Is Malaki Starks the next great defensive back for Georgia?

Starks was one of the most highly-sought after recruits in the 2022 class, rated as a 5-star and as one of the top 20 players in the country. The true freshman from Jefferson, less than a half-hour from Athens, committed in March 2021 as he decided to continue his football career close to home.

Starks has immediately made an impact on the football field, recording 23 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass deflections through the first 5 games of the season. That’s drawn rave reviews from both head coach Kirby Smart and senior DB Tykee Smith, with Smart noting that while the 1st-year player still has some rough edges to get rid of, he continues to improve.

“It’s great to have a young guy because you’ve got him and got time to develop him,” Smart said. “He makes mistakes each and every practice, and he keeps chopping. He keeps getting better.”

“Some freshmen run into the wall. He ran through the wall and kept going,” added defensive back Tykee Smith.

Starks’ stock continues to rise throughout the season, and having the confidence of both his head coach and the veterans among the secondary can only prove helpful in the still-early stages of his college career.