Georgia football players poised to make a leap in their second year with the program (2024)

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Coaches often point out that the biggest growth for a team comes between the first and second game of the season. They have some level of experience nd thus have a better understanding of how to handle the intensity that comes with game action.

The same can be said as well for players who are entering their second year in the Georgia program. Freshmen struggle to see the field for a variety of reasons. There’s no shame in not breaking through immediately.

With roster turnover being what it is in the current day and age, Georgia is counting on a number of second-year players to make big leaps for the program. In 2023, wide receiver Dillon Bell, offensive tackle Earnest Greene, linebacker Jalon Walker and cornerback Daylen Everette all fit that mold.

And the Bulldogs have plenty players looking to do the same this coming season.

Running back Roderick Robinson

Robinson was limited to just five games in his first year in Athens due to injury. With Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards both moving on to the NFL, Georgia is going to have plenty of carries to hand out.

While Trevor Etienne may be viewed as the lead running back, Robinson showed this spring that he’s going to be a factor in Georgia’s backfield. His physical running style should pair well with Etienne, giving Georgia a tandem it can trust in the running game.

Wide receiver Anthony Evans

Georgia’s wide receiver room is crowded and it may be tough for Evans to make the leap Bell made last season.

But he still merits inclusion on this list because of his game-breaking speed. While he may not rack up many catches, Evans did display some impressive versatility as a punt returner. With Mekhi Mews now at Houston, Evans should have that role full-time. At the very least, he should have a positive impact for Georgia in the return game.

Offensive tackle Monroe Freeling

Freeling almost certainly won’t start the season-opener against Clemson. The former top-50 prospect will likely sit behind Greene and veteran Xavier Truss at the tackle positions.

Georgia does often rotate though on the offensive line and Freeling should be a factor there. Injuries have impacted the Georgia offensive line in each of the last three seasons, which necessitates Georgia having quality depth on the offensive line.

The Bulldogs will be counting on Freeling to develop over the course of the season and become a key piece in the rotation. Even if it isn’t fully able yet to crack the starting lineup.

Defensive tackle Jordan Hall

Hall was a 5-star signee in the 2023 signing class. Defensive line is a tough position to play early on and just because Jalen Carter and Travon Walker were able to carve out roles does not mean every talented prospect can do so.

Hall though is now in his second season with the program. The hope is that with another year of conditioning, he’ll be able to better handle the physical rigors that come with playing defensive tackle in the SEC.

Because Georgia rotates so often, Hall won’t be on the field every play. The return of Naz Stackhouse and Warren Brinson should really help Hall in this regard, keeping the sophom*ore fresh and allowing him to be the best version of himself when he sees the field.

Defensive end Gabe Harris

Few players impressed as much as Harris did on G-Day. He finished with 3 tackles but was a constant presence in the Georgia backfield.

As a freshman, Georgia had Harris bounce between outside linebacker and defensive end. It now seems his full-time home will be along the defensive line, which should give him an easier path to the field.

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Gabe Harris brings effort, toughness and promise to Georgia football defensive line

Harris does have some veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, as well as Mykel Williams playing both outside linebacker and defensive end. But G-Day showed Harris may just be too impactful to keep off the field.

Cornerback Daniel Harris

Georgia nearly lost Harris to the transfer portal, but he elected to remain with the Bulldogs. Georgia thinks very highly of Harris, as he saw significant playing time in Georgia’s Orange Bowl win over Florida State.

Harris is the most physically impressive cornerback on the roster. It’s not a lock he starts, as Everette returns and Georgia brings back Julio Humphrey at cornerback as well. Georgia hasn’t traditionally rotated at cornerback but Harris might be so gifted that he forces the Bulldogs to do so in 2024.

Safety Joenel Aguero

Aguero may have the clearest path to being a starter for Georgia, with the Bulldogs having to replace Tykee Smith at star. Aguero could well factor into the safety battle as well, but Georgia played Aguero heavily at star on G-Day.

Aguero was thought to be someone who could play as a freshman, only for Smith to emerge as Georgia’s leading tackler and interceptions leader. The star position has been a very productive one for Georgia of late and the expectation is that Aguero can make a sizable impact for the Bulldogs in 2024.

Georgia football players poised to make a leap in their second year with the program (2024)
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