Georgia Football: 5 Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

Georgia Football: 5 Players Headed for Breakout 2014 Seasons

Georgia Football
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After an injury-plagued 2013 season, the Georgia Bulldogs enter 2014 with huge questions on defense but hopes are as high as ever. They’ve brought in Jeremy Pruitt from the national champion Florida State Seminoles to coach up the defense, trimmed some problems from their roster and return most of an incredibly potent offense. Which players are primed to break out and help keep the Bulldogs in the national championship hunt?

5. Damian Swann, CB

Damian Swann, Georgia Bulldogs CB
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

5. Damian Swann, CB

Damian Swann, Georgia Bulldogs CB
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Swann was supposed to break out a year ago, but he struggled for most of the year. He went from being a fan favorite to a favorite whipping boy. The talent is there as was on display two seasons ago. With a new position coach in Pruitt who has a reputation for being a great teacher, expect Swann to finally live up to his potential, be a leader on defense and anchor what will be an inexperienced secondary.

4. Malcolm Mitchell, WR

Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia Bulldogs WR
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

4. Malcolm Mitchell, WR

Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia Bulldogs WR
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell, like Swann, was supposed to have his breakout year last season. Experience, combined with focus on one position, was supposed to lead to an All-SEC caliber season. However, a torn ACL in the first game against Clemson derailed those plans. Now, Mitchell should be healthy and fill the need for a big play receiver Georgia lacked in 2014. His presence on the outside will open up things for Georgia's offense.

3. John Theus, OT

John Theus, Georgia Bulldogs OT
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3. John Theus, OT

John Theus, Georgia Bulldogs OT
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Theus' first two years in Athens have been tumultuous to say the least. He came in with tons of hype as a freshman and earned a starting gig, which has been a rarity under Mark Richt. However, his second year saw him bounce between the first and second team. Now, with Kenarious Gates gone, Theus has a chance to play his natural position on the left side. Look for him to rise to the occasion and become the impact player he was thought to be.

2. Leonard Floyd, OLB

Leonard Floyd, Georgia Bulldogs OLB
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

2. Leonard Floyd, OLB

Leonard Floyd, Georgia Bulldogs OLB
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Floyd may be the best player on the Georgia Bulldogs not named Todd Gurley. His physicality and athleticism are freakish. He showed it in flashes last season, his first in the red and black, and led the team in sacks. Reports are that Pruitt believes he wasn’t utilized enough, so he should get even more opportunities to shine in 2014. In a defense that is going to be starved for playmakers, look for Floyd to rise to the top.

1. Hutson Mason, QB

Hutson Mason, Georgia Bulldogs QB
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

1. Hutson Mason, QB

Hutson Mason, Georgia Bulldogs QB
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought D.J. Shockley had it rough replacing David Greene, Hutson Mason has it even worse. He has to replace Aaron Murray, the most prolific passer in SEC history. However, it seems like a repeat of 2005 could be likely. Mason has all the tools, confidence and maturity to succeed. Plus he gained invaluable experience at the close of last season. He will step in and keep the offense clicking during his one and only season as starter.





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