Outside linebacker Robert Beal has struggled to crack the rotation and secure consistent playing time this season, and now appears set to try his luck elsewhere in 2020. Multiple reports have Beal entering the transfer portal this morning, joining walk-on tailback and special teams contributor Prather Hudson and walk-on receiver Josh Moran.
The 6’4, 244 pound Suwanee native arrived as part of the class of 2017 ranked as a consensus four star prospect and among the top 150 prospects in the country. The redshirt sophomore appeared poised for a breakout during his 2018 redshirt freshman campaign, when he saw action in 11 games and tallied 15 tackles, a sack, and a quarterback hurry, despite missing time due to a death in the family and a concussion. However he was passed on the depth chart in 2019 and has seen action in only 4 contests, none since the Mizzou game on November 9th, when he logged his only solo tackle of the season. Since then redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari and true freshman Nolan Smith have emerged as potential starters at the position, along with junior stalwart Walter Grant and transfer Jermaine Johnson. In short this looks like a classic case of a good football player just being recruited over.
Obviously Beal could still rethink his decision and return to Athens. If he doesn’t and transfers to an FBS school he may have to sit out a season (he already redshirted in 2017) have have only one season of eligibility left. So far as possible destinations go, I’d keep an eye on Tennessee, with defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer who recruited him to Georgia and head coach Jeremy Pruitt, who recruited Beal while he was the DC under Nick Saban at Alabama.
Georgia finds itself in an unusual position from a scholarship distribution perspective following this transfer. The Bulldogs have 14 commitments for the class of 2020. Including those players and excluding likely NFL Draft early entrants (D’Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas) Georgia could have room to add as many as 11-12 more players on Signing Day or through the transfer portal (I’m told the thing runs both ways). Until later...