Georgia Football: 8 Players We Are Most Excited to Watch in 2013

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor IJune 23, 2013

Georgia Football: 8 Players We Are Most Excited to Watch in 2013

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    Starting on August 31, all eyes will be on the Georgia football team.

    After coming up short in the SEC Championship game, the Bulldogs are getting ready to earn another shot at the conference title and have a chance to redeem even bigger rewards.

    And based on who is returning along with the new players that are in the mix, they have a legitimate shot of achieving those goals. The talent is there for the Bulldogs, and just like last year, the fans will enjoy the ride the 2013 season has to offer.

    Here are the eight players Bulldog fans are most excited to watch in 2013.

No. 8: FS Tray Matthews

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    The most talked about rookie to come into the 2013 season has to be Tray Matthews.

    After having a strong spring practice, Matthews will have a chance to become the starter at free safety. The coaches loved the way he tackled during spring practice, but they want him to go after the football more.

    The veteran players were really impressed with the true freshman, and fans will get the opportunity to see why the players like as well as why he was fifth best recruit in the state last year (according to Rivals).

No. 7: SS Josh Harvey-Clemons

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    Fans won’t get the see Josh Harvey-Clemons in the first game of the season because he will be suspended, but he will be back for the South Carolina game.

    Harvey-Clemons is expected to play the nickel corner as well as the “star” position, which is a safety/linebacker hybrid. He has impressed the coaches during spring practice and has made strides from last season.

    The reason fans are excited to see him is that he was one of the top recruits in Georgia a couple of years ago (No. 2 player in Georgia according to Rivals in 2011). Fans want to see if he can live up to the expectations. 

No. 6: CB Damian Swann

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    Damian Swann was able to beat out Branden Smith for the cornerback spot midway through the season, and he never looked back.

    Swann led the Bulldogs with four interceptions last season, and he also had two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

    This season is an important win for Swann because he will have to be the leader for a young secondary. If he can repeat the same numbers in 2013, the Bulldogs secondary will be a very strong unit, which will lead to better results for the entire defense.

No. 5: OLB Jordan Jenkins

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    The Bulldogs fans will miss Jarvis Jones and his playmaking abilities. But Jordan Jenkins has the potential to be just as productive.

    Last season, Jenkins tailed five sacks and eight tackles for loss while being a part-time starter.

    In Todd Grantham’s defense, there has to be an edge rusher that can get at least 10 sacks a season. Jenkins has to be the guy, and Grantham will give him plenty of chances. Also, Jenkins has said that he wants to get at least 10 sacks this season. Based on what he did while starting part-time last season, there is no reason he can’t reach that goal.

No. 4: WR Malcolm Mitchell

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    Malcolm Mitchell is always fun to watch for fans because he has the ability to make a big play.

    He did not have as many opportunities to do that last season because he was playing cornerback in the first four games.

    This season, Mitchell is 100 percent focused on playing wide receiver. This could be the year where he has a breakout season.

    There are a lot of receivers on the roster that have tons of speed and can produce right away. But Mitchell has been the team’s most dangerous deep-threat the last two seasons, and fans can’t wait to see what he does in his junior season. 

No. 3: RB Keith Marshall

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    Keith Marshall did not have the same success as Todd Gurley last season, but he was still a lot of fun to watch.

    One could make the argument that Marshall was one of the best No. 2 running backs in the country. He rushed for 781 yards on 117 carries and scored eight times.

    There is no question that Gurley is the man that will carry the load for the Bulldogs this season in terms of running the football. But it would not surprise anyone to see Marshall more involved in the offense because of the ability he has to score on any given play no matter where he is on the field. 

No. 2: QB Aaron Murray

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    Out of all the players on the roster, there isn’t anyone feeling more pressure than Aaron Murray.

    Because of how things ended last season, Murray returned for his final year. He wants to prove that he can lead the Bulldogs to a SEC title and possibly a national championship.

    At the same time, Murray also has a chance to solidify himself as one of the best quarterbacks in SEC history. Murray is the only quarterback in conference history to throw for over 3,000 yards in his first three seasons.

    If he can make in four (which he will) and win the SEC title along the way, then he will leave Athens as one of the all-time greats. 

No. 1: RB Todd Gurley

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    If there is one player that fans can’t wait to see in 2013, it would have to be Todd Gurley and what he will do in his sophomore season.

    Had it not been for Johnny Manziel, Gurley would have won the SEC rushing title. Gurley rushed for 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 starts. He was the key to the Bulldogs' success last season, and that will continue in 2013.

    His combination of speed and power made it difficult for defenders to bring down consistently. He is only going to become bigger, stronger and faster as he gets older, so fans should be in for a treat when they watch Gurley in 2013 as well as 2014.