to 3 INTs. For comparison, Carson Beck has a 93.8 grade and a 74.1% CMP in the same area. Another comforting stat is that Milroe has only thrown the ball >30 times once this year against Texas A&M. His second most attempts in a game came against Texas where his stat line was 14-27 for 255 and 2-2. In summary, I believe Alabama will be able to put up some rushing yardage. I also feel as if Georgia can give up 150+ on the ground and still win this game comfortably. The Dawg offense itself will score some points, and I do not have a ton of faith in Milroe beating us with his arm. Kamari Lassiter has turned into a true lockdown corner that will erase whoever he is guarding. Starks and Bullard are the best safety combo in the country and rarely get beat deep.

      According to Alabama sources, lead back Jase McClellan has missed practice for the first half of this week with a lingering foot injury. It is up in the air whether he will suit up on Saturday, and that would put the bulk of the carries on Roydell Williams/ Milroe.

      Moving on to the offensive line, they have greatly improved as the season progressed. The Tide rank T-113th in the nation with 39 sacks allowed on the year, an average of 3.25 per game. UGA is T-64th with 25 team sacks, along with being T-98th in TFL with 5.0 per game. 26 of the 34 sacks on Milroe came in Alabama’s first six games, while they haven’t allowed more than three in a game since week 8. Here are some grades and rankings for the Tide O-line:








      Kadyn Proctor

      Tyler Booker

      Seth McLaughlin

      Jaeden Roberts

      JC Latham

      PFF Grade






      Natl. Rank







      Does anything stick out there? Kadyn Proctor came in as the #1 OT in the 2023 class and has been starting since day one for UA. Proctor is a great athlete and a physical run blocker, but he struggles against twitchy pass rushers. I would keep an eye… maybe two eyes on whoever the Dawgs have lined up over the young LT. McLaughlin at Center is another solid run blocker who struggles with speed rushing. The Dawgs front seven must take advantage of these weak spots and keep pressure on the QB.

      You may have noticed that I am just now getting around to discussing Alabama’s WR room, which is an anomaly compared to past UA teams that UGA has faced. Isaiah Bond is their leading receiver with 39 catches for 542 yards and 4 TDs. Former Bulldog Jermaine Burton is the deep threat out of the group averaging 22.7 yards per catch on 33 receptions, while also sporting 7 TDs. From there, the Tide do not have another player with more than 18 catches.

      Alabama Defense

      Keeping up with traditions, Alabama is still running a 3-4 multiple defense. UA is T-9th nationally with 3.0 sacks per game and 33rd with 6.3 TFL per game. Rather than Bama having their one dominant edge rusher, Dallas Turner, Chris Braswell, and Justin Eboigbe all have at least 6 sacks and 10 TFL a piece. Another former Dawg, Trezman Marshall, has been instrumental for the Bama defense at the ILB position. The unit as a whole ranks 17th in yards allowed with 312.7, and they are sitting at 14th in the nation with 17.9 PPGa.

      UA’s defense has given up 20+ points in 7 contests this season. The most points allowed came in their week two loss to Texas. Here is what the Longhorns did right: Quinn Ewers went 24/38 for 349 yards and 3 TDs with no INTs. Texas had zero turnovers and put up 454 yards of offense with a middling run game. Bama had a very difficult time covering Texas’s TE Ja’Tavion Sanders who had 5 catches for 114 yards. If only there was a mismatch nightmare of a TE in red and black that we could utilize! Brock Bowers is undoubtedly still not at 100%, but I see very few scenarios where he stands on the sideline watching this game. Bowers is a competitor of the highest order, and I expect that he’ll be chomping at the bit to make an impact in this game.

