Georgia has been deeply involved in the Transfer Portal this December. Much more so than in years past. After Georgia took down No. 1 Tennessee, Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart famously touted that his school had taken zero players out of the portal.
“We took zero kids out of the transfer portal,” said Smart. “They all love it here and they compete their ass off.”
Now, it is true that Georgia took no players out of the Portal prior to this season, but that seemed to be more of a case of nobody in the portal is better than the 5-stars we’ve already recruited. Georgia has taken advantage of the Portal before; Derion Kendrick (2021 - Clemson) was a massive addition for the dogs, but Kirby Smart and his staff use the Portal in a very particular way. They’re looking for one of two things:
- Absolutely elite players that are looking for a new home due to circumstances outside of their control; i.e., a coach leaving/being fired, a new system that doesn’t fit them, a family member in need, etc.
- Depth-fillers. Sometimes, due to the way rosters and eligibility fall out, some positions can run precariously low on players, especially with addition of the Transfer Portal. Teams like Georgia can use the Portal as more of a stop-gap for a particular position, while they play catch-up in recruiting.
With those two reasons in mind, how do they reflect on Georgia’s reported interest in Mississippi State WR Rara Thomas and Kent State WR Dante Cephas? Are they so elite that Georgia can’t pass on them, or is Georgia trying to pad their roster numbers?
Maybe a little bit of both. Here’s what Georgia’s receiver room looks like right now (Bold indicates players that have recorded a stat in 2022):
Players who are graduating or could declare for the draft:
- Kearis Jackson - Senior
- Randon Jernigan - Senior
- George Vining - Senior
- Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint - Junior
- Dominick Blaylock - Junior
- Nathan Priestley - Junior
- Arian Smith - R-Sophomore
- Ladd McConkey - R-Sophomore
- Braxton Hicks - R-Sophomore
Sophomores and freshmen:
- Adonai Mitchell - Sophomore
- Jackson Meeks - Sophomore
- Mekhi Mews - R-Freshman
- Logan Johnson - R-Freshman
- C.J. Smith - Freshman
- De’Nylon Morrissette - Freshman
- Luke Bennett - Freshman
- Grant Briscoe - Freshman
- Brooks Bortle - Freshman
- Parker Jones - Freshman
- Miles Thorton - Freshman
- Cole Speer - Freshman
- Dillon Bell - Freshman
- Yazeed Haynes
- Tyler Williams
- Raymond Cottrell
Georgia could potentially lose as many as five receivers that have seen time this year to the Draft or graduation, and that’s just the beginning. More likely than not, some players from the receiver room will see the writing on the wall and bolt for a school they feel like they could see the field at.
Thomas and Cephas both represent low-risk/high-ceiling prospects. Georgia could bank on some of their freshmen developing into impact players, but why not hedge your bets?
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