Georgia has not been in this position in a long time, and while the celebration of the national championship continues, turning the page to 2022 is upon us.

Questions, however, remain as Kirby Smart has several new faces on the coaching staff, and the Bulldogs continue to face depth questions at wide receiver, and how the offensive line will evolve.

Here are 10 of the most critical questions Georgia must answer in 2022:

Which freshmen can make an impact?

Some of the candidates include Marvin Jones Jr. and Mykel Williams, who are a pair of 5-star pass rushers, and Jaheim Singletary is another 5-star at cornerback. Malaki Starks is another key recruit who made 5 tackles in the G-Day game. From what is known about them, Williams is the safest bet to play early, and make an impact. Williams was the highest-rated Bulldogs signee, and he appeared to be the most developed among other elite high school players in the All-American events.

What’s the next step for Stetson Bennett?

Georgia’s national championship-winning quarterback starts the season in a confident position, yet he no doubt will approach it the same way he did to reach the confetti-filled ending in Lucas Oil Stadium. This is a different dynamic this season because JT Daniels is gone, but the Bulldogs have multiple bona fide quarterbacks in Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff. OC Todd Monken is back for another season, and now he’s even more aware of Bennett’s strengths — and limitations. That’s not something to be overlooked. Since last season was splintered in terms of Daniels’ availability, and whether Bennett could truly take over, this will be the cleanest slate Georgia has had in some time.

Can Jalen Carter live up to the hype?

Some say that Carter was the best player on the historic 2021 defense. Now he has a chance to truly stand alone as he gears up to be a 2023 NFL Draft prospect worth talking about on the defensive line. He has all the NFL tools, most notably being explosive, powerful and quick off the ball. With a 6-3 and 310-pound frame, he will quickly be in the conversation in NFL Draft circles as being a top 10 pick.

Last year, he made 37 tackles, had 33 quarterback pressures, 8.5 tackles for loss and blocked two kicks.

How will the offensive line be settled?

There are 3 main cogs established on the offensive line, but questions remain beyond Broderick Jones, Warren McClendon and Sedrick Van Pran. The guard spots are the questions, but after some anxious moments on the recruiting trail, Stacy Searles will calm the waters, and find a solution out of the group of Xavier Truss, Devin Willock and Tate Ratledge.

For the running game to truly reestablish itself as RBU, the offensive line needs to step up and set a standard.

How will the secondary be settled?

Here’s an area where Smart and Will Muschamp should lean on their expertise as Georgia reloads at a position of strength, although experience will be lacking. William Poole can play at star or cornerback and played at cornerback in the spring. Early enrollee cornerback Daylen Everette is another option along with Nyland Green. The stabilizers will be veterans Christopher Smith and cornerback Kelee Ringo.

It has been several years since Georgia was in this position in the secondary, and don’t overlook the fact that the previously dominant front 7 will not be as strong.

Who will step up at wide receiver?

Wide receiver has been a bit of a sore spot in recent years, in terms of having a clear-cut No. 1 pass catcher who’s mentioned for the Biletnikoff Award.

Sure, there are Ladd McConkey and AD Mitchell, but plenty of questions remain, especially among receivers who have injury histories. Plenty of names, starting with Arian Smith, Jackson Meeks, CJ Smith and De’Nylon Morrissette. But also Kearis Jackson and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, who may have the most versatility to play all of the wide receiver positions. The tight ends will take some spotlight away from these multi-pronged receiver sets.

Mitchell, McConkey and Jackson will be the key figures to produce here.

How will the star-studded TE room unfold?

With the best tight end room in the country, thanks to Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, Arik Gilbert and Oscar Delp. By the looks of how G-Day unfolded, and last season’s highlights, it’s clear that Bowers is a game breaker capable of plays that go the length of the field. Monken clearly likes Gilbert in the red zone, and Delp flashed his potential all over the field. Look for mini-roles to be established based on game situations for each player to shine in his own way.

Will Nolan Smith be the clear vocal leader?

The linebacker already has the goods to garner respect around the SEC, as he’s long been among the most vocal leaders in the program. This time, he returns alongside Ringo and Smith as a clear spokesman for the defense and team in general. Smith is the leading returning tackler (56) after he led the Bulldogs with 2 tackles-for-loss in the national championship. Smith also had 3 QB hurries and a sack, and in the Orange Bowl win over Michigan, he led the Bulldogs in tackles (8) and also had a career-high 7 QB pressures. He clearly can do it on the biggest stages in college football, and now has a season to polish his game ahead of the NFL.

Can Georgia take advantage of a favorable schedule?

Georgia has a marquee game to open the season, with Oregon, and the Dan Lanning and Bo Nix storylines. Still, overall, it’s a favorable schedule. The Bulldogs dodge Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M, and get Auburn in Athens. Like last year, Georgia is likely to be favored in every regular-season game it plays in 2022.

How can Kirby Smart solidify the remade coaching staff?

Departures from last year include Dan Lanning, Cortez Hankton, Jahmile Addae and Matt Luke. That cleared the way for additions like Bryan McClendon (receivers), Stacy Searels (offensive line), Fran Brown (defensive backs) and Chidera Uzo-Diribe (outside linebackers). Championship coaches make seamless transitions and create a plug-and-play culture and environment that the overall program continues to chug along amid turnover. This is one area where Smart can prove he can be among the elite to maintain the program’s championship status.