College Football Predictions 2011: Ranking Georgia's 10 Best Players

Mike FosterCorrespondent IMay 5, 2011

College Football Predictions 2011: Ranking Georgia's 10 Best Players

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  The Georgia Bulldogs and quarterback Aaron Murray #11 react after a touchdown in the final minutes of play against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. C
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Spring practice is over, and the next time we see the players suiting up to play football we will be days away from the best day of the year.

    We could find ourselves a few other things to invest our interest in, but the truth is college football could not get here any sooner.

    So, for those who are already tired of waiting, here's an appetizer to tie us over from spring to summer.

    Here's a look at Georgia's 10 best players, evaluated based on spring performance and projections.

Honorable Mentions

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Trey Burton #8 of the Florida Gators is tackled by Bacarri Rambo#18 of the Georgia Bulldogs during the game at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Shawn Williams, Safety

    Branden Smith, Corner/Offensive utility

    Sanders Commings, Corner/Safety

    Tavarres King, Wide Receiver

    Washaun Ealey, Tailback

    Caleb King, Tailback

    Bacarri Rambo, Safety

    Ray Drew, Outside Linebacker

    Christian Robinson, Middle Linebacker

    And, for the sake of interest, we can sure expect Blair Walsh (kicker) and Drew Butler (punter) to make the list, but to leave room for skill position players, they'll just get mention here.

No. 10: Cordy Glenn (71), Tackle

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    Cordy Glenn has started for the Bulldogs at guard for the past two years, but a tragic third ACL tear by former freshman All-SEC tackle, Trinton Sturdivant, leaves the tackle position open.

    Glenn will take over as the most athletic exterior lineman on Georgia's offensive front. 

    He's a big body, at 6'5", 350 pounds, but displays great athleticism and versatility.

    Glenn will hope to keep pass rushers off of Aaron Murray in 2011.

No. 9: Jarvis Jones (29), Outside Linebacker

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    Jarvis Jones will start at outside linebacker for Todd Grantham in 2011, after retrieving his eligibility following a transfer from Southern California.

    Jones is one of the favorites of Grantham's feisty new linebacking corps, and is expected to add some serious intensity and toughness to the Dawgs' front seven.

    He's light on his feet, quick and athletic in coverage, but also has sure tackling ability. Georgia fans are going to love watching this guy line up next to the likes of Alec Ogletree, Christian Robinson and Ray Drew in 2011. 

No. 8: John Jenkins (Number Undecided), Nose Tackle

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    Georgia's defense will definitely benefit from the addition of another transfer.

    John Jenkins will join Georgia's defensive front, coming out of Junior College as the top rated defensive tackle prospect in the country.

    Jenkins' presence, and the emergence of Kwame Geathers, shifts formerly highly recruited DeAngelo Tyson to his sure position at defensive end, leading many to believe Georgia's front will be drastically improved in the fall.

    Size was an issue with Georgia's interior for the last two seasons, but it won't be this year.

No. 7: Kwame Geathers (99), Nose Tackle

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    Georgia fans weren't familiar with Kwame Geathers last season, as playing time was very limited.

    But, as of this spring, Geathers is the next big thing on campus.

    The brother of former Dawg, Robert Geathers, Kwame is a huge player at 6'6", 340 pounds.

    But, nobody thought he would appear as athletic and unblockable as he did in spring practice, and the G-Day game.

    Georgia brought in John Jenkins to solidify the interior, but now it looks like there might be a competition at nose tackle.

    Fans are even begging that Grantham designs a formation that puts Geathers at defensive end and Jenkins as nose tackle. 

    With that much talent and size, Geathers and Jenkins both could become All-SEC interior lineman.

No. 6: Ben Jones (60), Center

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Ben Jones #61 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates their 30-24 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets with a some grass from the end zone at Bobby Dodd Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    To most of the college football world, Ben Jones is known as the guy who stuffed grass in his mouth.

    But, us Dawg fans simply know him as the heart and soul of Georgia's offense, if not it's team.

    Jones is an inspirational leader and fierce competitor, and has been credited with upping the intensity in Georgia's practices.

    Jones will switch his jersey number from 61 to 60 in 2011, honoring his late father. 

No. 5: Brandon Boykin (2), Corner/Returner

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    Brandon Boykin, nicknamed "Bam Bam," returns for his senior season as the leader of Georgia's secondary and defense.

    He's an invaluable member of Georgia's football team. He's a high-IQ player with a great locker room voice, and leads by example.

    He's also a pretty good cornerback, who holds his own on his side of the field and has been consistent with jumping in front of balls during his career. He's a sure tackler as well.

    And, Boykin enters 2011 as Georgia's all time leading kickoff returner.

No. 4: Orson Charles (7), Tight End

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Orson Charles #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs for yardage during the game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Georgia landed the top tight end recruit in the country, in Jay Rome, but Rome might be sitting around with a redshirt, rather than a red jersey, in 2011.

    Orson Charles returns as Georgia's top tight end, and a valuable member of Georgia's offense.

    He's so valuable because he has a chemistry with quarterback, Aaron Murray, that goes all the way back to their state championship days in high school.

    The relationship between Charles and Murray should keep the Dawgs' passing game at full force this fall.

    Charles is a hybrid type of player that can line up at tight end or receiver, and should finish as an All-SEC performer.

No. 3: Isaiah Crowell (1), Tailback

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    This might be jumping the gun here, but most Georgia fans are convinced Isaiah Crowell will be an immediate impact player for Georgia's football team.

    Mark Richt feels the same way, claiming that Crowell could very well position himself to be the starter when Georgia plays Boise State to open the season.

    Considering neither Washaun Ealey or Caleb King have taken control, it's hard to imagine Crowell doesn't hit the field right off the bat.

    He was the nation's undisputed number one tailback coming out of high school.

No. 2: Alec Ogletree (9), Middle Linebacker

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    Georgia has a long line of great, hard hitting safeties that have come "Between the Hedges," going back to Reshad Jones, Thomas Davis and Greg Blue.

    Although Ogletree will be switching from safety to middle linebacker, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and head coach Mark Richt are both convinced Ogletree is something special.

    He was knocking heads like crazy at G-Day, and is expected to benefit from playing closer to the line of scrimmage.

    He's that "missile" type of tackler who could completely change the outcome of a season, depending on whether or not he's on the field.

    Get ready to hear the fans chanting, "Trrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!" a lot in 2011.

No. 1: Aaron Murray (11), Quarterback

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Things change a lot over the course of one year.

    Last spring, Georgia fans were in panic as Zach Mettenberger, the apparent 2010 starter at quarterback, was kicked off the team.

    Aaron Murray had a poor showing in the G-Day game, and fans were expecting a bumpy season.

    They did get a bumpy season, but Murray turned out to be spectacular, and is projected to be a preseason All-SEC quarterback in the fall.

    He's got everything you want in a leader: smarts, toughness, undeniable spirit and talent.

    Murray is a fundamentally sound player, but isn't afraid to try to make the extra play to get his team the win.

    He's also a very solid runner, and has trademarked his elusive spin move, used to get away from pass rushers.

    He threw for 3,049 yards, 24 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in 2010. Expect an equally good year this time around.