The guys 'running it back' for UGA

·2 min read
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia defensive back William Poole (31) breaks up a pass to  Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) in the first quarter during the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia defensive back William Poole (31) breaks up a pass to Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) in the first quarter during the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports

For all the frustration in some corners of seeing quarterback JT Daniels and wide receiver Jermaine Burton exit Georgia and enter the transfer portal, it’s worth taking notice of a few guys that decided to stick around that should boost the 2022 Bulldogs.

Remember how valuable super seniors Devonte Wyatt and Justin Shaffer were in the trenches for the national championship run?

Relive Georgia football's historic season with exclusive, commemorative book

Sack leader Robert Beal and nickel back William Poole could see their late season rise continue into next season in their sixth Georgia seasons after choosing to come back.

Likewise, safety Christopher Smith coming back for a fifth season and obviously Nolan Smith sticking around for his senior season is significant. Stetson Bennett's return is also a sixth college season — five at Georgia and one at junior college.

Poole moved into the top nickel back spot late in the season and had a rough game in the SEC championship but bounced back in the playoff. He had four tackles and two pass breakups in the national championship game against Alabama.

Beal had five of his team-leading six ½ sacks in the last six games after Adam Anderson’s suspension. He had a sack in the Orange Bowl win against Michigan and in the national championship victory. His only other sack before this season came way back in 2018.

Elsewhere in Georgia athletics:

--The Georgia men’s basketball team will try against for its first SEC win of the season and to snap a seven-game losing streak Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at South Carolina in an SEC Network game.

--The gymnastics team is coming off a two-match postponement due to COVID issues. It hosts Florida at 6 p.m. Friday in Stegeman Coliseum.

--Speaking of COVID postponements, the No. 4 women’s tennis team had to postpone its match at No. 3 North Carolina for the same reason.

--There’s a big women’s basketball game Sunday at 2 p.m. inside Stegeman. It’s No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Georgia. Catch the game on the SEC Network.

Follow me on Twitter @marcweiszer and email me at mweiszer@onlineathens.com

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: The guys 'running it back' for UGA

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