football Edit

RCS Atlanta survey: The state of Georgia's program

Jake Fromm
Jake Fromm (AP)

The Georgia Bulldogs surprised many last season when they captured an SEC Championship and came just a few plays away from winning the National Championship in Kirby Smart’s second season in Athens. After reeling in one of the best recruiting classes in recent history, the Dawgs appeared to be poised for a long run of success.

Over the weekend at the Atlanta stop of the Rivals 3 Stripe Series presented by adidas we talked with several recruits to get their thoughts on Georgia’s chances of returning to the playoff, what it will take to get the school over the hump and whether or not another five-star freshman will end up starting at quarterback in 2018.

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Do you think Georgia will make it back to the college football playoff next season?

“Of course. The key? Do exactly what they did last year. Their recruiting class was No. 1 in the country last year. The sky is the limit. All the guys are from Georgia, and everybody knows Georgia is the state for high school football recruiting. If you can get a Georgia player at your school, chances are you can get anyone.” — Four-star defensive end Derrick McLendon II

“I do. They made it last year and they have a bunch of young guys coming in, so they are set up.” — Four-star offensive lineman Amari Kight

“I believe so. Their recruiting class is great. — Five-star OL Clay Webb

“No. I think it was a one-time thing. Kind of like the Eagles this year. They had a really good year.” – 2020 four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey

“I do. They’re a pretty strong team, building a pretty strong roster. They’re going strong recruiting-wise, so I think they’ll be strong for the next couple of years.” – Three-star athlete Myles Farmer

“I think they should, probably so. I think they’ll beat the SEC, so they should be in it.” – Three-star Clemson tight end commit Jaelyn Lay

“Yes, I expect them to get back because they have been recruiting very hard, they got a lot of five-stars, so I see them being back up there again.” – 2019 defensive end Daniel Lavelle

“I definitely think they’ll be back in the playoffs. They got a lot of young talent, they’re hungry, some new coaches and players that are coming back in key positions, and I think that a lot of other guys will step up.” – Three-star linebacker Kevon Glenn

“I think they’ll make it back in, especially with the recruiting class they just signed.” – Three-star offensive lineman Riley Simonds

“Oh yeah. That’s a team, now. They’re playing good.” – Three-star tight end Garmon Randolph

“Yes. A lot of the talent there is pretty young and the coaching staff is back. They haven’t lost much.” — 2020 wide receiver Donnovan Moorer

“Yeah, they’ll do well, but I’m not really a big Georgia fan, so we’ll see how it goes.” – Three-star athlete Emmanuel Jenkins

What does Kirby Smart need to do to get Georgia over the hump and win a national title?

“They lost the championship game by making one mistake. Other than that, if Kirby can get those guys to do exactly what they did last year, they will be fine.” — McLendon

“As long their defense keeps playing well and D’Andre Swift can keep the running game going, they will continue to improve.” — Kight

“I can’t really say that he could have done too much different [in the National Championship Game]. If you watch that game and you see them in overtime, they had them at 2nd-and-30 and at that point, your players just got to play. If they do the same thing and just put in a little more work, they’ll get over the hump.” – Glenn

“They need to beat Alabama. They have been recruiting really well but there’s always something that stops them or trips them up so they need to get past that and get over the hump.” – Bailey

“No ‘me’ players. They need everyone playing for the team. They should pull through with that.” – Randolph

“I just think they need to keep implementing the system, staying true to the system, getting their guys focused and they’ll be on top soon for sure.” – Jenkins

“I think making a couple of changes to the playbook, a little more hard work, they’re going to be back there.” – Farmer

“It’s hard to think about that. He’ll be thinking about what to do with the quarterbacks.” – Lay

“He’s mostly fine. The only thing he’s got to do on offense or defense is find some guys to fill some spots and do better.” – Lavelle

“Basically just have to keep doing what they are doing and keep getting those Georgia boys there.” — Moorer

“I just think he needs to keep doing what he’s doing.” – Simonds

3. Will five-star freshman Justin Fields beat out starter Jake Fromm at quarterback at any point in 2018?

Justin Fields
Justin Fields (

“Justin is my guy. For me, I would love to see Justin start. But Jake led them to the national championship game as a true freshman. As a coach, you have to look at that. I’ve got a guy that took me to the title game as a freshman, and another guy who could potentially do that. What do I do with that guy? The spring game will tell next week. Last year, it was Fromm and Jacob Eason, and Jake dominated the spring game. My dad said, he needs to start, and I didn’t believe him. But the stats showed this year, it wasn’t a fluke.” — McLendon

“I think they’re going to try both of them, but in the end, I think Fields is going to get it because he can throw and run. I think Fromm is going to start in the beginning, but something is going to go wrong, they’re going to find something – like what happened with Jacob Eason – they’ll find something.” – Lavelle

“I definitely think he will, even if he’s not starting, I think that he’ll get a lot of playtime. I just think with Fromm, he has the experience, he’s the returning starter and just took them to a championship, so you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I just think that over the course of the season, with the fans and the coaches questioning, I just feel like there will be pressure to play him because even if it’s little things that Jake Fromm may mess up on, I feel like they’ll say ‘just put him in and see what they can do’ and next thing you know, he could rip off a big game and then he’s starting.” – Glenn

“Oh yeah. I think they’re competing now. It’s going to be pretty hard but I think he can do it.”

“He might, he’s going to show out regardless - he’s a baller. Fromm’s a good quarterback, they’re probably going to have to battle it out. It’s going to be a good competition.” – Farmer

“In my mind, I think no. I just don’t think he will be the starter this season. Knowing Georgia, he might come in if Fromm makes a mistake or is having a bad game, I just know that it’s going to be a while for Fields to come in and play.” – Lay

“He could – that’s a good race right there, so I don’t know. I don’t think that he’ll do it before the season, but I think he’ll play his way into it.” – Randolph

“I think they’ll put (Fields) in for sure. He’s a great player and I’ve played against him the past two years. He’s a competitor for sure.” – Jenkins

“I have no idea; that’s up to Kirby to decide.” – Simonds

“I don’t think so, but he could. He’s good.” — Moorer

“I don’t think so right now because Jake Fromm has the experience over him.” — Kight