Now that the 2020 recruiting cycle has ended, Georgia football turns its attention to the 2021 class where it hopes to sign another No. 1 class.
It’s obvious recruiting is a much bigger priority for Georgia football under head coach Kirby Smart than it ever was under Mark Richt.
The Bulldogs signed their fourth top three class in as many years, and their second consensus No. 1 class in that same span. Like any recruiting juggernaut, the job never stops and years typically overlap.
And like any year, the main focus in recruiting is to replenish depth in areas where players are departing. Based on who is likely to leave the program after the 2020 season, these are the positions Georgia football will make a priority in 2021.
Georgia signed a pair of offensive tackles in its 2020 class, but when Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge committed, Georgia expected them to add depth before taking over the starting jobs themselves. Everyone foresaw Andrew Thomas leaving for the NFL Draft, but Isaiah Wilson’s announcement and Cade Mays’ retreat to Knoxville have depleted Georgia’s depth at the position.
Smart and new offensive line coach Matt Luke will once again make offensive tackle a priority. Fortunately, two of the top offensive tackles in the 2021 class are from the peach state; Amarius Mims of Bleckley County, and Micah Morris of Camden County.
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Both are ranked in the 247Sports Composite top 50, with Mims ranked No. 13, high enough for a fifth star. The site ranks Morris No. 44. Both are massive kids, tipping the scales around 315 lbs. Another tackle the Bulldogs may invest in is Terrence Ferguson from Peach County. He’s around 300 lbs currently and 247Sports Composite ranks him just outside the top 50 nationally.
Georgia could go beyond the state lines for more tackles. With depth being an issue, the Bulldogs will likely target tackles who are already near or above 300 lbs. Neither of the top two tackles are at an ideal weight right now. Landon Tengwall is another five-star, he’s the best player from Maryland and is the No. 5 player at the position.
Georgia signed two solid running backs in the 2020 class in Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards. Freshman Kenny McIntosh looked really good in the Sugar Bowl stepping up for D’Andre Swift’s and James Cook’s injuries. Cook enters his junior year and Zamir White becomes a redshirt sophomore. It seems like Georgia is okay at running back right?
Well Cook and White are eligible for the NFL Draft after this season. Neither have made much of an impression on pro scouts so far, but that could change with outstanding performances this year. They’ll most likely play in 2021, but that’s not an assumption Kirby Smart and the offensive coaches can or will make.
As of right now, 2021 looks like a pretty weak running back class. There’s only seven backs ranked in the top 100 nationally, only one is a five start and just two are top 50 prospects. That will certainly change through spring and summer camps, and the 2020 high school football season.
Competition is a must of the quarterback position. A talented backup will make the starter better, but will also prove competent in the case of an injury. Georgia has a stacked quarterback room for 2020, but will need to add another passer for 2021 to compete with Carson Beck.
Georgia has already addressed the position, securing Brock Vandagriff’s commitment not long after the Prince Avenue Christian product decommitted from Oklahoma citing a desire to stay close to home.
Georgia will have a new starting nose guard in 2021. Julian Rochester will exhaust his eligibility and Jordan Davis will likely forgo his senior year. That’ll open up the competition between established players like Devonte Wyatt, incoming prospects and whoever the Bulldogs sign in 2021.
Greensboro, North Carolina native and five-star prospect Payton Page already has nose guard size (6-4, 315 lbs.). Four-star Katron Evans is even bigger (6-4, 320 lbs.). Those appear to be the best targets for nose guard in 2021.