‘We might be better than we were this year’

‘We might be better than we were this year’

Mike Griffith,

DawgNation staff

@mikegriffith32 Posted 2 hours ago

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Georgia’s players got a well-deserved celebration Monday night in their 65-7 victory over TCU of historic and undeniable proportions.

It was a double-peat for the Bulldogs — not a repeat, as coach Kirby Smart reminded everyone, because this year’s team was treated as its own separate entity.

So, even as music blared in the locker room and cigar smoke wafted through the air, Georgia’s other football team began sharing visions of 2023.

RELATED: Georgia to open 2023 expected to win third championship

“Man, I don’t want to say too much,” said Arian Smith, perhaps the fastest receiver in college football, “but we can be better than we were this year.”

It’s an ambitious concept when you consider that Georgia just finished the program’s only 15-0 season while becoming the first team to repeat in this four-team College Playoff Era.

But as team captain and middle linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson noted, there’s no reason to believe Georgia can’t three-peat.

“That doesn’t change the message, we’re still in the hunt man, who says you do two and you’re done?” said Dumas-Johnson.

“If we can make three, we’ll make three, and if we can make four, we’ll make four.”

RELATED: Kirby Smart says Georgia started and ended the year as a hunter

Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims, another 5-star prospect who blossomed into a dominant 2022 prospect, highlighted the belief the Bulldogs have in each other.

“We got everything we needed, and I believe in these guys, they believe in me, and we all believe in these coaches and they believe in us,” Mims said. “The sky is the limit for us. We can do it again

“When you have a group of guys who are bought in, a brotherhood, where we’re willing to go out there and fight for each other, win or lose, you see where it takes us.”

Smart, as he does at every turn, challenged the mentality of his players late Saturday night in the aftermath of the demolition at SoFi Stadium.

RELATED: TCU coach sounds off on Georgia’s lopsided 65-7 win

“I personally think next year will be a much tougher challenge than this year,” said Smart, who missed an NFL record 15 players in the draft after the 2021 team went 14-1 in winning the last year’s championship.

“That’s because we had so many guys leave last year.”

To be clear, Georgia will be missing several key players from the 2022 team very soon, with projected first-round picks Jalen Carter and Kelee Ringo already declaring their intentions to turn pro. and fellow first-round draftees Broderick Jones and Darnell Washington are expected to follow. costume.

But there are some rising stars, among them All-American Brock Bowers, defending CFP MVP Javon Bullard and proven backs Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards.

Smart said before this season, part of the confidence he had in his 2022 roster was that many of the players hadn’t done it before, so they had the necessary hunger.

And yet, in the locker room Monday night, there was no air of complacency or a sense of finality, so much as a sense of ongoing process.

“It’s a big opportunity,” said Smael Mondon, who led UGA in hitting this season but somehow didn’t make All-SEC.

“We’re going to take these two weeks, let our bodies adjust and then we’ll be able to come back and attack it.”

Dumas-Johnson showed that people have to get used to the new order.

“It’s Georgia football, what Kirby Smart and his staff are going to do at the University of Georgia is going to be amazing,” Dumas-Johnson said.

“We’ll be the ones to take care of him the whole time he’s here.”

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