Looking ahead to the 2018 Season: What should be expected from Fromm and Company
Cover Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
By: Andrew Rodberg
As the 2018 season approaches, the expectations for the University of Georgia Bulldogs is at an all-time high. After winning the SEC Championship for the first time since 2005, defeating the best offensive team in the country in Oklahoma, at the Rose Bowl, in walk-off fashion, making it to the National Championship against Alabama, and only being a few plays from their first title since 1980, the Dawgs look to continue their trend and stay atop the rankings.
With many offensive playmakers graduating and going to the NFL, we will take a look at the returning starters and predict what their production will be in 2018. The first player we are going to discuss is Sophomore QB Jake Fromm.
Jake Fromm (QB):
Jake is coming off a stellar year where he completed 181/291 passes, had a 62.2% completion percentage, and racked up 2,615 yards 24 TD’s and 7 INT. Fromm was thrown into play right off the get go after then starter, Jacob Eason, went down with an injury in the season opener. Jake made the most of his opportunity and went into South Bend in Week #2 and defeated the Fighting Irish in a primetime night game. After seeing his leadership and his hot hand, Coach Kirby Smart opted to keep Jake in as he was commanding the offense and winning games. Without his RB duo Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, Jake will be relied on more in the passing game this upcoming season. 404 The Beat predicts that Jake will surpass his previous TD total with 32 and 9 INT’s. He will rack up 3,100 yards and have a 59% completion percentage.
Terry Godwin (WR):
Terry Godwin, the most reliable returning WR on the roster, opted to return to UGA for his senior year and Dawg Nation couldn’t be more thrilled! After mediocre years in 2015 and 2016 where he caught 73 passes and racked up 776 yards and 2 TD’s, Godwin went off in 2017 with 38 catches for 639 yards and 6 TD’s. None of his catches were more electric than his one-handed catch in the end-zone vs Notre Dame in Week #2. As Jake Fromm continued starting games, Godwin became his go to receiver in key drives and important moments throughout the year. 404 The Beat predicts that Godwin will have a slight decline in yards (not because he doesn’t play as well but because of the surrounding WR’s learning the playbook and getting more involved), Terry will have 42 catches for 579 yards and 7 TD’s.
Mecole Hardman (WR):
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Mecole Hardman, the needed slot receiver, does most of his damage in the jet-sweep and post routes from the slot position. As the Nation saw during the National Championship, Hardman has the ability to spread the defense and make big plays in the passing game. Hardman tore through Alabama’s coveted defense when he had a huge 80 yard TD catch that put the Dawgs up 20-7. Hardman finished the 2017 season with 25 catches for 418 yards and 4 TD’s. He also had 1,255 all purpose yards and looks to make an even bigger impact in 2018. 404 The Beat predicts that Mecole will have 28 catches for 430 receiving yards, 5 TD’s and also rack up 325 rushing yards.
Riley Ridley (WR):
Riley Ridley in 2016 and 2017 was limited in targets as Terry Godwin and Javon Wims received most of the looks throughout the year. In 2016, Riley had 12 catches for 238 yards and 2 TD’s and in 2017, he racked in 14 catches for 218 yards and 2 TD’s. With 2018 upon us, the tides looked to be turning as Riley and Terry Godwin look to be the two main targets for sophomore Jake Fromm in a high powered offense. His ability to extend and catch high balls makes him a huge deep threat in the passing game. 404 The Beat predicts that Riley will have 30 catches for 515 receiving yards, 4 TD’s.
D’Andre Swift (RB):
AP Photo/David Goldman
With seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel moving on to the NFL, the Dawgs now look ahead to the future and D’Andre’s name seems to be the highlight! After a stellar freshman season where D’Andre earned 81 carries for 618 yards and 3 TD’s. D’Andre averaged a crazy 7.6 yards a carry and looks to be the future of UGA’s rushing attack. He along with Elijah Holyfield, are thought to be the next one-two punch in the backfield for UGA in 2018. 404 The Beat predicts that D’Andre will have 212 carries for 1,200 yards, 11 TD’s.
Elijah Holyfield (RB):
John Mersits/CSM/Alamy Live News
With D’Andre Swift taking over the duties of the “next Sony Michel”, with his burst of speed and ability to make sharp cuts, Elijah Holyfield looks to be the “next Nick Chubb” with his hard, grown man, running attack. Holyfield has shown he has the power to knock defenders off their spots and run them over, just like Chubb did. Elijah ended his 2017 season with 50 carries for 293 yards and 2 TD’s averaging 5.9 yards a carry. 404 The Beat predicts that Elijah will have 130 carries for 685 yards, 6 TD’s
Isaac Nauta (TE):
Isaac Nauta is an ideal TE, one that can block the OLB and still has soft enough hands to catch balls in the middle of the field. Isaac an upcoming junior looks to improve his offensive stats while making sure he keeps defenses honest. In 2017, Isaac had 9 catches for 114 yards and 3 TD’s and none were as big as his 2 yard TD catch to tie the game in the 2017 SEC Championship Game. Isaac looks to get back to old 2016 form and help move the ball. 404 The Beat predicts that Isaac will have 32 catches for 276 yards, 3 TD’s.
As Dawg Nation says, Go Dawgs Sic’Em!! Woof Woof Woof!!
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