Georgia is wrapping up the end of the offseason and preparing for a battle ‘between the hedges’ against UT Martin on September 2nd. It has certainly been an eventful offseason for the back-to-back champions, with notable injuries, draft departures, and high-profile recruits rolling into Athens. A new breed of Bulldog is ready to make a name for themselves. Here are three players who have the potential to stand out for the reigning back-to-back champions.
The first player Georgia fans should watch out for throughout the 2023 season is Cash Jones. Jones is a redshirt sophomore from Brock, Texas, who played a prominent role in kickoff return coverage for Georgia in 2022. The speedy back ran the ball only twice last season; however, one of the carries resulted in a 36-yard touchdown run. The other carry came late in a game against South Carolina, where he also added a pair of receptions. Georgia is dealing with the loss of Kenny McIntosh, who was one of the top backs in college football when it came to receiving out of the backfield. This void is struggling to be filled due to injuries to Kendall Milton, Daijun Edwards, and Branson Robinson (Georgia’s top three listed backs). Jones has been superb in practices catching the ball, and his elite quickness and knack for making defenders miss could be significantly useful this season. While Jones might not be the 5-star blue-chip recruit running back that Georgia might be accustomed to, he is more than capable of making an immediate impact at running back in 2023.
Turning things over to the defensive side of the ball, Georgia has a star in the making with linebacker Jalon Walker. Walker featured in all 15 of the Bulldog’s games in 2022, where he played both inside and outside linebacker, as well as special teams. Walker possesses a unique skillset and is especially efficient when it comes to rushing the passer. This became apparent after Walker filled in for the injured Nolan Smith late in the season. In the College Football Playoff, Walker tallied an impressive seven QB hurries against Ohio State and TCU. This season, Walker is expected to primarily play at inside linebacker; however, it will not be surprising if Glen Schumann elects to use the star linebacker as an edge rusher on passing downs. Expect number 11 to make noise around the SEC this fall.
A final Bulldog poised to make an impact in 2023 is left tackle Earnest Greene III. With Broderick Jones having departed for the NFL, a massive void is left in the Bulldogs’ offensive line. While many expected Amarius Mims to slide over into that position, the redshirt freshman from St. John Bosco has taken a firm grasp on protecting Carson Beck’s blind side. Greene III moves exceptionally well for a big man and has been a standout this offseason and through fall camp. Warren Brinson recently spoke to the media regarding how highly he regards Georgia’s offensive line, so Greene III winning the left tackle position at his youthful age is a testament to his overall intelligence and natural ability.
Due to Kirby Smart and the Georgia coaching staff’s remarkable ability to recruit at the highest level, Georgia boasts an entire roster of players capable of making an immediate impact. These three stars highlight a group of players looking to contribute to a championship of their own. With just over a week until kickoff, expect the young Bulldogs to make one final preseason push to show this Georgia coaching staff why they are willing and able to lead the Bulldogs to a third straight title.