Kirby Smart expected, understands heavy Georgia football attrition, no panic

ATHENS — There is no panic in the Georgia Football building, and certainly no surprises.

Coach Kirby Smart has often said that part of acquiring elite talent is inevitably many players qualifying themselves for the NFL draft as underclassmen, especially with many starting their careers as early enrollees.

So it was an expected reality that the predicted 2022 NFL Draft first round picks Travon Walker and Nakobe Dean would forego their senior years, and likely Lewis Cine would also leave early on the second day (second or third round).

Those announcements all came on Friday, along with news that George Pickens, a potential first-round NFL voter, had indeed considered himself for the 2022 draft, as DawgNation first reported Thursday night.

The four talented underclassmen join a group of nine outgoing seniors, eight of whom have already accepted Senior Bowl invites.

Zamir White decided to leave on Friday and will likely be invited to an all-star game, if not the Senior Bowl, possibly the East-West Shrine Game.

Smart also said last Tuesday, the morning after the Bulldogs defeated Alabama 33-18 in the CFP Championship Game, that players would leave and some would go to the transfer portal.

“We’re going to have multiple kids…go to the portal we’ve had conversations with that put that off, out of respect for the team,” Smart said.

“I loved that. We’ll have that. Everyone will think that’s terrible. But in some cases it is a good opportunity for children.”

Indeed, and with the COVID-19 allowances no longer in effect, teams are expected to have to go back to 85 scholarship players.

That’s a balancing act for Georgia, which, according to Smart, has “16 or 17” early enrollees on a scholarship and on campus.

The Bulldogs are expected to have more attrition this weekend.

That list in the portal currently includes:

• CB Jalen Kimber

• CB Ameer Speed

• CB Lovasea Carroll

• DB Latavious Worry

• WR Justin Robinson

• WR Jaylen Johnson

Smart and Georgia have been active, albeit very selective, and have also spoken to players in the portal.

“I know people don’t understand, but other teams are 10 days behind you because they’re ready on January 1, your competitors,” Smart said. “And you go, wait, what are they doing? We’re trying to win a national championship.”

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett is one of those who may or may not be back with the Bulldogs. Bennett said he will only come back if he can “trust the decisions” of Smart and the UGA coaching staff.

Here is an overview of the player status

DEFENSE

Main Returning Players

DT Jalen Carter

DL Zion Logue

DL Warren Brinson

CB Kelee Ringo

LB Jamon Dumas Johnson

FS Christopher Smith

RELATED: Christopher Smith Boosts Bulldogs With Returning News

SS Dan Jackson

Star Tykee Smith

Unknown/not announced

OLB Nolan Smith

CB Nyland Green

OLB Adam Anderson (Indefinitely Suspended)

OLB Robert Beal, Jr.

departing players

NT Jordan Davis

DT Devonte Wyatt

LB Quay Walker

LB Channing Tindall

SS Lewis Cine (underclass design)

CB Derion Kendrick

LB Nakobe Dean (underclassman draft)

DE Travon Walker (underclassman draft)

DB Lovasea Carroll (portal)

CB Jalen Kimber (portal)

CB Ameer Speed ​​(portal)

DB Latavious Brini (portal)

OFFENCE

Main Returning Players

OT Broderick Jones

OL Sedrick Van Pran

OL Tate Ratledge

OT Warren McClendon

AND Warren Ericson

OT Amarius Mims

TE Brock Bowers

WR Adonai Mitchell

WR Ladd McConkey

RB Kenny McIntosh

RB Kendall Milton

RB Daijun Edwards

QB Brock Vandagriff

Unknown/not announced

W.R. Kearis Jackson

WR Arian Smith

WR Jermaine Burton

WR Arik Gilbert

WR Dominick Blaylock

WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

TE John Fitz Patrick

OL Clay Webb

OL Owen Condon

TE Darnell Washington

QB Carson Beck

QB Stetson Bennett

QB JT Daniels

PK Jack Podlesny (certified)

departing players

RB Zamir Wit

RB James Cook

W.R. George Pickens (underclassman draft)

OL Jamaree Salyer

AND Justin Shaffer

WR Justin Robinson (portal)

W.R. Jaylen Johnson (portal)

P Jake Camarda

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