Georgia Football: 5 Exciting Bulldogs to Watch for This Season
Last year, Georgia won 10 games and went to the SEC Championship game. Discussions of head coach Mark Richt being on the "hot seat" evaporated.
Georgia got there because a slew of playmakers on both sides of the ball. Here are the five Bulldogs to watch next season, the most pivotal players to Georgia's season.
LB Jarvis Jones
After transferring from USC last year, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones exploded onto the college football world during the 2011 season.
Jones terrorized opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators with 13.5 sacks, ranking him second in the country.
Jones was instrumental in the transformation of Georgia's 3-4 defense under coordinator Todd Graham.
The experts are taking notice. Jones is the No. 2 player on ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper's 2013 Big Board.
Now that Jones will be targeted by opposing offenses, it will be interesting to see how he fights off double-teams and if he can remain as explosive as he was in his breakout junior season.
RB Isaiah Crowell
All eyes are on Isaiah Crowell, the talented yet troubled running back, next season. Has he matured? Can he stay healthy?
The 2011 SEC Freshman of the Year had a turbulent 2011 season in which he ran for 850 yards and five touchdowns. But his inability to stay healthy late in the year, particularly in the SEC Championship game against LSU, cost Georgia dearly.
Crowell was the headline recruit from the "Dream Team" recruiting class in 2011, and he still has a tremendous amount of potential, but his maturity has not caught up to that yet.
In the last four games of Georgia's season, Crowell ran for 29 yards on 15 carries and had more than three carries in just one of those games.
Crowell will need to toughen up or else other tailbacks will see the field. Georgia signed highly-touted recruits Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley to give Crowell competition. He has to step up.
WR Malcolm Mitchell
Which side of the ball will Malcolm Mitchell play on next year?
After a dynamic freshman season as a wide receiver, Georgia is considering moving the talented athlete to the secondary.
Mitchell provided the lone deep threat that Georgia had last season and caught 45 passes for 665 yards last year.
Mitchell's potential departure from the offense leaves the receiving unit extremely thin.
Mitchell played both ways in high school, so switching to defense would not be an astronomical leap.
The Bulldogs are handicapped early next season thanks to a slew of suspensions in the secondary. Once those players return from suspensions, Mitchell should rejoin the receiving corps.
QB Aaron Murray
Quarterback Aaron Murray did not progress as fast as hoped in his sophomore season.
Murray had a lower completion percentage, lower yards per attempt and more interceptions in his second season at the helm.
He still is an elite quarterback, but his tendency to throw interceptions during crucial situations limits him.
Murray has good mobility and is a threat running the football, but in order to stay healthy, he should let Crowell do the running.
S Bacarri Rambo
How will Bacarri Rambo respond to being suspended four games next season?
This isn't the first time Rambo has been suspended as a 'Dawg, but this suspension is significantly longer than the first.
Rambo had a breakout season in 2011 with eight interceptions, ranking him second in the country. Now, Rambo is a serious NFL prospect, and he needs to prove his results last season weren't a fluke.
Once the ball is in his hands, Rambo has the capability to score. Four of Rambo's interception returns went longer than 20 yards.