Even Kirby Smart and the mighty Georgia Bulldogs aren’t immune to the roster churn that has become the new normal in college football because of the transfer portal. Georgia is obviously still loaded with talent, but that logjam at almost every position has forced 20 players to transfer away from the program.
Those losses won’t dim Georgia’s championship aspirations, but they will rob the Bulldogs of a bit of depth and at some important positions. The loss of former five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff comes to mind from that perspective. Vandagriff was the logical No. 2 behind Carsen Beck but without him, UGA fans will hold their breath a bit longer if Beck is ever slow to get up from a hit this fall.
Still, Vandagriff was a loss that the Dawgs can survive and it didn’t even make the list of the five biggest losses that the team suffered in the portal this offseason. Instead, all five are off of Georgia’s elite defense.
Georgia only lost two players who had ever started a game during their time in Athens, and of their six additions, four have starting experience, so it’s been a net-positive offseason despite these five departures.
If it wasn’t for injury, Dumas-Johnson would have started every game for Georgia in 2023. Despite only playing nine games, he finished the year with 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks as part of Georgia’s linebacking corps along with Smael Mondon Jr.
However, when Dumas-Johnson missed time, he was replaced by freshman C.J. Allen who finished the season with 41 tackles and showed enough promise to give Kirby Smart confidence in his young linebacking group.
The Bulldogs are losing three linebackers and are going all-in on a young group with Mondon as the only experienced linebacker. Allen and five-star freshman backer Justin Williams will be the centerpieces of that group.
A team like Georgia is too good to ever go through a rebuild, but Kirby needs to rebuild a position group from time to time and that’s what he’s doing at linebacker.