      Quinn Ewers averaged 14.5 yards per completion with 4 connections of 30+ yards, but a lot of damage was dealt on the perimeter with swing, bubble, and tunnel screens. Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry are two of the better cover corners in the country, but they seemed to struggle with coming up and making tackles in the flat against Texas. Let it be known that it caused me physical pain to type out Kool-Aid in a serious manner. Another true freshman starting for the Tide, Caleb Downs is their leading tackler from the safety position. An elite run defender and hardnosed tackler, Downs has made an immediate impact; however, he has been known to get beat deep against good route runners. If McConkey or Lovett get matched up on Downs 1v1, watch out!

      Regarding the interior defensive line, Bama is missing their game wrecker that we have seen in the past. In fact, the Tide do not have one IDL defender ranked in the top 100 according to PFF. UA is 33rd in the country in rush yards allowed per game, and they gave up 244 on the ground against Auburn last week. Only 57 yards of that 244 total came from Auburn’s QB. I see Edwards and Milton having a big game on Saturday behind a proven and experienced Georgia Oline. Assuming Ratledge is ready to go, the Dawgs will have their entire offensive line back together for the first time in several weeks.


      For the first time out of the past several matchups between Georgia and Alabama, I believe that UGA has the advantage at quarterback. Carson Beck has shown tremendous growth as the season has gone on, and Mike Bobo has schemed perfectly to Beck’s strengths. This game hinges on the Dawgs’ ability to respond to adversity. We saw them do it against South Carolina, Auburn, and Missouri this year. Can UGA respond if they go down two touchdowns? Can they maintain composure if they go up two touchdowns? I believe the answer to both is yes. This Bulldog offense is arguably going to be the most well-rounded unit that Alabama has seen all year. Georgia’s defense has been porous at times, but they have always turned their nose up when it counts. I am expecting a lot of points. I am expecting for this game to be decided in the fourth quarter. My final prediction is 41-31 GEORGIA.

    2. The Georgia Bulldogs traveled to Tallahassee to take on the 4-1 Florida State Seminoles in the ACC vs. SEC Challenge. After winning last Friday against Winthrop, the Bulldogs were looking to gain some momentum. 

      Florida State jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead over the Dawgs, but they battled and entered the half down 25-21. Georgia struggled shooting the ball in the first half, as they only made 7 field goals and only 2 three-pointers. Their first-half field goal percentage was 29.2% (7/24), and their three-point percentage was 22.2% (2/9). The Bulldogs were playing a good Florida State team close, and it was time to see if they could keep it up in the second half. 

      Georgia opened the half on a good note as they were able to battle and tie the game at 37 with over 12 minutes remaining. Then, the Bulldogs fell apart, as in the next 6 minutes, the Seminoles grew a 17-point lead. With 7:22 remaining on the clock, the Dawgs had just a 0.6% chance of coming back and winning the game. In years past, this is when you could chalk this game up as a loss, but since Mike White has taken over, Georgia should never be counted out. The Bulldogs rallied back, and the game was tied at 66 with just 27 seconds left to go. Out of a timeout, Justin Hill called an ISO and went to work. With 1 second to go, Hill hit a mid-range step-back jumper to secure a 68-66 win for the Bulldogs. They ended the game on a 22-5 scoring run. UGA finished the game shooting 40.0% (22/55) from the floor and 32.0% (8/25) from three. The Seminoles shot 34.4% (22/64) from the field and 36.4% (8/22) from behind the arc. The Bulldogs did give up 13 offensive rebounds, but UGA's 7-footer Russel Tchewa was ejected in the first half. Georgia had 10 turnovers to Florida State's 9, but FSU's were more costly, as 4 came in the last 3 minutes of the game and fueled the Bulldog's comeback. Their percentage from the charity stripe was 61.5%, making 16 of 26 shots. Georgia went on the road against a good Seminole team, missed 10 free throws, and somehow came out with the win. 

