The 2018 football campaign is here. March 20 marks the first day of spring camp. After making it to the College Football Playoff for the first time in program history, beating Oklahoma in a historic Rose Bowl, and falling to Alabama in overtime in the National Championship, Georgia comes into 2018 hungrier than ever. Head coach Kirby Smart continues to implement the process and push this program in the right direction.
Sanford Stadium gets a Facelift
Sanford Stadium got a makeover this offseason with a 63 million dollar renovation to the west end zone. The project includes a recruiting lounge, new locker room, concession stands, restroom improvements and the big one, a 33 percent bigger jumbo screen.
Georgia’s locker room will double in size from the current one. However, what seems to be the selling point is the recruiting lounge. Recruits and their families will have a space to relax and take in the environment or to just get out of the heat. This amenity could take the recruiting experience to a whole other level.
Construction should finish before the 2018 football season.
Another Historic, no the most Historic Recruiting Class Ever
Fans thought the 2017 class was exceptional. Well, 2018 took the top spot as the best Georgia recruiting class in history. According to Rivals, Georgia signed eight 5-stars, 15 4-stars, and three 3-stars. This class was the first implemented in the early signing period, and Georgia took full advantage of it. The Bulldogs signed 20 on December 22, leaving just a few spots left for February. Smart pulled every string in the book, flipped two Alabama commits, and snatched a south Florida cornerback out-from-under Mark Richt’s nose.
One of the most significant prospects in the 2018 class is Justin Fields. He’s not only the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback but the No. 2 overall prospect. Fields marked the third consecutive five-star quarterback Georgia signed. It looks like there will be another quarterback battle in Athens this spring, which will make G-day even more fun.
Georgia added another five-star running back, Zamir White, who most compare to Herschel Walker, along with four-star back James Cook. It looks like TBU (Tailback University) continued its trend, and added yet another thunder and lightning duo.
Fans cannot get enough of the RareBreed18 class. Most opinions were all the same; it’s the best class ever.
Football fan, Ethan Martin, credits the success to Georgia’s storybook 2017 season.
“The Dawgs come off a storybook 2017 season with the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation,” Martin says. “It’s safe to say that the highly touted 2018 class will increase competition on the field this spring. The future is bright Dawg Nation.”
Stacey Bryant, season ticket holder for over 20 years, says she was speechless on National Signing Day.
“I couldn’t believe it. Georgia finally brought home every recruit it wanted,” Bryant says as she smiles from ear to ear. “It’s obvious to me that Kirby Smart can sell this program, and all these kids bought into it. Winning had a big part to do with it, but I believe It’s the humbleness that Smart brings to the program that gets these kids attention.”
Georgia made recruiting history, and satisfied every need in this class and look to carry that success onto the football field this spring.
Smart’s Savage Squad takes over Leadership
The Bulldogs must fill a void that helped so much last season. All the main leaders graduated and moved onto bigger things. So who will be next in line for these crucial leadership roles? On the offensive side, look for Terry Godwin, Jake Fromm, and D’Andre Swift to take over as the leaders. Godwin is the senior leader of the wideouts and expect him to be vocal this season. Fromm should only get stronger as a leader, after all the success he had last season. Now, it’s up to him to keep this offense in line. Swift is now the head guy in the running back group, he must be that guy to show White and Cook the ropes and be humble like Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. It’s not clear that any of these guys will emerge as leaders, but they can be great leaders.
For the defense, Deandre Baker, J.R. Reed, and Jonathan Ledbetter need to step up and be the next great leaders. For the defense, it’s tough to tell whom the primary leader will be but these three guys have the experience to be it.
NFL Draft? More Like Georgia Draft
The Bulldogs have 13 players with the potential to get drafted. Of course, there’s Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, and Roquan Smith, but the other ten could all prove to be potential NFL greats. Ten of the 13 received invites to the NFL Combine, one of the most out of all the colleges. Georgia’s always had NFL talent, but this year shows just how much it has now.
Bryce Dixon, lifetime Georgia fan, weighs on the seniors in the combine.
“The seniors in the NFL Combine have something to prove after coming up short in the national championship game,” Dixon said. “Those guys set the standard for our guys and will all have great NFL careers. We may have lost at the very end, but this group of guys gave us great memories to tell our kids down the road. It’s just the beginning of many more memories to be made.”