The hype surrounding the 2021 Georgia football season continues to build the start of spring practice gets closer. And there are certainly question marks remaining surrounding the team.
Seven draft-eligible juniors returned for their senior season, including quarterback JT Daniels, who sparked life into an offense that lacked a level of explosiveness to contend at a national title level.
Headed into a vital spring practice window, Georgia has a few questions to answer:
Georgia certainly needs quality depth at the safety position headed into this upcoming season, however, they don't currently have a cornerback on the roster that has a single career start in the SEC. Sure, there's an incredible amount of talent on the depth chart — Kelee Ringo, Jalen Kimber, Nyland Green and Ameer Speed — but there's little to no experience across the board.
The great news for Georgia fans? Young corners have been able to impact college football games as freshmen in recent memory. LSU's Derek Stingley Jr. looked like the best corner in America at times as a freshman and Elias Ricks also played at an elite level as a freshman in 2020. There's reason to believe Georgia is in good hands, but two people have to step up.
According to sources, Ringo will most likely be one of those corners, while who partners with him is where the questions begin.
Head coach Kirby Smart has made it a point to recruit at least four offensive linemen in every recruiting class year in and year out. That means there will always be depth at the position.
However, it seems perennially that Georgia has an offensive lineman leave early for the NFL Draft. There was Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Solomon Kindley in 2019, and Trey Hill in 2020. This quickly leaves questions at key positions.
At tackle, Warren McClendon played at a freshmen All-America level in 2020 and seems to have a jump-start on one of the starting spots at the position. However, there's still one remaining opening with Jamaree Salyer moving to guard. Which SI All-American will it be, Broderick Jones or Amarius Mims? Also, is there a dark horse candidate?
It's a good problem to have.
On the interior of the offensive line, Hill's departure leaves a vacancy at center. That leaves end-of-season incumbent Warren Ericson matched up against the uber-talented redshirt freshman Sedrick Van Pran-Grainger.
Where there be Additions?
Georgia has roster space, but do they intend to use it? Smart is no stranger to adding impact players at positions of need. He added tight end Eli Wolf and wide receiver Lawrence Cager in 2019 when they needed weapons. Quarterbacks JT Daniels and Jamie Newman along with tight end Tre' McKitty were added in 2020.
The only difference now is it appears Georgia's defense is the unit that needs a bit of help via the NCAA transfer portal, not the offense. Specifically, it is in the defensive backfield.
We've maintained that Georgia's staff will continue to be patient and select what they believe to be an immediate impact player for them in the back end.