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Georgia sticks at No. 1 in ESPN's post-spring power rankings

On3 imageby:Jake Rowe05/21/24


Many have considered Georgia the number one team in the country to this point in the offseason and that’s still the case for ESPN. Mark Schlabach recently released his post-spring top 25 power rankings where the Bulldogs are still in the top spot.

With a schedule that includes a nonconference opener against Clemson in Atlanta and SEC road games at Kentucky, Alabama, Texas and Ole Miss, a fourth straight unbeaten regular season might be asking a bit much of the Bulldogs,” Schlabach writes. “But there’s a reason coach Kirby Smart’s program won back-to-back CFP national titles in 2021 and 2022 and 46 of its past 48 games. Quarterback Carson Beck is primed for a big season, and he’ll be surrounded by plenty of playmakers and what should be one of the sport’s best offensive lines. Replacements will have to be identified on the interior defensive line and in the secondary, but that hasn’t been a problem in the recent past. Mykel Williams, who is going to play more outside linebacker this season, looks ready to break out as a pass-rusher. Georgia is stacked at linebacker and brings back safety Malaki Starks, one of the best players in the FBS.”

No team in the country is in better shape at the game’s most important position after Beck decided to come back for one more season in Athens. He has a stellar first season as the Georgia starting quarterback, setting the school’s completion percentage record by connecting on 72.4 percent of his passes for 3,941 yards 24 touchdowns and six interceptions.

If not for Smart’s decision to go to the bench for the entire second half of the Orange Bowl beatdown of Florida State, Beck would have had a strong shot at becoming the school’s second ever 4,000-yard passer. The Jacksonville native lost some weapons to the 2024 NFL Draft but he gained a few more.

Brock Bowers and Ladd McConkey are no longer part of the UGA program but the Bulldogs used the transfer portal to try and help offset those losses. Georgia brought in versatile running back Trevor Etienne from Florida and play-making tight end Ben Yurosek from Stanford. The Bulldogs also added speedy wideout London Humphries from Vanderbilt and a big, physical wideout from Miami in Colbie Young, a guy who generated consistent buzz during preseason camp.

Georgia also brings back Dominic Lovett, Rara Thomas, and Dillon Bell at wideout, all of whom flashed the ability to make big plays in 2023. There’s also the presence of one of the best, most experienced, and deepest offensive lines in the country leading the way.

Defensively the Bulldogs have a mix of veterans and potential difference makers across the defensive front although no one has yet emerged as the alpha of that group. The linebacker unit should be a strength with Smael Mondon‘s return and the experienced gained by CJ Allen and Raylen Wilson last season.

The Georgia secondary might be the biggest question mark with Georgia having to replace three starters, all of whom were selected on day two of the 2024 NFL Draft. UGA has to fill one cornerback spot, one safety spot, and replace leading tackler Tykee Smith at STAR but the competition is thick across the board.

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