SEC Media Days: Big Questions for Georgia

SEC Media Days
It’s time to “Call the Dawgs.” We hope you’ve enjoyed your hot dogs and fireworks, but now it’s time to get down to business. The football season is fast approaching, and the Clemson Tigers are on the clock. Big things are expected from Georgia in 2024. With Texas and Oklahoma set to join the SEC this season, the Southeastern Conference is heading to Texas for SEC Media Days. Next week, Kirby Smart will be joined by Carson Beck, Mykel Williams, and Malakai Starks as they head to Dallas for the event. To get you ready, we’ve got one big question for the head coach and players.

SEC Media Days Information

The  2024 SEC Football Kickoff Media Days, presented by Regions, will be at the Omni Dallas Hotel from July 15 to 18. The SEC Network will broadcast the event daily, starting at 9 a.m. CT each morning. Here is the schedule for all the teams next week:

Monday, July 15

Tuesday, July 16 

Wednesday, July 17 

Thursday, July 18 

  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • Kentucky
  • Texas A&M

Georgia SEC Media Days Preview

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Smart has built an impressive resume since being hired as head coach in December 2015. Under his leadership, Georgia won back-to-back College Football Playoff National Championships in 2021 and 2022 and appeared in the 2017 CFP title game. The team has played in seven New Year’s Six bowl games, won SEC Championships in 2017 and 2022, and secured six SEC Eastern Division titles. Smart has a 94-16 overall record and is a staggering 46-2 in his last 48 games.

Smart and Georgia are among college football’s elite. With Nick Saban’s retirement at Alabama, the spotlight and the target on Georgia grow larger in 2024. At the SEC Spring Media Days in Destin, Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin commented on Smart’s new role, stating, “Kirby kind of took over and is the lead now.” That’s the context in which we phrase our SEC Media Days question for Smart.

With NIL, the Transfer Portal, and conference realignment, college football is rapidly changing. What steps have you taken to prepare your team to remain among the elite and continue leading from the front?

Carson Beck

Carson Beck returns for his second year as Georgia’s signal caller, and the spotlight is shining brightly on the Bulldog quarterback. Expectations are high, with many predicting he’ll be a Heisman finalist and one of the top quarterbacks in the 2025 NFL Draft. After an impressive first year, it makes sense. In 2023, Beck threw for 3,941 yards, 24 touchdowns, and just 6 interceptions. He surpassed 200 yards in 13 of the 14 games Georgia played and went over 300 yards five times. If there was a missing component for the 2023 offense, it was the running game. That is the one question we would ask Beck at SEC Media Days.

Can you discuss the impact and influence Trevor Etienne has had on Georgia’s offense? How does his presence help the team take the next step, return to the playoff in 2024, and compete for another SEC and national championship?

Mykel Williams

Williams is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker for the 2024 season. Some media reports suggest this move was made to convince Williams to stay in Athens and not take his talents elsewhere. Regardless of the reason, Williams could provide a significant upgrade at the position as Georgia aims to stabilize its front seven. Last season, he recorded 18 tackles, including 11 solo stops, led the team with 4.5 sacks, and notched 6.5 tackles for a loss. The questions around Georgia’s front seven frame up our question to Williams.

Georgia’s defense has a reputation for being nearly impenetrable against the run, but that wasn’t always the case in 2023. How does your move to outside linebacker contribute to strengthening the defense, and who are the key players we should expect to help reestablish Georgia’s formidable reputation?

Malaki Starks

Starks has been a standout leader for Georgia since he arrived in Athens. In 2022, he was a finalist for the Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award and earned First Team Freshman All-America honors from The Athletic. Starting at defensive back in 14 of 15 games, he had 68 tackles, led the team in pass breakups with seven, and snagged two interceptions.

In 2023, Starks’ performance elevated further, earning him First Team All-American honors from multiple outlets and saw him finish as a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe Awards. The All-SEC First Teamer starting every game, he tallied 52 tackles, including 31 solo stops, three interceptions with 47 return yards, and seven pass breakups. His consistent excellence solidified his reputation as a key player in Georgia’s defense. For Starks’s Media Day question, we go big picture.

The spotlight will shine brightly on Georgia this year with two neutral site games and SEC road contests in Austin, Tuscaloosa, and Oxford. What have been the conversations with the team about embracing this high level of attention and pressure?

We’ll have an update from Smart and the players next week.

SEC Media Days
Photo courtesy: Marc Weiszer / USA TODAY NETWORK


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