More Georgia Bulldogs leaving via transfer portal

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

ATHENS – And then there were 12.

That’s the current number of underclassman personnel losses off of Georgia’s 2022 national championship team. There will be more between now and the declaration deadline day for hopeful NFL draftees, which is Monday.

There have been no great surprises so far. Freshman defensive back Jaheim Singletary entering the transfer portal would come as close to any of them as far as approaching the unexpected. A consensus 4-star signee, with some 5-star ratings, Singletary leaves at a time when there will be some significant openings for playing time in the Bulldogs’ secondary. However, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound resident of Jacksonville seemed to have fallen behind Daylen Everette and Nyland Green in the battle for reps behind Kamari Lassiter and Kelee Ringo.

Ringo, a third-year sophomore, is among four Georgia underclassmen who have declared for the NFL draft -- so far. Defensive tackle Jalen Carter, tight end Darnell Washington and offensive tackle Broderick Jones, who announced Friday afternoon, also have gone public with their decisions.

Third-year sophomore center Sedrick Van Pran and junior offensive tackle Warren McClendon also have earned high pre-draft grades and will have decisions to make before the deadline.

The rest of Georgia’s underclassman starters appear to be leaning toward returning for next season. The Bulldogs, two-time defending national champions, are expected to open 2023 as the preseason No. 1 team, according to the many “way too early” Top 25 polls that have been published since Monday’s 65-7 win over TCU completed Georgia’s first 15-0 season in school history.

Portal activity for the Bulldogs has been high, as it is everywhere in college football. As of Friday afternoon, eight Georgia players have entered the NCAA’s clearinghouse signaling their desires for immediate transfer.

Tight end Arik Gilbert and defensive tackle Bill Norton were the first in and did not accompany the Bulldogs into the playoff. Norton has since landed at Arizona.

The latest to join the exodus was junior outside linebacker Mekhail “MJ” Sherman. A former 5-star signee from Baltimore, Sherman reportedly has been back-and-forth about whether to leave since Monday night’s game, but’s Matt Zenith reported Thursday that Sherman’s paperwork has been filed with the NCAA. Sherman had not made an announcement on his social-media accounts, however.

Linebacker Trezman Marshall, a third-year sophomore from Homerville, was among the Georgia players who did make announcements. Also making it official Friday was freshman offensive lineman Jacob Hood (6-8, 350) of Nashville, Tenn. The other two portal departures so far are tight ends Ryland Goede and Brett Seither.

Much was made of Georgia losing 15 players to the NFL draft off last year’s team, but there was less discussion about 13 players who departed the 2021 team via the transfer portal. Remarkably, the Bulldogs did not add any players via the portal last year.

This year, Georgia already has welcomed Rara Thomas from Mississippi State and Dominic Lovett from Missouri to the 2023 squad. Each was the leading receiver on their respective teams last year.

In the meantime, Georgia had 19 signees from the 2023 class that began classes at UGA on Tuesday, and coach Kirby Smart was flying around metro Atlanta in a helicopter Friday to visit prospects for the ongoing recruiting cycle.

“Roster management is every day; it’s continuous,” Smart said at the champions press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles. “… We deal with it every single day, and it will continue to be that way. And you respect the process. My saying is, ‘you’ve got to be better at the process than everybody else is. You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to be better at it than everybody else is.”

So far, so good.