      Four Dawgs scored in double figures in this game. Silas Demary Jr. led the Bulldogs with 15 points and also added 5 rebounds as well. The freshman guard made big shots for Georgia down the stretch. Jabri Abdur-Rahim did what he does best, and that's shooting the ball from the deep. He connected on 4 of the 7 attempts he took from behind the arc for 12 points. RJ Melendez and Justin Hill came off the bench for UGA and combined for 25 points. Melendez finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds, which was his second career double-double. Justin Hill added 13 points, with the biggest being the jumper to give the Bulldogs the win. 

      This is easily Mike White's best win in his tenure at UGA so far and one of the biggest wins for the program in the past few years. Georgia's record goes to 4-3, and they're currently on a 2-game winning streak. They will look to extend that on Friday night versus Mercer at 7:00 PM EST. That game will be shown on ESPN+/SECN+. 

      Stay tuned to DawgsCentral for all things UGA Athletics. 

      Photo Courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

    3. I did the offensive breakdown back in November, and man has a shit ton happened since. Some of it was wonderful (back-to-back titles), and some of it was gut wrenchingly sad. I did not know Chandler Lecroy or Devin Willock personally, but that tragedy did hit close to home for me as I'm sure it did many of you. Chandler and I were from the same small town of Toccoa, Georgia. Suffice it to say we have a lot of mutual connections despite the fact that I’m more than a decade older than her. Devin was of course a key contributor on the field for the Georgia football program that I'm highly invested in both financially and otherwise. He was a young man with NFL potential and he was a valued part of the current Georgia football brotherhood. Their loss has shaken the program, and really can't be overstated. That has nothing to do with the defensive depth chart, but I just felt I should mention it. They both deserve more of a tribute than I could write about them so I'll leave it at that.

      Hours before the tragedy we litigated whether Stetson Bennett has earned the right to act like a dickhead during parades (he has), and since then he has been arrested for the horrific crime of knocking on doors after drinking a few beers. We also dove headlong back into the sophomoric DGD debate (of which I was a full participant) amidst AD Mitchell’s departure for Texas. In the months to come we'll see if any more players (or coaches) end up in the portal. Namely, whether Todd Monken heads back to the NFL.

      On to the 2023 defense. My goal is to project what the defense will look like next fall. As with the post about the offense I'll make some guesses regarding post spring transfer candidates. We've already seen the first wave of transfers leave and everyone entering the NFL draft has been announced. There will undoubtedly be changes over the next few months, but as things stand now this is what we're looking at for the 2023 defense


      Some interesting nuggets courtesy of Josh @DawgStats Hancher, Georgia 2023 returners accounted for 7,268 defensive snaps during the 2022 championship run. That’s a 50.4% increase compared to the 4,831 defensive snaps that returned from 2021 to 2022. Not only that, but Georgia’s 2023 returners also accounted for 2,356 of the defensive snaps during the 2021 championship run.

      The obvious translation here is that Georgia’s 2023 defense will be significantly more experienced headed into the opener than they were in 2022. 19 returning defenders played 100+ snaps in 2022, 12 played 200+ snaps, 8 played 400+ snaps, 5 played 600+ snaps, and 2 played over 800 snaps. Those two being first year starters Kamari Lassiter and Malaki Starks. Chew on that while we get into the breakdown. 


      As expected, Jalen Carter has declared for the NFL draft while Bill Norton entered the portal and already landed at Arizona. Using 704's scholarship distribution chart we find that Georgia is returning experience at all three line spots along the defensive front. Pretty much all of these players line up at multiple positions depending on game situation, defensive call, and the other personnel in the game. Additionally, Georgia often uses outside linebackers as down linemen when they go to a four man front.

      That said this is how I see things shaking out. Warren Brinson and Nazir Stackhouse headline this position group when it comes to the combination of snaps played and ability to impact the game. You can list Zion Logue and Tramel Walthour in that same breath. All four will be seniors in 2023, but I expect Brinson and Stackhouse to anchor this group and step into more prominent leadership roles.

