Sedrick Van Pran returning is great for both him and Bulldogs

Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran (63) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran (63) Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Georgia center Sedrick Van Pran has announced he’ll be returning for his senior season, and that’s great news for Bulldog fans.

Georgia football’s campaign for a third successive National Championship got off to a great start with the news that center Sedrick Van Pran is to return to Athens for his senior year with the football team.

In 2022, Van Pran was one of the Bulldogs’ four permanent captains along with Stetson Bennett, Nolan Smith, and Chris Smith, proving how vital a team member and leader he was to this National Championship-winning team.

The anchor of the Georgia offensive line made his intention to return to Athens known in a tweet that was met with a flourish of joy from the Bulldog Nation.

Georgia has proven how critical returning experience is to help less experienced teammates understand the Georgia way, what it takes to win, and how to be a champion. Nolan Smith was a great example of this last season when he opted to stay rather than declare for the NFL Draft.

While ultimately Smith’s playing season was cut short by injury, he proved every inch the leader driving his team forward from the sidelines.

This coming season Van Pran will serve to be a leader. Like Nolan Smith, Van Pran is a vocal leader – essential for his role as center – making him an ideal captain and spokesman. The massive 6’4, 310-pound lineman can often be found alongside Kirby Smart at press conferences demonstrating the role he plays both internally and externally to the team.

And for success to continue, Kirby Smart and his coaching staff need to maintain as high a level of continuity as possible. Continuity is key, which is good news for Georgia fans as continuity may as well be Sedrick’s middle name. Van Pran has started every game for Georgia in the two years that he has played for the team.

The 2022 version of the Georgia offense was sensational. Over their 15-game season, they were a team that surrendered only nine sacks, including zero in the National Championship Game.

This iron curtain protection of the Bulldogs’ quarterback was instrumental in Stetson Bennett’s season which took him from little-known Georgia quarterback to college football sensation.

Looking forward, Van Pran’s inclusion is important with Broderick Jones and Warren McClendon off to continue their careers in the NFL. As a result, Van Pran joins what is now becoming a long list of players who have foregone entering the Draft as a junior to return for a final season in College.

The names on that list are nearly a who’s-who of Georgia royalty, including Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Jordan Davis, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt, and Nolan Smith. The seniors club at Georgia has quite an impressive membership.

The benefit to Sedrick Van Pran is that another great season in Athens vastly improves his draft stock, although frankly, he would have been one of the highest-graded centers in this year’s draft anyway.

But perhaps the allure of immortality as a Georgia Bulldog is too much for Sedrick to ignore and who can blame him? Kirby Smart will have no word talked of triple championships, but the chance to become a part of history rarely if ever comes around. Who can blame Sedrick for his shot at immortality?

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