Home Sports Georgia football transfer portal primer: What does Andrew Paul’s departure mean, what’s next?

Georgia football transfer portal primer: What does Andrew Paul’s departure mean, what’s next?

Georgia football transfer portal primer: What does Andrew Paul’s departure mean, what’s next?


ATHENS, Ga. — The college football spring transfer portal window opens on Tuesday, and Georgia got its first news a bit early: Andrew Paul, a second-year running back, told On3Sports that he will be entering the portal.

It’s not a huge shock: Georgia has seven scholarship running backs, and Paul was at best third on the depth chart. But he had shown promise after missing his freshman season when he tore his ACL during 2022 preseason practice.

Paul appeared in seven games last year, rushing for 129 yards. In Saturday’s spring game, he had runs of 16 and 24 yards, plus a 1-yard touchdown. The signs were good that he would get carries this season, including in the season opener against Clemson.

But Paul apparently was looking for a place with a bigger guaranteed role, this season and beyond. Georgia signed three tailbacks in the 2024 class, including Nate Frazier, a top-100 recruit who will arrive this summer.

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Due to SEC transfer rules, Paul cannot transfer within the SEC and play this fall. A native of Texas, he could head closer to home. Georgia State would be an option if Paul were willing, as Dell McGee, who recruited him to Georgia, is now that program’s coach.

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Trevor Etienne (1) had a strong day in Georgia’s spring game on Saturday. (Dale Zanine / USA Today)

Where does Georgia stand at tailback?

Trevor Etienne, a transfer from Florida, showed in the spring game why Georgia wanted him, catching passes out of the backfield and getting runs up the middle. Kirby Smart agreed afterward with a comparison to James Cook and D’Andre Swift, two former Georgia tailbacks who offered help in the passing game.

Etienne is set to be suspended at least one game this season due to his March arrest on DUI and other charges. Which game and how many games have not been confirmed by the school. When Etienne plays, he may be the starter.

Roderick Robinson, a sophomore, looked like a good option in the spring game. He wasn’t as explosive — only 24 yards on 11 carries — but he bounced off tacklers, showing his physical presence. Robinson was Georgia’s third-leading rusher last year with 196 yards on 24 carries.

Chauncey Bowens is the one freshman who enrolled early, and he had 22 yards on five carries in the spring game. He looked bigger than when he enrolled and helped his chances of being a factor early in the season.

Branson Robinson, who had two touchdowns as a freshman in the 2023 national championship game, missed all of last year after tearing his patella tendon. Robinson is working his way back and likely an option as the season goes on.

Frazier and Dwight Phillips Jr. join the team this summer. Cash Jones, a walk-on with 211 rushing yards over the past three years, is also an option.



Georgia spring game takeaways: Defense flexes, offense shrugs

What else will Georgia lose and pursue in the portal?

The Bulldogs are above the 85 scholarship limit and will be looking to add a player or two in the portal. So room will be made.

Receiver and defensive back look to be the deepest positions, so those are the ones to watch. But no rules bind anyone to the roster, so unexpected departures always can occur.

As for targets, Georgia only has three scholarship quarterbacks, and Smart has been blunt that he would like a fourth. In fact, the team briefly had a transfer committed in January, but UNLV’s Jordan Maiava flipped to USC.

Defensive line would be another spot the team would target if the right player appeared in the portal. A veteran running back would now make sense.

(Top photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images)


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