2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 17 Georgia Bulldogs
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Georgia Bulldogs
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No. 17: Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Bulldogs Prespring Status
Kirby Smart had an okay first year at the helm, but his team couldn’t score, couldn’t beat Florida in one big rivalry game, lost a brutal heartbreaker to Tennessee in another, and lost another close battle to Georgia Tech. That’s almost okay in the opening run in a new era, but you only get to lose all those key games once before the fan base gets grouchy.
The team was better and stronger than 8-5 in terms of talent and upside, but it was just the beginning under Smart. With a few loaded recruiting classes under his belt, and with just one early departure to the NFL, look out.
Seven starters are back on offense – now there’s no excuse not to be better. The backfield has as much talent as any in the country, but not the line has to be stronger and more effective. On the other side, ten starters are back, only losing Maurice Smith from one of the safety spots. 16th in the nation overall, the D under Smart – his forte – should be a killer.
Georgia Bulldogs Biggest Issue
The offensive line has to rock. Even with Isaiah McKenzie leaving early for the NFL, the receiving corps will be fine, and the backfield is fantastic, but the line has to be amazing. It was okay last year – not stellar – and now it loses three starters including Brandon Kublanow in the middle and Greg Pyke at one tackle. It won’t be a liability, but the front five combination needs to be settled as early as possible in spring ball.
Georgia Bulldogs Biggest Positive
The backfield. Jacob Eason cranked through the growing pains of a true freshman season, proving at times he could step up in crunch time. While some might be interested in seeing this year’s super-recruit Jake Fromm if the passing game struggles, Eason should be the franchise. The offense, though, will revolve around the backs.
Georgia caught a huge break with Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returning for one more year, and now they form the nation’s best 1-2 rushing punch. If they can stay healthy, and if the line is okay, the Bulldogs should average well over 200 yards a game on the ground.
Really, Why Are The Georgia Bulldogs Ranked Here?
The needle is pointing way, way up. The defense is too experienced and too talented not to be among the nation’s best, the offense could be dominant if Eason takes a big step forward, and the young prospects from Smart’s recruiting classes should upgrade the depth. There’s still a prove-it factor after the offense struggled so much last year, but after closing out winning four of the last five, and with so many veterans back, there’s no reason to expect anything less than being deep in the hunt for the SEC East title.