After last year's success and QB Aaron Murray returning, Georgia has reason to be excited this spring.
By STEVE EUBANKSFS South
With the good news that quarterback Aaron Murray would return for his senior season as a Bulldog, and the continued positive development of running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, Georgia fans are as excited as ever about spring football.
And why wouldn't they be? The Dawgs were one final-second tipped pass away from making their first trip to the BCS Championship game. But the 2013 schedule presents a lot tougher test for Coach Mark Richt and company. This spring will offer the first signs of how the Dawgs will respond in 2013.
2012 Record: 12-2 (7-2 SEC)
Spring Schedule: Practice begins March 2 and extends through the annual G-Day Game, which will be held April 6 and 1:00 p.m. at Sanford Stadium.
Last Year: Georgia successfully repeated as SEC East champion, but for the second year in a row, they lost the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Last year's loss was particularly brutal as the Dawgs came up three yards and one play short of upsetting eventual national champion Alabama. Also concerning for Georgia fans was the fact that the Dawgs played three top-10 teams (Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina) and lost to two of them.
The Biggest Hole to Fill: there are a lot of losses on the defensive side of the ball with guys like Alec Ogletree, Kwame Geathers, Jon Jenkins, Bacarri Rambo, Brandon Smith and Sanders Cummings all hanging up the college jerseys and sitting by the phone waiting for an NFL team to call. But the biggest hole to fill will be the one left by outside linebacker Jarvis Jenkins, one of the top three outside linebackers in the college game and a certain first-round pick. Jenkins was a playmaking force in Todd Grantham's defense, and a leader both on the field and off. Of all the players who are no longer around, Jones will be Georgia's biggest loss.
One to Watch: Michael Bennett suffered a season-ending ACL tear last year, but coaches hope to have him back on the field for spring practice. How strong Bennett comes back could say a lot about the Dawgs' strengths or weaknesses at the wide receiver position where they lost significant performers in Tarvarres King, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten.