Georgian football enters ‘get stronger and bigger’ phase as transfer portal options dwindle

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Georgian football looks inwards rather than a transfer portal

Former Georgia linebacker Quay Walker admits he hasn’t hit his ceiling in Georgia. The Green Bay Packers first-round pick told reporters Georgia asked him to do a lot of different things during his four seasons with the Bulldogs.

Play against special teams. Contribute as a role player. Wait until his senior year to become a full-time starter.

“It humbled me a lot. It was the first time I faced adversity,” Walker told reporters at the Green Bay mini-camp. “The moment I came to Georgia and didn’t really play or start until my senior year, it helped me a lot throughout my life. Not just on the football field, but throughout of life.

Walker added that he was considering transferring. But thanks to Georgia inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann, Walker ended up staying in Georgia, becoming a national champion and ultimately a first-round pick.

The new Green Bay Packer stayed in Georgia for four years, getting better and better every year. Fine-tuning his game over the summer and sticking to the Georgian system which required him to wear many hats.

Related: Green Bay’s Quay Walker was once ready to leave Georgia, shows value of trust in Kirby Smart’s system

As Georgia seeks to develop its next Walker, it enters the crucial summer months.

This next step in the football calendar just so happens to come as the transfer portal that Walker once considered entering is coming to an end.

“I don’t even think of this next phase as a transfer portal phase, I think of it as an increasingly strong phase,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after G-Day. improve ourselves. We have to improve physically, so we have to lift in May, we have to train in May. We have to put in academically well-placed guys.

Non-graduates had until May 1 to access the transfer portal if they were to take advantage of the one-time transfer exemption. In total, Georgia has brought 12 scholarship players into the transfer portal since the end of the season.

At this point, what’s most telling about Georgia is that they haven’t registered any transfers yet. Even with powerhouse programs like Alabama, Ohio State and USC taking multiple transfers this offseason, Georgia is much closer to Clemson this offseason in terms of transfer philosophy.

Smart prefers to focus on his own players, who were recruited from the high school ranks.

“Guys who want to be here, we will coach them. Guys that don’t, we’re not going to chase them,” Smart said. ” We can not. It is their determination. We try to create a culture where I want to be here, grow and improve. As you come to Georgia, you grow.

That’s what makes those summer months so crucial to how Georgia builds its schedule. While Georgia isn’t opposed to removing a player from the transfer portal — the Bulldogs brought in Derion Kendrick, Arik Gilbert and Tykee Smith last year and would consider adding a safety or wide receiver this time around — the Bulldogs are much more concerned with developing the next walker.

Consider that No. 1 draft pick Travon Walker only started a game in his junior season. But due to his work in the strength and conditioning program, he was ready to be an impact player at the start of the 2021 season.

Georgia is looking for defensive tackle Jalen Carter to do something similar this season. Despite all the hype around the monster defensive tackle, this will be the first season he’s been a regular starter for Georgia.

“If I’m not the guy, at least I’m developing to be the guy,” Smart said. We have many, many examples of guys who stayed and became really good players, and Channing Tindall is a great example of that. That’s really my goal.

Related: Kirby Smart wants Jalen Carter to follow Devonte Wyatt’s example

Smart will be eager to see how players such as Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Broderick Jones and Zion Logue all progress this offseason. Dumas-Johnson will be in charge of replacing Walker, along with Tindall and Nakobe Dean.

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