1. Experienced and Talent Laden Defense
Georgia had arguably the best defense in the country a year ago. Even still, and despite the dominance, only 1 UGA defender was drafted in 2020 with Tae Crowder garnering the distinction of 'Mr. Irrelevant' in the latest NFL Draft. With stars such as Richard LeCounte III, Monty Rice, and Malik Herring returning, combined with a loaded group of underclassmen and a class of freshmen that could make an immediate impact, the defensive unit could be even better. Maybe dramatically so.
Due to the depth, the talent level, and the experience of the Georgia defense, every single day and rep that opposing offenses lost is a positive for Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning's prized squad. Thanks to an unprecedented level of recruiting over the last four years, Georgia's athleticism on the defensive size is equivalent to any that has helped produce national championships in the College Football Playoff era.
Defense is not as dependent on timing and reports are that the Georgia defenders did an excellent job of staying fit and hungry during the quarantine. The old cliche is that defensive is always ahead of the offense. Image this dynamic with Georgia having the head start of returning the lion share of the production from a historically great defense and adding some potential generational type talents.
2. Self Scouting
There may be nobody on the planet that is more competitive and more standard driven that Kirby Smart. He and his staff have done a great job of creating consistency during his tenure in Athens. Having said that, the day to day of an SEC Head Coach, and a coach in general for that matter is taxing and chaotic. As bad as Smart and his staff wanted to be going through spring ball, hosting recruiting visits, having camps, and getting out on the recruiting trail, the circumstances of COVID-19 provided time for coaches and programs to recharge, extensively self evaluate, and ultimately find ways to improve in a manner that would otherwise not have been possible.
Yes, Georgia had turnover on the offensive side of the coaching staff. However, Georgia added TWO former college head coaches in Matt Luke and Todd Monken. The insight and the value that these two men undoubtedly have brought to the process of self-evaluating and formulating adjustments to the UGA plan of attack is nearly immeasurable.
3. Team Chemistry
Talking to recruits and those close to the program, it is apparent that there is a special and different culture in Athens. Several prospects that Georgia is persuing have mentioned how multiple current Dawgs reach out to them and tell them how much they love the program, how good the staff is, and how Georgia prepares players for the next level and life after football.
Factor in all the unanimous praising of the program and the unified and resolute response that the Georgia Bulldog team and coaching staff have had to the recent tragic events in the country that have spurned on further social unrest and I think you'll see a healthy program. This is a program that has players bought in. This is a program full of players that knows the coaching staff supports them and enjoys being around each other. Finally, it's a program without distraction. Any possible discord or rifts in the unit seemed to have moved on from a year prior and the leadership on this team is a strong as that of 2017 according to program sources.
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