Eric Stokes has become a lockdown corner for the Georgia Bulldogs over the past two seasons. Stokes emerged late in the 2018 season, starting three of the last four games and helping Georgia return to the SEC Championship.
In 2019 Stokes was a mainstay in the starting lineup and a thorn in the side of opponents' receiving cores. Now, he is returning to Athens for his Redshirt Junior year to continue to lead a talented Georgia secondary.
Eric Stokes came into Athens without a lot of fanfare. A 3-star recruit out of Eastside High School in Covington, Georgia, Stokes never let the opinion of others deter him in the least. Kirby Smart has many times praised Stokes for his competitive nature and his ability to be coached and apply that coaching on the field. Thanks to these qualities and 4.3 speed, Stokes has become a cornerstone piece to one of the best defenses in the entire country.
We reported he was likely to return, due to this tweet a few days ago responding to Richard LeCounte's announcement.
Stokes was not exactly a high draft pick at this point though he does has rare NFL talents, when SI's Bulldog Maven spoke to an NFL Regional Scout about him they said:
"Another young player and he has an awesome blend of length and ball skills. I thought he played better last year, but he has the traits that teams will covet. Love his alpha mentality and he firmly believes he belongs, but his impatience leaks over into his footwork and his aggressiveness at the line."
The return of Eric Stokes means that Georgia could be returning all but one of its five starting defensive backs after losing JR Reed to graduation. Stokes will combine with other veterans such as Richard LeCounte III, Mark Webb, DJ Daniel, Tyrique Stevenson, Divaad Wilson, and Tyson Campbell to make up one of the fastest, most experienced, and deepest secondaries in the country.
Add blue-chip prospects like Keele Ringo, Major Burns, and Jalen Kimber to the mix and the Dawgs boast an embarrassment of riches on the back end of what was already a talented and highly respected defense.