The UGA football program has heard from nearly all of it’s current players when it comes to their intentions to stay and play another year in between the hedges, or to move on to the NFL. JT Daniels, James Cook, and Devonte Wyatt all are key players that have decided to return so far. Eric Stokes Jr., Tyson Campbell, and Trey Hill are all players that could have returned to UGA will regular eligibility remaining and have elected to try their hand in the NFL. There are still a few major decisions looming that could drastically alter the outlook of the 2021 season in terms of personnel decisions.
Zamir White is the most significant player yet to announce his plans from an offensive production stand point. White was Georgia’s leading rusher in the 2020 campaign by a wide margin. The current redshirt sophomore, would be redshirt junior if he returns, led the Dawgs, in total yards, carries, and touchdowns. White has overcome 2 ACL injuries during his career and nobody would blame him if he decide the next hit he’s going to take is one in which he is getting paid to do so. However, should White decide to return, he will be the leader of a backfield that will be the most experienced and the deepest in the country. White, James Cook, Kendall Milton, Kenny McIntosh, Daijun Edwards, and Lovasea Carroll is a group unparalleled as a collective unit.
One of the big men leading the way this past season for White was Jamaree Salyer. Salyer played left tackle for most of the season but kicked inside to left guard for the Peach Bowl with Georgia having reshuffled their line do to the absences of Trey Hill and Ben Cleveland. Undoubtedly this would be foreshadowing of what is to come in the 2021 season should Salyer decide to return. Amarius Mims and Broderick Jones both will be coming on strong in competition for the left tackle spot, of course competing with Xavier Truss who, played the position in the Peach Bowl, and others. Playing Sayler at guard makes sense and he’s an excellent and reliable run blocker and more than adequate in pass protection as well. A Sayler return would give Georgia a player that has played guard and tackle at an extremely high level with tons of experience. That flexibility and the leadership Salyer would provide are plenty of reason enough for the Dawg faithful to hope he elects to stay in Athens.
Finally, on the defensive side of the ball, there is big Jordan Davis. Davis reacted to fellow interior defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt’s decision to return on Instagram by posting ‘So that’s what we’re doing?’ lead by the now accustomed eyeball emojis and followed by emojis of thinking and shushing faces at the bottom of the post. I myself do not claim to be a social media and, or emoji detective, but it would appear that at the very least the 6’6″ 325+ pound defensive tackle is considering returning to UGA. If he does, Georgia’s defensive line will be much like their running back group, extremely talented and extremely deep. The energy, emotion, and leadership that Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt could bring to the 2021 defensive line group and the defense as a whole is immeasurable in value.
At this time, I’d predict Salyer and Davis are coming back. Zamir White could likely return as well, but the shelf life on running backs at the SEC and the NFL level is limited. When you’ve had 2 major knee injuries, regardless of work ethic and strength, you’re running on borrowed time as a running back so to speak. White has the most reason of anyone to return, but it’s also apparent that Zamir loves being a Georgia Bulldog and having a 1000 yard season and winning a national championship as a Dawg, all while boosting his draft stock, could be even more appealing to White than what his current NFL prospects would be. Decisions by all 3 should be coming within the next few days.