Updated Georgia football roster: Who is returning, who is leaving, and what does it mean?

SAD NEWS: QB and WR of bulldogs are leaving the club in January


UGA football roster: Adam Anderson, the third down superstar

ATHENS, Georgia — Georgia has seen fifteen scholarship players visit the transfer portal in the last two weeks. According to the 247Sports Composite, three of them were five-star talents coming out of high school and seven more were four-star prospects. One was the team’s defensive captain and a finalist for the Butkus Award the previous season.

Oh, and quarterback Dylan Raiola, another five-star prospect who was spotted having a wonderful time during his visit to Nebraska, is predicted to leave the Bulldogs.

What is going on in this situation? Is this two-time national championship program coming to an end? Has Kirby Smart been unhinged?

Alright, no.

For the past two weeks, Georgia has only been losing players—at least not in the public eye—and hasn’t gained any. That is going to alter soon. The team will soon be able to formally add more five-star and blue-chip talents as the early signing period approaches. Some significant additions from the portal should also arrive shortly.

Let’s attempt to make sense of everything:

What does it imply when people leave?
In the portal, Jamon Dumas-Johnson is the big name to go. He was the team’s second-leading tackler the previous season, an All-SEC preseason selection this year, and the inside linebacker with system knowledge and call-making abilities. Xavian Sorey, a third-year inside linebacker and five-star prospect in the 2021 class who is also in the portal, won’t be able to replace the leadership hole left by his departure.

However, Georgia is bringing back its other seasoned inside linebacker, Smael Mondon, who despite injuries this season is second on the team in tackles, has notified the team that he intends to play his senior year. In addition, CJ Allen of Georgia is a freshman who has started the last four games following Dumas-Johnson’s forearm injury. Another rookie inside linebacker with promise is Raylen Wilson. It’s probable that Dumas-Johnson is trying to go somewhere that wasn’t a risk in his crucial last season of showcasing himself for the NFL because he felt he would earn fewer snaps if he stayed at Georgia for another year.

In terms of tackles this season, Smael Mondon Jr. (2) is second on Georgia’s defense. (USA Today / Dale Zanine)
A.J. Harris, a rookie cornerback who was a top-50 recruit in 2017 and played in seven games this season, appears to have experienced something similar. Georgia has a number of young defensive backs, even though starting linebacker Kamari Lassiter is most likely headed for the NFL. Harris was included in the plans for next season, but he likely needed additional assurances.

Similarly, Zeed Haynes, a freshman, has already committed to Syracuse, the home of Fran Brown, the head coach of Georgia’s defensive backs the previous two years, at the receiver position. (On Saturday, Georgia hired Donte Williams from USC, who had the same position as Brown.) In addition, offensive lineman Austin Blaske (North Carolina), edge C.J. Madden (Purdue), defensive lineman Jonathan Jefferson (SMU), and quarterback Brock Vandagriff (Kentucky) have all found new homes. Syracuse also recruited former Georgia receiver Jackson Meeks.

Although it would not seem like a good look for Georgia, it’s unlikely that anyone else who entered the gateway would have started the following season save Dumas-Johnson, who might have had to compete for that position. There is still time for larger losses to occur, and they very well might, as the portal is active until January 4. However, space must be made since Georgia, like every other program, must reach the 85 scholarship cap.

Although NFL decisions aren’t finalized until January 15, some players will declare their choices early by choosing not to play in the Orange Bowl. Prodigious tight end Brock Bowers, tackle Amarius Mims, and linebacker Lassiter are nearly guaranteed departures as first-round selections. Ladd McConkey, a receiver who nearly went after the position last year, is the next most likely, though a troubled 2023 campaign might make him reconsider. Javon Bullard, the safety, could go any way.

Carson, the quarterback Beck may decide to stay in Miami with the team or he may decide not to disclose his decision at any time. He will eventually have to respond to inquiries regarding it. However, the longer it appears that Beck will return, the less likely it is that Georgia will pursue a quarterback through the portal. The Bulldogs have communicated with Texas’ Malik Murphy but have not scheduled a visit.

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