I've done these for a few teams and this is my first for a non-B1G team. I know many people on here love to hate on Georgia so it is important to first understand how good Georgia was last year. Georgia was 5th overall with the #1 defense and the #32 offense. They are projected to be the 4th best team next year by SP+ with again the #1 defense and the #33 offense. However, I think the offense could take a step forward. They will be going to a more spread style under Todd Monken. I also think going from Fromm to Jamie Newman will be an upgrade because of his running ability. Anyways, I will start with offensive depth chart then defensive depth chart before talking about the schedule. I won't do an over/under because I dont know enough about the teams they play at this point.
- QB-Jamie Newman is a grad transfer from Wake Forrest. Newman had 2,868 yards with a 61% completion and 7.9 average. He also had 575 yards rushing. When compounded with a new offensive system I really believe he will be better than Fromm. Fromm wasnt mobile and lacked arm strength. Newman should be a very good QB this year and I think the best in the SEC. If something happens to Newman this team is done, they have nothing behind him.
- RB-They lost Deandre Swift but they have assembled the best stable of RBs in the SEC. Former 5 stars Zamir White and James Cook(brother of Dalvin Cook) are set to get the load of carries. They are both in their third year so should be physically ready to get carries. This should be one of the best backfields in the country.
- Receiver-Not a super deep core but their starters should be pretty good. Demetris Robertson and Georgia Pickens will be the outside starters after being backups last year. Robertson only had 30 catches last year but he averaged over 10 ypc. He will be a redshirt senior, he is a good athlete and should be a solid receiver. Pickens is coming off a very exciting true freshman season. He was a 5 star receiver coming into college and had 49 catches with a 14.8 ypc which is insane. He will be one of the best in the country next year. Dominick Blaylock is the third guy and would be the slot, he only had 18 catches last year but had a 17.2 ypc average. He will be a true sophomore and was another highly rated recruit. A heavier focus on the pass game could help these guys stand out more, they are all great athletes.
- TE-Not going to be a great year for their TE. They have a grad transfer from FSU in Tre McKitty who is fine. They have a stud true freshman in Darnell Washington but he is probably too raw to contribute this year.
- OL-This is the most interesting position group on this team. After having guys leave early they also lost Cade Mays to a transfer to Tennessee. LT should be Xavier Truss who will be in his second year on campus. He is replacing Andrew Thomas. He is a former 4 star recruit who PSU whiffed on. He will be good but not as good as Andrew Thomas was. LG should be Justin Schaffer who will be starting for his first time in his senior year. He has been buried on the depth chart but should be serviceable. Not a high ceiling player. Trey Hill is the first returning starter at center and is entering his junior year. He is very good. Ben Cleveland is the other returning starter on the line. He is another good starter who will be a senior. RT is interesting because Jamaree Salyer seems slated to be the starter and is a former top 10 overall guard. In his third year in the program it is his time to start and has talent but may not have the needed skill to play tackle. After losing Isiah Wilson, Cade Mays, and Andrew Thomas this should still be a good offensive line but not an elite line.
The offensive is in an interesting spot. Its biggest strength should be taking a step back(offensive line) and they will need to rely on the offensive skill players an QB to have success. A new offensive system should improve the offense some and I think this could move into top 20 territory as opposed to being mid 30s. Expect improvement but there may be sometimes where it looks a little rough. Now defense which is expected to be godly. Georgia runs a 3-4 with a DT/NT/DE.
- DL-At the 3-tech Georgia will lose the starter in Tyler Clark who was really good. The next guys up will be Julian Rochester a 6'5" 300 pounder and the likely starter is Devonte Wyatt a 6'3" 300 pounder. These are two big solid players but fit the mold of what Georgia was last year. They are sound and hard to beat but won't be providing much penetration. Jordan Davis will be the 1-tech and is a monster at 6'6" 320 pounds. He was also a back up last year but is athletic for his size and is certainly set up for a big year. The two DTs may lack high upside but they will clog up the lines. At DE Georgia is pretty set. They return Malik Herring and Travon Walker is a stud entering his second year of college. Herring provides experience and is a good player and Walker has the upside that could take the position to another level. Herring is another good but not great player.
