Georgia football: top five sophomores from the 2018 Bulldogs

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Georgia football unfortunately missed out on the playoffs. But the Bulldogs are 11-2 and the current sophomores have a 24-4 record.

5. Richard LeCounte III – S

Richard LeCounte had the difficult job of taking over for the underrated Dominick Sanders. For three years, the middle of the field was off-limits because of Sanders, and without his presence opponents began completing more passes in the middle.

But LeCounte did his best and it shows with his team-leading 67 tackles and 40 solo tackles. He was also instrumental in Georgia only allowing 180.5 passing yards per game, and just one passing touchdown per game. LeCounte may not have been as dominant as Sanders, but the defense didn’t suffer because of him.

4. Monty Rice – ILB

If you think having to replace Sanders was tough, Monty Rice had to replace Butkus Award Winner Roquan Smith. But fans had reason to trust Rice heading into 2018. Last spring, Kirby Smart said Rice could have a similar impact on the team to Smith in the future. For the most part, Rice lived up to the hype and was Georgia’s most consistent inside linebacker, coming in second on the team with 59 tackles.

Unfortunately, injuries slowed down Rice and forced him to miss the last two regular season games and the SEC Championship Game. His absence hurt the most when Jalen Hurts took over in the SEC Championship Game. No one stayed in front of Hurts like Smith did in the National Championship Game, and Alabama’s offense scored the touchdowns needed to win.

With a year of starting under his belt, the only question about Rice moving forward is his health. If he can avoid injuries, he might be the next great inside linebacker to play between the hedges. That’s the potential he showed when on the field in 2018.

3. Jeremiah Holloman – WR

One of the best surprises of 2018 was Jeremiah Holloman. As a freshman, he barely saw the field and only caught one pass. But he had a breakout year in 2018, catching 23 passes for 387 yards with five touchdowns. He began showing his potential in the middle of the season starting with a three-catch, 90 yard game against Middle Tennessee. A week later, he caught a 61-yard touchdown at Missouri. He followed those two games with 35 yards against Tennessee and 26 against LSU.

But it was against Florida where Holloman became a star. Against the Gators, he caught four passes for 48 yards. Two of his grabs were on fade routes in the end zone, making him one of the MVP’s from the 36-17 win. He caught four passes again the next week against Kentucky and caught his last touchdown against Georgia Tech.

2. D’Andre Swift – RB

We all knew D’Andre Swift’s potential after a solid freshman season backing-up Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. But I don’t know if anyone could have predicted how dominant Swift could become, especially after an injury riddled start to the season.

While battling injuries for the first half of the season, Swift only had 362 yards. But he used the off-week before the Florida game to reach full health and he rushed for at least 100 yards four times in Georgia’s last five regular season games with five touchdowns. His best game of that stretch was the 186 yards on his 17 carries against Auburn.

Swift became the 13th different running back in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. he currently has 1,037 yards with 10 touchdowns. He’s also a legitimate threat in the passing game with 267 receiving yards with two more scores.

1. Jake Fromm – QB

Jake Fromm, has now beaten out two five-star quarterbacks from the starting job in Athens. He beat out Justin Fields this year by increasing his completion percentage to 68.4, passing for 2,537 yards and 27 touchdowns through 13 games (up from 2,172 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2017). He’s also only thrown five interceptions and one of those was probably should have been called a fumble instead.

Next. Top 15 running backs in school history. dark

But Fromm’s impact was more than just his stats. It was the dominant third quarters to pile on points in games that were close at halftime. It was him slinging around touchdowns against Florida, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Auburn to prove he’s more than just a game manager. Fromm is one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, and a legitimate first round prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft.