Georgia football program tracker: Player movement, staff changes and other news

·14 min read
Oct 2, 2021; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia coach Kirby Smart gets ready to lead his team onto the field before the first half of an NCAA college football game between Arkansas and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2021; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia coach Kirby Smart gets ready to lead his team onto the field before the first half of an NCAA college football game between Arkansas and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021. Joshua L. Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The makeup of Georgia's 2022 football program is still coming into focus. This is your one-stop spot for player movement in and out of the transfer portal, those declaring for the NFL draft and coaching staff movement.

Offensive lineman enters the transfer portal

April 29: Cameron Kinnie, a redshirt sophomore who did not play in his first two years at Georgia, has entered the transfer portal, according to On3Sports.com

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder from Collins Hill High was a three-star prospect who was recruited by mostly non power-five schools and some viewed as a defensive line prospect. He signed with Georgia in the late period in 2020 after getting a January offer.

Another player to transfer portal

Walk-on defensive back Jehlen Cannady has entered the transfer portal, he posted on Instagram on Wednesday.

Cannady had 3 tackles for the Black team at the G-Day game Saturday, making him essentially a second-team cornerback on the day. The 6-foot, 176-pound rising redshirt sophomore from Westside High in Macon played in two games last season--against Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech. He recorded three tackles.

Reserve defensive lineman enters the transfer portal

April 19: Tymon Mitchell, a defensive lineman who played in five games last season in a reserve role, has entered the transfer portal, according to Matt Zenitz of On3.com.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound rising junior from Nashville had six tackles last season.

The Bulldogs lost all three starters off the defensive line last season in Jordan Davis, Devonte Wyatt and Travon Walker, but Jalen Carter, Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Nazir Stackhouse, Tramel Walthour and Bill Norton have experience and freshman Mykel Williams is expected to contribute.

Amarius Mims exits transfer portal, back to Bulldogs

April 18: Amarius Mims checked out Florida State after entering the transfer portal last week, but he's withdrawn his name and is set to return to the Bulldogs.

The former five-star provides important depth at offensive tackle and what looks like a future starter for the Bulldogs.

Two more Georgia offensive linemen go in the portal

April 11: A pair of five star offensive linemen including rising sophomore tackle Amarius Mims have gone in the transfer portal. Mims is a big depth piece at the least for this season a likely future starter who will head elsewhere. Reserve interior offensive lineman Clay Webb also is seeking a transfer.

Georgia offensive lineman enters the transfer portal

March 15: On the first day of spring football practices, a senior offensive lineman entered the transfer portal.

Owen Condon, who started the 2020 season at right tackle against Arkansas, posted on Twitter that he's leaving as a graduate transfer.

The Oklahoma City native played in all but one game last season as a reserve.

A 2021 Joel Eaves winner for highest GPA of a male UGA athlete, called his four years at the school "amazing." He plans to use his final two years of eligibility elsewhere and pursue a master's degree after graduating in May

New hire for Bulldogs strength and conditioning staff

March 9: Georgia filled an opening on its strength and conditioning staff by hiring Lonnie Brown as an assistant strength coach. He most recently was in a similar role at Arizona. The 2016 Alabama graduate is a former head strength and conditioning coach at Alabama State and Alabama A&M and worked with the Crimson Tide strength program before that.

Georgia also has hired Kadeem Wise as associate director of recruiting operations. He came to Georgia after serving as Chattanooga's director of football operations. The Lawrenceville native is a former All-Southern Conference defensive back at the school.

Stacy Searels returns to Bulldogs

Feb. 28: Kirby Smart found his offensive line coach replacement for Matt Luke. Stacy Searles is back with the Bulldogs, returning to the program where he coached the line under Mark Richt. Searels spent the past three years as offensive line coach at North Carolina.

Offensive line coach resigns

Feb. 21: Georgia OL coach Matt Luke is resigning to spend more time with his family, UGA Athletics confirmed in a statement. Luke was with the Bulldogs for two seasons, helping recruit the position heavily.

New coaching hire, new positions on support staff

Feb. 18: Georgia has its new defensive backs coach: Fran Brown from Rutgers. He replaces Jahmile Addae who left for Miami after one season.

Brown is a former assistant at Temple and Baylor who spent the last two seasons on Greg Schiano's Rutgers staff. He played at Western Carolina.

In other staff news, Neyland Raper has been promoted to director of football operations, replacing Josh Lee. Recruiting staffers Angela Kirkpatrick and Logen Reed have been promoted to associate directors of recruiting operations.

Georgia adds special teams analyst

Feb. 9: The Bulldogs have a new special teams analyst. Former Duke special teams coordinator Kirk Benedict has moved into that off-field role with Georgia, according to his Twitter profile. He was an assistant coach with the Blue Devils since 2018 and a graduate assistant with the program for two seasons before then.

Benedict is a Fairfax, Va., native who played fullback at Davidson. He was an officer in the U.S. Army before embarking on a coaching career. He served two deployments to Afghanistan.

Bulldogs secondary coach Jahmile Addae headed to Miami

Feb. 8: Secondary coach Jahmile Addae bid farewell to Georgia after one season and revealed what had been reported a day earlier. He's leaving to coach the DBs at Miami.

Georgia outside linebackers hire now official

Feb. 6: Georgia announced the hire of TCU defensive line coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe as outside linebackers coach. The former Colorado defensive lineman coached the outside linebackers at Kansas in 2020 and spent last season coaching the defensive line at SMU.

Strength assistant leaves for ACC program

Feb. 1: Assistant strength and conditioning coach Rodney Prince has been hired as an assistant on the S&C staff at Miami. He has been on staff for all six of Kirby Smart's seasons as head coach. He's the second departure off the strength staff this offseason. Ben Sowders was named head strength coach at Louisville. Georgia recently added Jordan Barber to the strength staff from the same Miami program where Prince is now working.

Bryan McClendon fills assistant coach opening

Jan. 30: Another former Mark Richt assistant coach has joined Kirby Smart's staff. Bryan McClendon returns to coach wide receivers, the same position he played and worked with in his last season with the Bulldogs in 2015. He will also be passing game coordinator. McClendon was hired earlier this month on Miami's staff after two seasons at Oregon.

Mike Bobo back with Bulldogs

Jan. 28: Kirby Smart has hired former Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterback Mike Bobo as an offensive analyst. Bobo was offensive coordinator the past two years at Auburn and South Carolina and spent five seasons as head coach at Colorado State.

Georgia support staffer heads to another SEC program

Jan. 26: John Jancek is going from the Georgia support staff to LSU's support staff. The former Bulldogs linebackers coach and Tennessee defensive coordinator has been hired a senior defensive analyst for Brian Kelly, according to source. That confirms a report today from FootballScoop.

Jancek was a quality control analyst for offense for Georgia. He worked under Kelly at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan.

Georgia adds new strength assistant

Jan. 25: A new associate strength and conditioning coach has been added to Scott Sinclair's staff.

Jordan Barber joins the Bulldogs after three seasons on Miami's staff and was on Temple's staff for two seasons before then. The Baltimore native graduated from Towson University in 2016 and also spent a season at Maryland.

Another transfer finds an SEC home

Jan. 24: Lovasea Carroll, the redshirt freshman defensive back, has found his new place to play after going in the transfer portal after his freshman season.

Carroll has committed to South Carolina, becoming the fifth former Georgia player now from this past season's team to move to an SEC school. That includes wideout Jermaine Burton to Alabama.

QBs make decisions, a top wide receive enters transfer portal

Jan. 19: Just a little news on Wednesday afternoon. Soon after the news of quarterback JT Daniels and wide receiver Jermaine Burton entering the transfer portal, QB Stetson Bennett reveals he's returning for 2022.

Tight end John Fitzpatrick entering the NFL draft

Jan. 18: Add another Georgia underclassmen to the list of those declaring for the NFL draft.

Tight end John Fitzpatrick, a redshirt junior posted Tuesday he's leaving Georgia and entering the draft. The Marist High product started 34 games the last three seasons after redshirting in 2018. He had 6 catches for 83 yards this season and was a force as a blocker for the Bulldogs' offense.

"I came to UGA because I wanted to play at the highest level and to help UGA win a national championship," Fitzpatrick wrote in a Twitter post. "With that goal achieved it is time to move toward my next goal and begin preparing for the 2022 NFL draft."

Georgia pass rusher returning for another season

Jan. 18: Robert Beal, who led Georgia in sacks this past season, is giving the Bulldogs' defense another boost by deciding to return for another year.

The fifth-year senior outside linebacker is taking advantage of a super senior season allowed due to the pandemic. Beal led Georgia with 6 1/2 sacks and had 23 tackles and 18 quarterback pressures. He had five sacks in Georgia's final six games.

"I love everything about this team, this coaching staff, this university and this city!" Beal wrote on an Instagram post."We did it! Let's do it again! Run it back!"

Beal joins nickel back William Poole and safety Christopher Smith in seniors returning for another season.