      There is also the potential we see the emergence of two young superstars here. Bear Alexander and Mykel Williams are rising sophomores and both showed flashes of dominance in their true freshman seasons. Williams, for his part, led the team in sacks from his defensive end spot with 4.5 to go along with 6.5 tackles for loss. Alexander added 2 sacks of his own from the interior to go along with 2 pass deflections, which was the most among defensive linemen not named Jalen Carter.

      Another name to watch on this front will be redshirt sophomore, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, who had an up and down season in 2022. He had a big fumble recovery against Tennessee, but it will be interesting to see which way spring practice breaks for him. He has shown in spurts that he can be an impact player, but consistency hasn't been there thus far.

      Jonathan Jefferson, also a redshirt sophomore, has seen very little action during his time in Athens. This could be a make or break spring for him as well. Right on their heels will be rising sophomores such as Shone Washington, Christen Miller, and Carlton Madden. Miller will be going through his first spring practice in Athens. I didn't include the 2023 class in the offensive projections, but early enrollee, Jamaal Jarrett, will look to get a jumpstart with this group in the spring. Fellow interior lineman Jordan Hall will join Jarrett this summer as will edge players Damon Wilson, and Samuel M'Pemba. 



      Nobody from this group is headed to the NFL, but Trezman Marshall leaving for Alabama wasn’t on my transfer portal bingo card. It does make sense for him, a rising senior who has been plagued by injury throughout his career. Marshall was passed over on the depth chart by two younger guys, Smael Mondon Jr. and Jamon Dumas-Johnson. Joining a lesser defense in what has perhaps become the weaker division in the SEC will give Marshall a chance to showcase himself to scouts at the next level. He was probably the best pass coverage linebacker for Georgia in 2022, but I expect Mondon and Dumas-Johnson to take big steps forward next fall. They were #1 and #2 on the team in tackles as true sophomores last season.

      Mondon is the freakier athlete of the two and was the higher ranked prospect, but Dumas-Johnson adjusted quicker to playing SEC football. He acquired the nickname “Pop” during his freshman season as a result of his hard hitting style of play, and he stood out among the reserves at the end of games in 2021. Pass coverage has not been a strength for him and he will likely need to take a step forward in that respect with Marshall leaving.

      Rian Davis will be one to watch during the spring. Another rising senior with a history of injuries, Davis finally got a chance to play meaningful snaps in 2022. It seemed as if the coaches began to trust him more as the season progressed. With just 15 tackles on the season, his numbers don’t jump off the page, but he proved to me he belonged when he shucked off a blocker and came up with a big 4th down sack against Tennessee that essentially ended the game. He’ll have an opportunity to solidify himself in the lineup this spring.

      Xavian Sorey Jr. going into his third season will be an intriguing case this spring as well. Heralded as a freak athlete, but not the most physical tackler, Sorey was the highest ranked defender in Georgia’s 2021 recruiting class (slightly ahead of Mondon), but to this point he hasn’t made his way into the rotation. He’ll have a chance to make a move this offseason, and he is also a guy who has cross trained with the outside linebackers.

      Jalon Walker made his presence felt as a pass rusher during his freshman campaign and is another guy who can play both inside and outside. He was on the field for some of the most key defensive possessions for Georgia last season, specifically against Ohio State in what turned out to be Georgia’s toughest test. It shows a lot of trust to put a true freshman in those spots. EJ Lightsey is another second year player. Lightsey recorded just 3 tackles during his first season, but he also had to recover from a scary shooting incident last offseason.

      As for incoming freshmen, Georgia may have signed their best inside linebacker class of the Kirby Smart era this cycle. Raylen Wilson, CJ Allen and Troy Bowles will look to hit the ground running and any one of them could turn into an immediate impact player. Allen, out of Barnesville, Georgia, joined the team during playoff prep and was praised by Smart for the looks he gave on the scout team. He and Wilson are both early enrollees and will go through spring, while Bowles will join the team this summer. Bowles is the son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach, and former NFL player, Todd Bowles. If any player can compete for early playing time  without participating in spring practice it might be Bowles, given the household he grew up in.   


