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What comes next for Georgia football after Caleb Downs picks Ohio State



  • MLVMLV Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Good luck to Caleb Downs in Ohio. The Dawgs are strong in the secondary with talent and tons of new incoming talent. The Spring Game will be more than interesting to me this year.

    The big story in all of this is Alabama's implosion in the wake of Nick Saban's retirement. With the this, the NCAA playoff expansion, Georgia's killer '24 schedule, the return of Carson Beck, I've never been more excited about an upcoming college season!

  • CandlerParkCandlerPark Posts: 634 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I don't see why people have to dump on Downs just because he picked another school. Had he selected UGA, we'd all be singing his praises.

    Downs just finished the best freshman year for a safety in a long time -- even more impressive than Starks in '22, IMO. I mean: 107 tackles as a freshman in the SEC? Plus forced fumbles, TD returns, etc.?

    He almost certainly would have started at UGA, pairing perfectly a strong safety with Malaki as free safety. But he would have had to share the limelight with Malaki.

    Being the safety who gets all the media attention isn't just about ego; it''s also about how much the player is able to show off for the next level, which is a business consideration. With how much ground those two guys cover, the defensive backfield literally might not be big enough for the two of them!

    I seriously doubt a young man like Downs is too lazy or afraid of the competition (as some commenters have speculated on this post and a couple of others -- based on less than hearsay). Maybe, there's a question about being a cultural fit. But given how hard Kirby's worked to get Downs over the years, it doesn't seem that Kirby was worried about the fit or his character.

    The main decision may have been over NIL money (probably was). But he and his family have every right to consider dollars -- just like any of us.

    I'm bound to think that he'd get the best development and best experience at UGA. But it's not as if OSU is a slouch: There are at least eight Ohio State DBs listed as "active" in the NFL versus just six for UGA. https://www.ourlads.com/ncaa-football-depth-charts/active-nfl-players-by-college/ohio-state/91533 (To be clear, I've always disliked OSU but that doesn't mean I have to turn a blind eye to the fact that it's an elite program.)

    So given that he's apparently getting paid more, won't have to compete for the limelight and is going to a school with a very good track record for elite DBs, it wasn't an irrational decision.

    Of course, I still think he'd have been wiser to come to Georgia. But we are so blessed with talent that sour grapes is a bad look. As someone above tweeted: UGA just plummeted from being the favorite for the 2024 natty to ... being favorite for the 2024 natty!

  • BEACHDAWGBEACHDAWG Posts: 3,251 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    No dumping here. This guy is one of the best players of his generation. Not because of Caleb Downs, but I always hope tosu wins as many Natties as they did with Justin Fields.

  • AndrewHughesAndrewHughes Posts: 16 ✭✭ Sophomore

    Is it true this occurred because of a clerical era on UGA's part? If so when will they be fired?

  • Louis8478Louis8478 Posts: 168 ✭✭✭ Junior

    We'll be alright. Kirby is blessed with talent everywhere on the team, especially on defense. Go DAWGS!!!

  • CWdawg1979CWdawg1979 Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    The more I see the title of this article, the more irritated I become. What's next for Georgia after 1 player, who was never a Dawg, goes somewhere else. Give us all a break. This implies that there is something wrong in Athens. Nothing further from the truth. We have THE All American safety in 2023. The number 1 safety recruit for 2023. The number 3 safety recruit for 2022. What's next? Really?

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,605 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    @AndrewHughes "Is it true this occurred because of a clerical era on UGA's part? If so when will they be fired?"

    Could you elaborate?

  • TDawgTDawg Posts: 163 ✭✭✭ Junior
    edited January 20

    Another title about CD not coming to UGA! How Thirsty were we? I thought we had a stable of All American safeties. Oh, maybe a little guilt for making us fans believe it was all done deal he was coming. Wanting to be the first to put pen to paper or film online. I'm sure recruits visit this site and why would we want to advertise someone rejecting us and especially for Ohio State. I found out this morning from one of the Youtube personalities OSU was his second choice during his recruitment which tells me he played UGA for the bag this go round. Him and his daddy laughing all the way to the bank.

  • DawgOnDawgOn Posts: 265 ✭✭✭ Junior

    He will be another Justin Fields. What has OSU accomplished since poaching (they started all this NIL madness that's destroying college athletics) Fields by contacting him before the 2018 season began. Meanwhile, UGA is better suited to win it all sooner than is OSU based on past and present performance. Downs will play for a team that will not win it all during his tenure at OSU. I guess it most likely came down to the money, which is what ails college football these days. As if getting a leg up on everyone else by getting a free college education with room and board, along with everything else, wasn't good enough. Kids now run the show, which also led to Saban's retiring. Unless something is corrected (fixed), college football is in a swift death spiral downwards.

  • MontanaDawgMontanaDawg Posts: 1,843 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Ohio State should be a contender for the playoffs and maybe a Natty in 2024. Their defense will be elite (with Downs they will have the best secondary in the league on paper), and they are returning a good offense (Henderson coming back at RB) - IF they can find a productive QB. Schedule includes @ Oregon, @ Penn State, and at home against Michigan. Otherwise not much competition unless Iowa finds an offense.

