Georgia Football: Key Personnel Losses in 2015 to be Filled


The Georgia football program will once again be faced with some attrition, and here are the key losses to look at for 2015.

It’s time for the yearly war dance…which players are leaving, which players are staying, and how the heck is Georgia going to replace all that talent headed out of town?

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But, as with most years, the job will get done either by current players stepping up or by incoming freshmen and transfers. The Bulldogs have lost a ton of talent to the NFL in years past, and managed to find a way to come up with more than ample replacements.

As things stand at the moment, the Bulldogs will be losing five starters on offense, and five on defense, as well as a number of reserves on both sides of the ball. Running back and tight end are two positions where Mark Richt can feel fairly comfortable, and the key positions on special teams are in no time of need for now.

Without knowing exactly who’ll be signing and transferring in, it’s hard to know how certain positions will be filled, but which positions will be open is fairly certain at this point (barring another unexpected wave of players opting to transfer). Here are the positions where Georgia will have some real needs to meet.

Quarterback: The Bulldogs know they’ll need a new starting quarterback. Hutson Mason did his part by sitting for four years behind Aaron Murray, and he did an admirable job of taking over this past season. Fortunately, Georgia has a few QBs in waiting, including Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta. The general consensus is that Ramsey is the guy to look at, but the possibility of a two-quarterback system also exists.

Wide Receiver: This could turn out to be one of the most crucial areas of need for Georgia. The team’s two leading receivers, Chris Conley and Michael Bennett, are both done after the Belk Bowl, and although Malcolm Mitchell has declared that he is returning, his history of injuries makes him shaky to depend on. Justin Scott-Wesley is another question mark right now.

The Bulldogs are also losing Jonathon Rumph, who did make a lot of important catches and was very dependable off the bench. Freshman Isaiah McKenzie is going to be looked at to step up to a more prominent role, as is sophomore Reggie Davis.

Offensive Line: The loss of center David Andrews, who was voted MVP of the team by his teammates, will be big to overcome. As much as anything, Georgia will need to address the center position during the offseason. Redshirt junior Hunter Long was listed next on the depth chart, but other solutions may present themselves after National Signing Day.

Linebacker: The Dawgs are going to bid farewell to the exceptional talents of Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera, as well as backup LB and special team specialist, Kosta Vavlas. There are a number of inside linebackers on the roster, but none (that we know of) with the gifts that Wilson and Herrera brought to the team. The outside slots will be filled nicely by Lorenzo Carter and the return of Leonard Floyd, but at the inside positions Georgia will have to find some help.

Nov 1, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Damian Swann (5) against the Florida Gators during the second half at EverBank Field. Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Back: Say goodbye to longtime Bulldog Damian Swann, who had an incredible bounce-back season in 2014 after being moved over to the safety position. J.J. Green has announced his transfer to Georgia Tech, and Brendan Langley has also transferred, making things very thin in the secondary. Most of Georgia’s other defensive backs were young and forced into starting this season. Swann’s leadership will be missed as much as anything.

Defensive Line: Both nose tackles, Mike Thornton and Toby Johnson, will be leaving after the bowl game, and Ray Drew is going to be a huge loss at the defensive end position. Georgia’s line will need to be revamped next season, and the players currently on the roster may not provide the answers needed for Jeremy Pruitt.

There can be no disputing that Georgia will be losing a ton of talent this season, but with one of the best recruiting classes in the nation coming in, not to mention the way that Richt and his staff always seem to manage to coach up players who have been on the bench, things will have a way of working themselves out.

As National Signing Day approaches and there is a more clear picture of the 2015 roster, we’ll do an update of how the depth chart might shake out headed into next spring.

For now, keep your eyes on recruits at the positions listed above to possibly become the next true freshmen sensations playing between the hedges.

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