      This group is losing two long time contributors in Robert Beal and Nolan Smith. Beal just finished his super senior season. After leading the team in sacks during the 2021 championship run, he never fully developed into a game changing pass rusher, but Beal provided experience and reliability to the edge of the line of scrimmage for Georgia. Meanwhile, Smith had his season cut short when he tore his pectoral muscle against Florida, but this young man was second to nobody on this roster in the leadership department. While Smith was in the running to lead the team in sacks, pass rushing was never really his strong suit either. However, the former #1 overall recruit more than made up for that as an elite run stopper who made big plays in big games (see Florida 2021). The lasting memory I will have of Smith is his sack against Bryce Young that ended the 2021 national championship game. Smith will be on an NFL roster next season, it’s just a matter of where he gets drafted, and I believe Beal will get a shot in the league as well.

      Rising senior MJ Sherman (aka not Will Anderson, thanks Dan Lanning) had yet to make an impact on the field in his three seasons, and he wasn’t expected to be more than a special teams player going forward, as such he has transferred to Nebraska. That makes Chaz Chambliss the elder statesman at this position. Chambliss will be a junior in 2023. He took his lumps when he stepped in to replace the injured Nolan Smith, but as the season progressed it became clear that the coaches trusted him. There are more talented players behind him, but I believe his big game experience will allow Chambliss to remain a part of the rotation even if he gets passed over as a starter.

      NFL legacy, Marvin Jones Jr. will have an opportunity to make strides this spring. Jones was another true freshman who was on the field in 2022 during big moments for his pass rushing ability. Another rising sophomore, Darris Smith, is a freak athlete in his own right. He showed off his vertical leap on the Ohio State game sealing missed field goal. If the kick was straight there is a good chance Smith could have gotten a hand on it. I personally watched him smoke kids half his size in the 400 meters at the GHSA track and field state championships, for which he came in first place at 6’6, 230 lbs. Elite recruit, Gabe Harris, will also be joining this group as an early enrollee this spring. And as previously stated don’t be surprised if Jalon Walker or Xavian Sorey end up contributing here.



      The loss of Chris Smith here can’t be overstated. He might not flash at a combine, but his ability to find the football and make plays were irreplaceable during Georgia’s back-to-back championship runs. A 5th year senior, Smith outlasted several more highly ranked guys before finally winning the starting job, and I expect we will see him on an NFL roster this fall.

      Dan Jackson should be back healthy soon. Jackson had his 2022 season cut short after an October foot injury required surgery. Jackson, a heavy hitting walk-on out of Gainesville, Georgia, isn’t on 704’s scholarship count, but he is a key contributor in the defensive backfield. In 2021 I felt he was a liability when Georgia faced elite passing attacks like Alabama, but he was beginning to win me over in that respect last fall. Jackson showed notable progression in Columbia, when he ripped an interception away from a South Carolina receiver.

      When you’re talking about elite talent on Georgia’s defense, Malaki Starks is at the top of that list. There aren’t many true freshmen who can come in and start at safety (or any position) for a defending national championship program, but Starks did just that. His interception in the opener against Oregon was one of the most memorable plays of the 2022 season. He did have some costly coverage busts as the season progressed. Those will need to get cleaned up, but this kid is an absolute playmaker.

      David Daniel-Sisavanh will be a junior. He’s a heavy hitter in his own right, but has shown a propensity to struggle in coverage. He was a spot duty reserve in 2022 and found himself playing meaningful snaps in certain packages. Former blue chip recruit, Smoke Bouie, has transferred back home to Georgia after one season at Texas A&M. The Bainbridge native is expected to be a major factor at safety.

      Jacorey Thomas will be a second year player also looking to make a move in the offseason, and 2023 blue chip signee Joenel Aguero has enrolled early and will also participate this spring. I wouldn’t discount the possibility of veterans like Tykee Smith or Javon Bullard making a move from star to safety either if the staff deems it necessary. We’ll get to them in the next section.


