When you recruit at the level Georgia has in recent years, you’re going to have some incredible athletes on your team. From Jalen Carter to Darnell Washington, the Bulldogs have some true physical marvels on their 2022 team.
Yet three Georgia players manage standout not just amongst their teammates but in all of college football. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic released his annual College Football Freaks list on Tuesday, identifying the top 100 athletic freaks in the sport.
Cornerback Kelee Ringo, wide receiver Arian Smith and tight end Brock Bowers were the three Bulldogs to make the cut for Georgia. Only Michigan and Oregon had more freaks on Feldman’s list, as both schools had four each.
Ringo displayed his outrageous leaping ability and breakaway speed on the final touchdown of the 2021 college football season. Feldman notes that Ringo has 4.3 speed and has been clocked at 22 miles per hour. Doing that at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds is what makes him a rare breed in the sport.
With so much physical talent, Ringo has been working on the mental aspect of his game. Specifically how to better build up his confidence.
“I think showing belief in your players no matter their age, no matter their experience, is extremely important as a coach because if you don’t believe in them, they won’t believe in themselves,” co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann said. “Starting with that, we want to instill confidence in every player. You have to build them up, you have to challenge them when they’re wrong. Sometimes the best thing to do after a guy makes a mistake is to love them, you can correct them in the meetings room. In terms of building any player’s confidence, it starts with us.”
Bowers’ athleticism was on display constantly during his freshman season, one in which he re-wrote the Georgia record books with 13 touchdown catches. He’s too big for defensive backs and far too quick for linebackers.
Feldman shouts out Washington and Arik Gilbert but it’s Bowers’ youth and room to improve that has him as the top freak in perhaps the freakiest position group in college football.
“You saw the season that Brock (Bowers) had last year,” co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said. “A very difficult cover, and he’s very good with his body. His balance and ability to bounce off people is outstanding. He’s got outstanding hands. Darnell (Washington) is a guy that is very difficult as far as his length is concerned. I think with the combination of those things, it makes them very difficult to deal with - and we’ve got some players beyond those guys.”
Smith hasn’t been able to remain on the field enough to produce at the level that Bowers and Ringo have. But it’s clear that the wide receiver is the fastest player on the Georgia team. His speed in a recent practice allowed him to easily get behind the Georgia defense for a long touchdown.
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The redshirt sophomore has just five catches in his Georgia career. But he’s turned those receptions into 188 yards and three touchdowns, good for 37.6 yards per catch. Smith is also an All-American in track and field as well.
Georgia had a number of freaks on its team last season, a big reason the Bulldogs won the national championship. That team had five first-round picks, as Travon Walker, Jordan Davis and Quay Walker were among the many Bulldogs who shined at the NFL combine.
The Bulldogs are honing their skills during a rigorous fall camp. But with athletes like these on the team, you can see why Georgia will be a favorite in every game it plays this season. In addition to being one of if not the most physical teams in the country, Georgia also has an unreal amount of athleticism it can use to beat teams.