The Georgia Bulldogs rolled to a historic 65-7 National Championship win over TCU on Monday evening. It was their second straight national title and the second championship for Rhode Island native …
The Georgia Bulldogs rolled to a historic 65-7 National Championship win over TCU on Monday evening. It was their second straight national title and the second championship for Rhode Island native Xavier Truss, who was the team’s starting left guard.
The Bishop Hendricken grad really made his presence felt this season for Georgia. He was recruited as a tackle and got his first taste of action in spurts last year as a sophomore. As a junior this season, he transitioned inside to guard and by Monday’s game, had a firm grasp on the starting spot.
We’ve seen more and more locals reach the professional level across many sports in the last few years and it appears that Truss is next in line. He will be back in Georgia for his senior season, but it is hard to picture a scenario in which he is not drafted in the 2024 NFL Draft.
He will be a two-year starter for the best program in college football and perhaps the best offense. He is only improving and will have another season of work under his belt. I’m not sure how high he’ll go, but I think if he continues this path, he will certainly hear his name called to the podium in the spring of 2024.
As always, anytime a local makes noise on the national stage, I have to take a moment to give them a shout out. Rhode Island is not exactly a football hotbed like Texas, Florida, California, so for one of our guys to get recruited to a major FBS school like Georgia and earn a starting spot, the odds are against it.
That’s one thing that I believe gets lost often when it comes to college recruits at the Division I level. We see kids all the time get recruited to these programs, but so often they fail to reach the field in their short four-year opportunity. The college experience goes by fast, and every year these programs are recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. You have such a short window to make a splash, and Truss did just that.
I think the question now becomes, will he stay inside or work his way back to the tackle position next fall? There is more money for tackles as it is a premium position in today’s NFL, but at the same time, if he is putting in the work on the inside and finding success, maybe he should continue to grind there. There is a reason he was kicked inside. Maybe the staff felt he was better off there, maybe they just had more tackles than guards, who knows. Either way, it will be interesting to see where he lands next fall.
Will Blackmon, Kwity Paye, Xavier Truss, Jason Onye, Hendricken continues to churn out these Division I recruits and we are seeing them continue to shine when given their chance. Onye is next in line as he just finished his freshman season with the Fighting Irish. Will he be the next Hawk to garner draft buzz?
Congrats to Truss and the Bulldogs. What an impressive performance on the biggest stage.
As for the Patriots, what a disappointing finish to another disappointing year.
Not that anyone expected them to beat both the Dolphins and Bills to close out the year, but it was another frustrating game on Sunday in which the Pats once again let their self-inflicted errors take away another game. Ultimately, they missed out on the playoffs by one game. Looking back at some of the losses, it is maddening considering a handful of those could have been victories.
Although I was certainly rooting for a Patriots win and playoff berth, I guess the one bright side is that the team will now be more motivated to take action this offseason. Win or lose on Sunday, New England was not going to go very far in the playoffs, it just was not that team this year.
So, where do the Pats go from here?
It’s obvious. To start, the offense needs a major overhaul. A new offensive coordinator, one or two new receivers, a lineman or two. Although the stats may suggest that two or three offenses were worse than the Pats in 2022, I really struggle to see how that is possible. This offense was inept nearly every week this season.
Defensively, the team actually showed pretty well this fall. Matthew Judon, Deatrich Wise, Josh Uche, those guys gave the Patriots a legitimate defensive front. The secondary, although not great, was able to hold its own. I think the focus this offseason has to be almost entirely on the coaching staff and offense.
I’d say now after three seasons, two of which they failed to reach the postseason, we can say the Patriots dynasty is finished. In reality, it was finished the day that Tom Brady walked out the door, but it is clear that this team needs more than just a quick reset and a few tweaks. It needs to rebuild half of its roster just to be competitive.
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