      Javon Bullard was a 2021, 3 star recruit out of Milledgeville, Georgia. He played sparingly during his 2021 freshman campaign, but since then has taken the reigns at the star position and was the defensive MVP of both the Peach Bowl and the 2022-23 National Championship Game. 2023 could be his last season in college, and as previously mentioned I wouldn’t rule out a potential move to safety.

      Tykee Smith will be a senior this fall, the former All-American has struggled with injuries since arriving in Athens after transferring from West Virginia, but coaches put him on the field when he’s healthy. He was brought in as a star, but could also be a candidate at safety.

      UGA legacy Marcus Washington Jr. graduated high school early and reclassified to join the 2022 class. He will have a shot to earn some playing time at star as well as on the outside at corner. 704 has 2023 defensive back signee, Justyn Rhett, listed at this position as well. Rhett won’t be with the program during spring practice so he’ll have an uphill battle to earn early playing time as a freshman. Given the sheer number of outside corners on the roster there will likely be a good deal of cross training at star.


      Kelee Ringo is moving on to the NFL after a stellar career featuring various degrees of consistency. While 2022, 5 star signee, and Young Thug look alike, Jaheim (we hardly knew ye) Singletary has entered the transfer portal after just one season where he recorded no stats and only saw action in 2 games.

      Rising junior, Kamari Lassiter will be the returning headliner at corner. Lassiter was one of Georgia's most consistent defensive backs in 2022 and he will look to build on that success in what will likely be his last college season. He recorded no interceptions in 2022, but he had 4 pass deflections which is second only to Malaki Starks among Georgia’s returning roster.

      Across from Lassiter, sophomores, Nyland Green and Daylen Everette are the top candidates to start. It seemed that Everette had the edge on the older Green who has an additional redshirt year of experience. I believe both of these guys will play if everyone sticks around, but if Everette takes full control of the position in the spring, Green could be a transfer candidate when the portal reopens. Both of these guys have a lot of talent, and we’ve seen Kirby platoon at corner in the past. For example, Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and DJ Daniel in 2020.

      Julian Humphrey has been thought to be a portal candidate as well, but as a highly ranked 4 star recruit the coaches have worked to keep him engaged with the program. The staff really seems to like his potential. All that could be a moot point if 5 star early enrollee AJ Harris is as good as advertised. Scouts are projecting him to be an immediate impact player. It’ll be a tough task on this roster, but I’ll take their word for it. He’ll have a head start on fellow signees Chris Peal, Kyron Jones, and Daniel Harris who will join the program this summer.  

      Overall you have to like where this defensive unit stands as they head into the 2023 season. We haven’t been hearing much with regard to anyone on staff leaving so I expect everyone to get a nice pay bump at some point in the near future. Everyone knows Kirby Smart is running this show, but veteran coordinator Will Muschamp and rising star Glenn Schumann deserve their due as well. As do position coaches, Tray Scott, Chidera Uzo-Diribe, and Fran Brown. Winning three consecutive titles seems like an impossible task, but Georgia will be favored to do just that come August. 


    4. Craig Lawson
      Latest Entry

      By Craig Lawson,

      Plus, if you’re gonna complain about Sanford not being loud enough make sure your ass is at the stadium contributing instead of tweeting about it from your couch like a damn slack ass. 

    5. I think there are teams that separated themselves yesterday.  

      Washington, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, and sure Penn State (but it was Umass)

      There are teams that confirmed what they are

      USC, Tennessee, Alabama, Miami, Louisville (among others)

      Georgia is somewhere in between.

      Oregon, UNC, Utah will be a factor but not sure they are legit. 

      Who'd I miss?

      Iowa, Duke, Tenn, Iowa St, Bama, and ND all won yesterday all with success rates below 40%
      Oregon and Cool both lost posting 50%+ success rates

      Here is the data




  • Create New...