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Georgia Offseason Portal Departure Candidates

Craig Lawson

This list is complete speculation based on my own projected depth chart for next season. It's not meant to be taken as prediction, just a list of players who wouldn't cause a shock if they looked elsewhere.  


Brock Vandagriff - Assuming Beck returns. Stockton could look elsewhere too, but given that he's a year younger, I would guess Gunner is more likely to stick it out and compete with Raiola and Puglisi for the 2025 starting job. 


Cash Jones - With the production he's put on tape early this season when the RB room was decimated with injuries, and the likelihood of having 6 scholarship players ahead of him next season does Jones test the transfer market? He would have 2 years of eligibility remaining.  


Arian Smith - Looking back at the Ole Miss game he still gets on the field with the ones, but Lovett and Thomas have both surpassed him.  I'm guessing both of them return along with Dillon Bell. Outside chance that Ladd and MRJS leaving opens up a spot for Smith to be a bigger part of the gameplan, but he could be a go to option in another offense with his speed. He has some great tape making big plays in big games. 

Jackson Meeks - He's blocked really well at times this season, but has yet to record a reception in 2023. There are a lot of young receivers like CJ Smith, Zeed Haynes and Anthony Evans who could also emerge. That said, he seems pretty happy when I've watched his podcast with Javon Bullard. I could see him sticking around as well.  

De'Nylon Morrissette - This might be premature, but in year two he seems to have been passed over by younger guys. Perhaps there is an injury there that I'm unaware of. He could also still be in the doghouse after a May DUI.


No obvious scholarship candidates here


Austin Blaske - I mentioned him in a separate post. I'm not sure if his injury flared back up but we haven't seen much from him. He was a projected replacement level player back in August with the potential to start at LT. I would have thought he would at least be a rotational option in 2024, but I'm not sure if something has changed. 

Chad Lindberg - The former 4 star recruit hasn't seen much action in his 4 seasons with the team, but will have at least one year of eligibility remaining. 


Jonathan Jefferson - Could just as easily see him sticking around for a 4th season. The former 4 star has been passed over by some younger talent, but Kirby likes depth on the D Line. That said, Kirby will also be checking the portal for D Linemen. 


CJ Madden - I almost didn't add this one. Just a gut feeling because we haven't seen much from him this season.


Darris Smith - Wouldn't be surprised if he stuck around either, but he hasn't made much of a move this season, and also had an off-field issue that kept him away from the team for a bit. There's a lot of young talent in this room and Smith is a freak who might be a feature player on another roster.


Xavian Sorey - The former 5 star recruit was in the rotation earlier this season, but again with the younger talent. CJ Allen and Raylen Wilson have just been too good to keep off the field. Dumas-Johnson and Mondon will likely head to the NFL, but if one or both returned there would be even less snaps to go around here. 

EJ Lightsey - Lightsey has received a lot positive reviews out of practice, but hasn't been able to crack the rotation in his two seasons. Given the emergence of younger players he could seek immediate playing time elsewhere.


Nyland Greene - This could go either way, and might not happen until after spring. Assuming Lassiter goes to the NFL it has been Greene, Everette and Humphrey battling for the #2 CB spot. Everette and Humphrey have both surpassed Greene, but Kirby has been rotating 3 corners and Greene could work his way into that spot, but he would have to hold off players like A.J. Harris and incoming 5 star Ellis Robinson IV. Might be too tall of a task when Greene is a starter level player elsewhere.


David Daniel-Sisavanh - He's proven himself as a hard hitting rotational player who can be trusted in spots, but with Starks returning and the emergence of freshman Joenel Aguero there's no clear path to a starting job here. 

JaCorey Thomas - It's only his second season, and I'd like to see him stick around especially if DDS doesn't. He could get his chance in 2025 which would be year 4, but he's another highly ranked recruit who could probably start somewhere else. 

Dan Jackson? - Almost didn't add this one either, but Dan would have two years of eligibility remaining and one hell of a resume. He's a graduate so he may hang it up or try to go pro, but I could see him starting at the P5 level somewhere else next season while he gets a free graduate degree. I could also see him returning to Athens and remaining in the safety rotation for the Dawgs.  


Jared Zirkel - Jack Podlesny left a vacancy after last season and freshman kicker, Peyton Woodring took the job and ran with it in 2023 which relegated Zirkel to kickoff duty, a spot where he has performed admirably. He would have at least one if not two years of eligibility remaining. 


This isn't an exhaustive list, and I didn't delve into walk-ons who rarely if ever get snaps during games. I'm sure some of them will leave, and there is always the threat that NIL or other outside circumstances (or both) lures a starter away to another program willing to outbid Georgia ie AD Mitchell. Let me know if I missed anyone or if any of my guesses are crazy. 


Not on my initial list:

Mehki Mews - Mews has entered the portal. He played significant snaps on offense and was the primary punt returner (presumably because Ladd McConkey was hobbled for most of the season), and he also returned kickoffs. Freshman speedster, Anthony Evans, was inserted at punt returner during the 4th quarter of the SEC Championship and had in immediate impact with a 28 yard return. Mews had some dropped punts this season and perhaps Evans insertion signified a pending change in that role for Georgia. Mews should have plenty of suitors, the former walk-on had an excellent spring game and found himself on the field a lot despite only recording 13 receptions on the season.

Edited by Craig Lawson

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