- OLBs-Georgia has a SAM and Jack on the depth chart but the players play out of those position pretty regularly. Georgia's best two players next year may be Azeez Ojulari and Nolan Smith. They are both great athletes and most dangerous as pass rushers. The way the defense is constructed the DL don't get as many QB pressures so this OLB group is important for that. Ojulari led the team in sacks as a sophomore with 5.5 and Nolan Smith was just a true freshman but is expected to be great this year. They are a scary duo. Azeez is 6'3" 240 and Nolan Smith is 6'3" 235. While they may not have a lot of speed on the DL having both of these guys on the field gives them a lot of speed from two bigger dudes.
- ILBs-Monte Rice returns at one spot as the teams leading tackler and second team all SEC. He is very good and is expected to be the leader of the defense as a play caller. The other position should be filled by Nakobe Dean, a former 5 star entering his second year in the program. He is a freak athlete and rounds out a fantastic linebacking crew. This is a terrifying group of 4 guys that should wreak havoc when playing behind the 3 huge guys up front. They are also all athletic enough to cover well. Rice is 6'1" 235and Nakobe dean is 6'0 220
- Safety-Starting with safety Richard Lecounte made a surprising decision to come back to school. Was third on the team in tackles, had 4 ints and led the SEC in fumble recoveries. He is very good and will be a leader for the secondary. Huge win for Georgia to have him back. The other spot loses a guy who started 40 games for Georgia. Lewis Cline is expected to fill the void after starting a couple games at the end of last year. He is another super highly rated recruited who is a fantastic athlete. He has some of the freak show athletic attributes that Lecounte lacks. Lecounte is 5'11" 190 and Cline is 6'1" 190
- Corner-Tyson Campbell is a freak athlete who hasnt met his potential yet. He is 6'2" 185 and has all the skill in the world to be a lock down corner. He has struggled a bit but in his third year of the program should be a very good starter. Campbell started the first 3 games and was then benched for DJ Daniel who also returns. Daniel was solid in coverage all year after taking over and those two should compete for the same job. Two good options for one spot. Eric Stokes is in the other spot and is everything you want in a corner. He is 6'1" 185 and was 2nd team all SEC. He elected to come back and will be a great piece. They have 3 legit corners with a pair of really good safeties.
This defense should again be really good but I do caution how the media says they will be insane. They will without a doubt be a top 5 defense. The linebackers are great and the secondary is deep and athletic as well. The problem that they had last year, and will again, is they really lack havoc plays. They get very little pass rush and very few TFLs. They were and will be very sound but the problem is what happens when they play an elite offense? Last year LSU is the only top 20 offense they played and gave up 37. Florida is the only other offense I would say is good and they did hold them to just 17. A concern will be how a more up tempo offense effects this defense. Playing sound defense can go out the window when you have more snaps. I don't want to be too negative because this will without a doubt be a top 5 defense and is much better than anything OSU will see in the B1G but its flaws will be hard to fix.
Schedule: So with all of that being said this is a very deep team that will have a top 25ish offense and a top 5 defense. That is incredibly hard to beat.
OOC-Virgina(Atlanta,) FCS school, UL Monroe, Georgia Tech. GTech is on its way up and Virginia just had one of its best years ever but this will be an easy 4-0.
Crossovers-@Alabama, Auburn, doesnt get much tougher than this. @Bama early in the season is a massive game that will but the loser in survival mode. Both would have to survive the rest of the season unscathed to make the playoffs. Both have lots of questions to answer before the season and are feeling some pressure after missing the playoffs. Auburn is always a tough game. This is really rough.
East-Florida and then abunch of chumps. The rest of the east is still pretty bad. There are certainly challenges playing the SEC but Florida is the only team to look at that is a scary game. They return a lot after playing Georgia very close last year. Should be another great game.
In total I think 10-2 is the ceiling and 12-0 is possible. Beating Bama would give them so much momentum the rest of the way. Losing to Bama and Florida is also very possible. If I had to guess the over/under would be 10.5. Florida is getting a lot of hype that they might not deserve. Georgia has been pretty heavily disrespected for merely being very good. Look to see what kind of transformation this offense can make and if Bama/Florida have a potent enough offense to crack the normally sound 3-4 style of defense.