Georgia support staffer lands on-field coaching job

Jan. 17: Georgia special teams quality control analyst Robby Discher is leaving to becomes special teams coordinator at Tulane, he confirmed to the Athens Banner-Herald on Monday night. Discher joined the program last offseason after serving as special teams coordinator and a defensive assistant at Louisiana. FootballScoop reported the hire by Tulane coach Willie Fritz.

Georgia assistant coach Cortez Hankton on the move

Jan. 16: A move that had been bandied about for some time now is set to happen. Georgia wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton is expected to be hired to coach the same position on Brian Kelly's name staff at LSU. Hankton will be returning to his home state.

Nakobe Dean, George Pickens and 3 others on plans for 2022

Jan. 14: Georgia's secondary is getting back a starter for another season. Senior safety Christopher Smith is taking advantage of the NCAA's extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 season of 2020 to return in 2022, he announced on Twitter.

The Atlanta native started 11 games and was second on the team with 3 interceptions to go along with 35 tackles and 4 pass breakups. He had the only touchdown in the season-opening win over Clemson with a pick six.

Meanwhile, Lewis Cine, the Bulldogs' other starting safety, has announced he's declaring for the NFL draft. Here's our story on that and two other players who announced their decisions.

The expected departure of Nakobe Dean, the Butkus Award winning linebacker also is official after he posted on Instagram he's entering the draft and wide receiver George Pickens is another junior putting his name in the draft after returning from a torn ACL. Junior defensive end Travon Walker, a likely first-round draft pick, also declared for the draft.

Running back Zamir White declares for the NFL draft

Jan. 14: Redshirt junior running back Zami White has announced via Instagram he's declaring for the NFL draft.

The Bulldogs leading rusher the past two seasons rushed for 856 yards and 11 touchdowns this season including a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against Alabama in the national title game win. He led the Bulldogs with 84 yards on 13 carries in the game.

The Laurinburg, N.C., native fought back from two ACL tears to finish his Georgia career with 2,043 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns and a 5.3 yard per carry career average.

Georgia DB Latavious Brini enters portal

Jan. 13: Latavious Brini, who started 11 games for Georgia this season, is putting his name in the transfer portal, he posted on Instagram.

Brini was replaced as starter before the SEC championship game against Alabama. William Poole replaced him at the Star nickel position.

Brini had 38 tackles including 2 1/2 for loss with 8 pass breakups. The Miami Gardens product was a redshirt freshman this season but has an extra year of eligiblity due to the COVID season of 2020.

More movement into transfer portal

Jan. 12: Jalen Kimber, considered a contender for a starting cornerback spot before the season, is transferring, his father Art confirmed to the Athens Banner-Herald.

The redshirt freshman underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in September, but was expected to be available for spring practice. The Mansfield, Texas native played in one game this season.

Reserve wide receiver Justin Robinson also has entered the transfer portal, according to Jonathan Gess who coached Robinson at Eagles Landing. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Robinson had 2 catches for 18 yards this season. He played one game during his redshirt season last year.

Two reserve players into the transfer portal

Jan. 11: Kirby Smart made mention on Tuesday morning, the day after winning the national title, that some players were expected to head into the transfer portal.

Cornerback Ameer Speed, who started the first three games this season, posted on Twitter that he was entering the portal. Reserve wide receiver Jaylen Johnson has done the same, he confirmed to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Both graduated from UGA last month.

Speed played in 13 games, making 13 tackles. Johnson is a former walk-on who had 3 catches for 29 yards this season. He saw action in all but one game.

Assistant strength and conditioning coach lands at Louisville

Jan. 7: Louisville has hired Georgia assistant strength and conditioning coach Ben Sowders at its new director of strength and conditioning.

"It's easy from watching Georgia compete this season that Ben has had a major impact on the physicalness and development on the Bulldog players, who are competing for the College Football National Championship," coach Scott Satterfield said.

Director of football ops resigns

Dec. 20: Josh Lee, a key staffer under Kirby Smart, resigned while the university conducted an investigation. Lee had been on staff as director of football operations since 2014.

Recruiting staffer jumps to Gators

Dec. 16: Katie Turner has left Georgia's recruiting staff to join another SEC East program. Turner was hired by new Florida coach Billy Napier for a recruiting position in Gainesville. They worked together previously at Louisiana.

Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning hired as Oregon head coach

Dec. 11: After three seasons as Georgia defensive coordinator, Dan Lanning becomes the latest Kirby Smart assistant to land a head coaching job. Lanning was hired to replace Mario Cristobal as Oregon's head coach.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia football 2022 tracker: Updates on coaches, staff, players

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