Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Georgia Transfer Portal Analysis: Turn the Offense up to 11!

Georgia Transfer Portal

Before we dive into our Georgia transfer portal analysis, let’s start with a fact. Georgia is an elite team in college football. They have problems most teams would dream about. They wrapped up the top recruiting class in the country despite the #1 quarterback and #2 overall player in the Class of 2024 decommitting less than a week before signing day. That would be catastrophic for most teams (including the one in Gainesville), but Georgia is different. Kirby Smart and Georgia continued moving forward and flipped KJ Bolden, the nation’s top safety, from Florida State.

Nineteen players from the 2023 team entered the transfer portal during the early period. Reading the internet, there was a mass exodus out of Athens. The dynasty was over. Like the reaction to Dylan Raiola’s decision, the news and the number of those leaving are more provocative than profound, especially when you see what Smart and his staff added.

Smart on the Transfer Portal

Smart was asked about the transfer portal on signing day. While many coaches have used the opportunity to talk about how the transfer portal will spell the end of days for college football, Smart took a more pragmatic approach. “The portal is a good thing; let’s not make that negative,” Smart said. “If you’ve been in a program for three years, and you’re not playing, and you don’t feel like you’re going to play, or you don’t feel like you’re getting developed, and it doesn’t look great, then you might need to look somewhere else, and that’s an OK thing.”

It wasn’t all flowers and sunshine, though. Smart did raise concerns with players who have not put their time into a program and are jumping ship when they are not starting or playing “meaningful minutes” from the time they walk on campus. “It’s when it’s you’re first year and you’re doing that, it becomes a little more alarming. It’s why did you do that in the first place because you never really gave yourself a chance to grow?” Smart said. “So, I evaluate the portal based on that, and not the total number, because the total number is irrelevant because of the day and age we’re in. Sometimes the grass is greener, and sometimes it’s not. But we don’t control those decisions.” We’ll use Smart’s comments to help frame some of the more prominent names coming and going in 2024.

Georgia Transfer Portal Analysis: Turn the Offense up to 11!

Who’s Leaving?

Brock Vandagriff was one of the biggest names from the 2023 Georgia team to enter the transfer portal. Vandagriff challenged Carson Beck throughout the Spring of last year to be the starting quarterback. Beck appeared to be the odds-on favorite after the Spring game, and Vandagriff faced a tough decision: stay on and continue to compete in Fall camp or use the Spring transfer portal to get a fresh start with a new team. Vandagriff chose to stay and was the backup this season. He appeared in five games, completing 12 of 18 passes for two touchdowns. Vandagriff will now head north to Lexington, where he will likely be the starter.

Mekhi Mews was the biggest name and most productive of the five wide receivers who entered the transfer portal. Mews was primarily used as a kick and punt returner in 2023. Like the other five wide receivers, Mews enters the portal looking for an opportunity to catch more balls and be a more significant part of an offense. Most of these players entering the portal are in the same situation; they have been with Georgia for a couple of years but are looking for more opportunities.

  • Mews: 13 catches, 155 yards, 1 TD
  • CJ Smith: 6 catches, 116 yards
  • Zeed Haynes: 1 catch, 20 yards
  • Jackson Meeks: 1 catch, 23 yards
  • Logan Johnson: no stats
  • De’Nylon Morrissette: no stats

Who’s Coming in?

Georgia’s offense would look different in 2024, regardless of who entered the transfer portal. Georgia’s top two rushers (Daijun Edwards and Kendall Milton) and three of their top five receivers (Brock Bowers, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, and Ladd McConkey) all have put their name to enter the NFL Draft. These five players played an integral part in the 2023 offense, causing Smart and his staff to act quickly and decisively to bring in some key names to ensure the offense continues running at a high level.

Trevor Etienne
Position: Running Back
Former school: Florida
Where does he fit?

Etienne was the top running back in the transfer portal. He led the Gators in rushing touchdowns, yards per carry, and yards per game. He will likely take over as RB1 next year. If there was one fault in Georgia’s offense this year, it was their rushing attack. Etienne gives them a dynamic back, making the Cocktail Party more interesting next November.

London Humphreys
Position: Wide Receiver
Former school: Vanderbilt
Where does he fit?

Humphreys was the #2 wide receiver available in the transfer portal. He was an All-SEC Freshman in his first year at Vanderbilt and was second on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. Humphreys may look to slide into the role vacated by McConkey.

Colbie Young
Position: Wide Receiver
Former school: Miami
Where does he fit?

Young ranked third in Miami for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. Young is a big-body receiver who will help with the Rosemy-Jacksaint moving onto the NFL and will be another significant threat opposite Rara Thomas.

Michael Jackson
Position: Wide Receiver
Former school: USC (California, not Carolina)
Where does he fit?

Jackson has battled injuries while at USC and has not played in more than nine games in his three years in Los Angeles. Jackson will challenge Humphreys and Dominic Lovett as slot receivers.

The Future is Bright

The offensive players who decided to enter the transfer portal were not integral pieces to the Bulldog offense in 2023. This is what helps keep Georgia elite. Smart doesn’t have to worry about his starting quarterback or leading rusher entering the portal because they are unhappy or looking for more. That is a luxury many teams, including many in the SEC, do not have the luxury of. Florida lost their top running back, and Vanderbilt lost a future top receiver. Their losses are Georgia’s game. Combined with Smart’s relentless approach to recruiting, the transfer portal helps the Bulldogs fill in the gaps and further strengthen its team.


Georgia Transfer Portal
Photo courtesy: Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun


More Posts

Send Us A Message