Kirby Smart discusses Georgia's lack experience/depth at defensive back, thoughts on exploring transfer portal
Considering the caliber and quantity of elite prospects Kirby Smart’s Georgia program has signed in recent seasons, it’s surprising to think that the Bulldogs could be lacking at any position.
Be that as it may, that’s where the Bulldogs are entering spring practice as Smart made several references to the lack of experience and depth Georgia has in its defensive backfield – and specifically at cornerback.
When asked about adding to his roster via the transfer portal this offseason, Smart made it clear that will never be the priority of his Georgia program.
“It’s not what we want to build our program based around. It’s a need-based deal,” Smart said on Tuesday. “We have needs, defensive back is a spot that we’re thin at. We think that we have very capable, good young players in the position, but we don’t have a lot of experience.”
Having said that, if the right prospect comes along, Georgia will certainly consider adding them via the transfer portal.
“If you get an opportunity to gain experience, which you know we did the first year we were here – we got Maurice Smith (from Alabama as a graduate transfer), and all of a sudden, you have a player that makes your team better almost immediately,” Smart added. “We would not decline the ability to look at the option there.”
It would also be a mistake to assume Georgia absolutely needs to add defensive backs to have success this fall.
The Bulldogs have several promising players on the roster entering spring practice, such as redshirt freshman Kelee Ringo, redshirt freshman Jalen Kimber, sophomore Major Burns, and true freshman Nyland Green.
But as talented as those players may be, they lack much experience on the field.
“The cornerback position is completely open. To name the guys is probably not smart of me,” Smart continued. “We have a lot of guys that could be working at cornerback. Every guy on the team is a potential cornerback right now.
“We are in search of finding guys that can play that position at a high-level in a really tough conference. You look across the SEC throwing the ball has gotten better and better, and we want those guys to get exposed. We are one of the conferences that plays more man-to-man than anyone else; so, you need have guys out there that can function. That position is up for grabs. There are no guys that are proven returning starters.”
Before ending his press conference, Smart was asked if receiver depth would be an issue for Georgia, and if not that position, which position gives him the most hesitation entering the spring.
Again, he noted the defensive backs are the biggest question mark in Athens at this point.
“DBs are the concern there,” the Georgia coach concluded. “The guys we had leave, the guys we had come out early, and guys coming in; we had two different receivers come in midyear, that has really helped our numbers (at the receiver position).”