Which Georgia Players Might Stay for Another Year?

2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama
2023 SEC Championship - Georgia v Alabama / Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Georgia Football has under two weeks to prepare for the Orange Bowl. But most of college football talk is about the CFP playoffs and the transfer portal. Most of the time, I talk about the transfer portal when I am writing. The portal is becoming like Christmas music; I hate everything about it. But it is the world we live in as fans of college football. 

Georgia has had a mass exodus of players since the portal opened, or it feels that's why. But when you look at the players that are leaving, there have only been a few that boggle the mind. Most players who hit the portal are looking for more playing time. Which is what the portal was intended for. But, alas, I will not write another blog about the problems plaguing the game we all love. 

But with these exits, many in the Georgia fan base reverted to their negative ways. Also, opposing fanbases celebrate as if the new evil empire had fallen before it could flex its muscles. But this celebration that Georgia will become Clemson is false hope. Hey, if I were Florida or Alabama, I would also hope for the end of Georgia. But it is just hope; it is not fact. If you look into the numbers, the exits make all the more sense. 

28 commits more than any other team besides Army. So when Georgia loses 16 players to the portal, it clarifies what is happening inside the Butts-Mehre building. No, it is not the scene Alabama folks are dreaming of where the place is on fire, and Kirby Smart is not pushing kids to the side. What is happening inside that building is that they are doing a little pre-spring cleaning. 

While Georgia has had some big departures, let's look at some players who might be staying for another year. It has already been confirmed that Smael Mondon Jr. is returning for one more season. That will be overlooked, but Mondon will be the veteran of the defense and was injured for most of the year. I would not be shocked if his 2024 campaign is better than his 2023. 

There is also a strong chance that Tate Ratledge will return for one more year. The Dawgs offensive line will be down a few starters next season, so having Ratledge return is a huge deal. Sedrick Van Pran is definitely leaving for the NFL, and Amarius Mims is more likely to go as well. Furthermore, the Dawgs will need to replace Xavier Truss, who has played a ton in his time in Athens. Having Ratledge coming back not only in the leadership category, it also is one less hole to fill on the offensive line. 

The defensive line is also expected to have a few veterans stick around for another season. Warren Brinson is likely coming back for another season, and so is Nazir Stackhouse, which will be a huge boost for the defensive line.

I also would not be shocked if Kirby Smart goes shopping in the portal to get another defensive lineman. However, do not panic if the Dawgs do not get a D-lineman during this portal opening; they could get one when the portal re-opens after spring ball. The portal re-opens for a 15-day period in the spring. 

So, what is the point of this blog? Do not buy into simple narratives that people are creating. The exits that Georgia has dealt with are all a part of a math equation. This is the new college football. I find it ugly, but it is what it is. There is nobody I trust more than Kirby Smart regarding roster management. That is the reason the Dawgs have won two national titles. So everyone can take a deep breath; it will all work itself out. 

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