    BUT, the Dawgs will have Beck, some ace returning lineman on both sides of the ball and a better-than-average secondary. We've just got to get a pass rusher and a LB core that can contain the edge. The Dawgs may have arguably the best overall roster in the league for 2024, and we WILL need it with our brutal schedule.

  • TDawgTDawg Posts: 163 ✭✭✭ Junior

    I'm going to be a little conspiracy theorist now. We all know KS and NS are real close with summer homes at Lake. Did KS know he was retiring? Which made him seek CD extra hard at the end of the SEC championship game. All the pundits had talking all week about how KS never stops recruiting. I have a deeper CT about possibly knowing he was retiring but I'll leave that one to your imagination.

  • navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,988 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Agree. And wholeheartedly at that. Our Defense is FAR from broken just because Downs didn’t come here. And I hold no malice against him. At least he didn’t commit to UGA on Monday and decommit on Tuesday !! Things like that DO irritate me. Downs never said he was coming here.

    And our Secondary Unit is Very potent without him. OSU fans are saying on their board that with his signing they now have The best Defense in the country. Though they Do have a talented Defensive roster, their forgetting one little item. Coaching.

    If all that talent isn’t coached up it won’t matter much when playing the top teams in CFB. I Trust Kirby and his staff to Coach Up our Own Very talented players. Our Dawgs will be fine in the Secondary. What we Could use is more Experienced and Talented Depth on our Defensive Line and OLBs. To Me that’s more a question mark than the Secondary.

  • UGADad20UGADad20 Posts: 1,698 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited January 20

    Immaturity? Or maturity? The kid is already acting like an NFL player like his brother. This was a business decision. Handed a bigger check. Handed a starting position. Handed a leadership position. At UGA there are leaders being cultivated (player leadership council/board). Leadership has to be earned. At OSU it will all be handed to him.

    When I see a case like this I am reminded of Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence is known only to the most ardent CFB and NFL fans in his "home" state. He is nobody in GA. It would be hard to find a person in their home state of GA that doesn't know who HWalker or SBIV is.

    Everything about this addition seemed upsetting to the UGA culture. It is a loss but not that significant. If UGA had a spot (1/85) for Downs then there is probably spot for an elite DT or 4th QB (Sayin?). Sayin is CB'd(?) to OSU. Not sure I understand why Sayin would go to OSU when OSU already has a 5* QB (Air Noland) in the '24 class.

  • Georgia67Georgia67 Posts: 136 ✭✭✭ Junior

    We move on and continue our journey without him. That's what happens next.

    Go Dawgs!

  • E_RocE_Roc Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited January 20

    After the year he just had, I see no reason to think he couldn't have legitimately earned the role on the field at Georgia that he's being "handed" at Ohio State. And given 7 or 8 months to acclimate, same goes for a leadership position.

    As for Sayin, one could also say, why would he come to Georgia behind Stockton and Puglisi?

  • reddawg1reddawg1 Posts: 3,605 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Supposedly the Washington Commanders and Falcons are talking to CKS. Offering crazy numbers like 20-25 million for bait. DOn't shoot the messenger.

  • ColumbusDawgColumbusDawg Posts: 521 ✭✭✭✭ Senior
  • navydawgnavydawg Posts: 2,988 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Coaching ( Kirby Smart & staff) trumps One very talented player. It’d been nice to have gotten him. But no malice from me that he’s gone to OSU. He never said he was coming to UGA, best of my knowledge he never even said he was considering UGA.

    We’re not gonna get every single great player coming down the pike, Especially with NIL being factored in. It is what it is. What we DO have is Allot of great players that can be coached up. My advice would be to place our faith in the coaching at UGA.

    We have THE number one recruiting class pretty much unanimous through the majority of recruiting agencies. Plus Kirby has done well tapping into the TP, and keep in mind he’s not done. The UGA Dawgs will not have a losing season for Not signing Caleb Downs.

    Heck OSU wouldn’t have him right now if Saban hadn’t retired !! It’s Not a loss, a loss is when you lose something you Had, Dawgs never had the guy in the first place. So he chose OSU, I don’t think Kirby needs to concede our 2024 schedule because of that !! 😀

    Like I said several times we Might already have a Caleb Downs type player, even two or three. How ?? Because he showed his stuff as a Freshman. We’ve got highly talented guys that have Not Yet had the opportunity TO show their stuff !! We might very well have some very pleasant surprises of our own !!

    Right now it’s unknown. What we Do know is Kirby and staff are Very adept at developing talent. OSU fans were talking about how Easy their first seven games are. And how that bodes well for them to win a Natty. Not necessarily.

    We as Dawgs fans have seen that sometimes an easy schedule can actually Hurt you rather than help. And for the individual player having things “Easy” doesn’t prepare you for the NFL. It’s Downs and his family decision to live with. But it’s possible he might end up wishing he Had came to UGA for his NFL future. Be a Dawg become a Pro !!

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