'This is a group that really wants to be big'

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ATHENS — Kearis Jackson looked around his closet and noticed that he had three new faces around him. Those would be freshmen Anthony Evans, Yazeed Haynes and Tyler Williams. Those three wide receivers, along with six other members of the 2023 signing class, arrived on campus this week and began practicing with the Bulldogs.

They won’t be able to play this season as the Bulldogs look to win another national championship, but Jackson feels confident these players are taking a positive first step in Georgia.

“They put them all next to my locker. They’re trying to get me out of here,” Jackson joked. “The fact that they can come in and help us and give us a different look. It’s helping them, but it’s helping us too. I’m glad they’re just here to see how things are done in Georgia.”

Starting early has become an important key to Georgia and how it distributes freshmen. The top nine entrants – cornerback AJ Harris, linebackers Raylen Wilson, Gabe Harris and CJ Allen, defensive lineman Jamaal Jarrett and tight end Lawson Luckie are the other six – are getting the same jumpstarts as Mykel Williams and Oscar Delp. in the previous season. 🇧🇷

As talented as freshmen are, they are not yet fully formed products. But the sooner you start practicing in Georgia, the faster you will get used to it. This week, defensive lineman Zion Logue noticed that Williams was starting to show the same flashes that Travon Walker did in his time at Georgia.

“There are parts they can’t do and there are parts they are learning,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “But they will be so much further and better when spring comes around because of getting comfortable in training, going out there and knowing where I’m going after the flex, what should I do next? I’m really excited about the guys who practiced with us.”

Related: Early Subscription Period: Georgia Football 2023, Recruiting Class Engagements, Signers, Goals, Live Updates

The nine players are able to get on campus and start practicing thanks to the hard work of the Georgia administration, as well as members of the support staff to ensure that all the proper paperwork is taken care of so players like Harris and Wilson are able to step onto the field. practice faster.

“Once accepted, it trumps signing,” explained Smart. “So when they receive help, room, food, equipment from us, they have to be accepted into the school to do that. Once they do that, it’s not really about signing up for them. They still need to sign, but that’s not what makes them mandatory.

“So these guys prepared a lot and we – our team, not me, prepared a lot to get them.”

The older members of the Georgia team aren’t quite as kind as Jackson, as Logue admitted he’s still learning some of the new signers’ names. They will join a few others in January as the Bulldogs are once again hoping to have around 15 total entries.

This will help the current 23-man signing class – Georgia has 26 appointments to date – get used to the Georgia way and give the new Bulldogs a better understanding of how to survive in Georgia.

“I think it’s very valuable,” said linebacker Smael Mondon. “It puts them one step ahead of the curve compared to the other guys who weren’t there so early.”

Related: BREAKING: 5 Star EDGE Damon Wilson is a Georgia Bulldog!

Georgia signed the second signing class in the country for the 2023 recruiting cycle. This has become the pattern in Georgia, as the last seven signing classes have been ranked in the top four. Bringing in star-studded freshmen is a thing of the past at this point, especially for someone who has been on the show as long as Jackson has. When he started practice with Georgia as an early drafter as part of the 2018 draft, the Bulldogs were coming off their first college football playoff run.

Now the Bulldogs find themselves in the middle of their third. Smart noted that more and more recruits are taking responsibility for starting college earlier so they don’t fall behind. The Georgia coach adds that the 2023 signing has the highest average GPA of any signing class he has signed.

If these Georgia newcomers are able to adapt the way Jackson, Mondon and many other Bulldogs have, it won’t be long before members of the 2023 signing class lead Georgia to their own College Football Playoff.

“We’re going to recruit a lot, so we’re going to bring great players here,” said Logue. “They are coming in and buying. I see a lot of these young people meeting with extra coaches before and after training. This is a group that really wants to be big. Who really wants to make an impact.

“It’s great for us because it builds good habits. They are doing it early for them now, so it might be easy for them later.”

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