Georgia Football: The 5 Most Important Bulldogs in 2013

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IJune 5, 2013

Georgia Football: The 5 Most Important Bulldogs in 2013

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    For the Georgia Bulldogs to have a successful 2013 season, key players will have to play big throughout the year.

    We know the offense will have to continue to play at a high level and we also know the defense will have to overachieve in order for the Bulldogs to reach the SEC championship.

    But there are five players who are crucial to the Bulldogs' success. These five players will have to be consistent in 2013, and they also have to make sure the rest of the team is on the same page.

    These players are also important because if they go down with an injury or suspension, the Bulldogs could be in a world of trouble.

    Here are the five most important Bulldogs in 2013.

No. 5: Marshall Morgan

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    Morgan did not have a great 2013 season, as he was erratic on extra points to start the year.

    He did settle in toward the end of the season, but there is still some uncertainty in terms of coming though in the clutch.

    Morgan has the leg of an SEC kicker, as he kicked a 50-yard field goal against Tennessee and a 52-yarder against Missouri.

    The question is, can he make extra points this year consistently as well as be more consistent with field goals ranging from 40-49 yards, where he was only 1-of-4 last season?

No. 4: Tray Matthews

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    There will be a lot of pressure on Matthews this season because he is coming in as the starter at free safety as a true freshman.

    If he performs well, the secondary will be strong, which will make the defense better. If he struggles, the secondary could be in for a long season.

    Matthews impressed his players and coaches during spring practice as he was one of the best tacklers on the field.

    The one thing he has to do now is show that he has the ball skills like Bacarri Rambo did the past four seasons.

    Matthews is young, so he will make his share of mistakes. But the coaches are hoping he can limit the mistakes and improve as the season progresses.

No. 3: Jordan Jenkins

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    The Bulldogs need an impact player on defense like Jarvis Jones was the past two years.

    So Jordan Jenkins is going to be looked at as the likely replacement because he was second on the team in sacks last year with six.

    Jenkins made great strides his freshman season, but has to step it up in 2013 because of the lack of experience from the rest of the players on defense.

    If Jenkins can get double-digit sacks this year and becomes an All-SEC player, then the defense will not be a weakness because his playmaking abilities will allow the rest of the defensive players to make plays as well.

    And under Todd Grantham’s system, there is always one player that gets 10 sacks or more in a season. Jenkins could, and probably will, be that guy to do it. 

No. 2: Todd Gurley

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    Aaron Murray may have been the MVP on offense last year. But one could make the argument that Gurley was the team MVP because he made a huge impact his first year as a starter.

    Even though there is a very capable back behind him in Keith Marshall, Gurley has emerged as a superstar, and he was a big reason the Bulldogs won 12 games last year.

    And he played his best when it meant the most. Gurley had 118 yards and one score against Florida, and he also had 122 yards and two scores against Alabama.

    If Gurley has a repeat performance of last year (1,385 yards, 17 touchdowns), there is no reason the Bulldogs can’t win at least 10 games this year. 

No. 1: Aaron Murray

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    The quarterback position is arguably the most important position on the field, and it’s no different for the Bulldogs.

    Murray had a great 2012 season, as he threw for 3,893 yards and 36 touchdowns. He is also on pace to break the SEC record for career passing yards and passing touchdowns.

    Murray has been criticized for not coming through in the big games, but that’s an unfair stigma.

    Murray is the key piece to this team, and if the Bulldogs want to go anywhere this season, Murray has to be healthy all season long.

    There is no question he will put up the numbers because he has done it the past three years. Now it’s time for him to take the next step, which is win the SEC title.

    If Murray can do that, he will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Georgia history.