ORLANDO - As Georgia has seen basically every season, having good players often means losing them early. Even as speculation continues over who will do so this year, it bears noting that it will likely happen again after the 2013 season.
As one of those rising juniors hinted at on Thursday.
Actually, more than hinted.
Receiver Malcolm Mitchell, one of the jewels of the 2011 signing class, was asked what it meant to be known as one of the members of that so-called "Dream Team" class.
"We're still here. We're still standing strong," Mitchell said. "A lot of us came in and did play early. A lot of us are playing now. A lot of us will be leaving next year as just juniors. I still believe that our recruiting class will be big, and we did make a difference in some areas."
So who could Mitchell be talking about? Well, himself for one: Given a full year at receiver in 2013, Mitchell could rise in the draft rankings. At this point, the only other members of the class playing well enough to be considered draftable after next season include cornerback Damian Swann and linebacker Amarlo Herrera.
Then again, there are a lot of games to be played in 2013.
One member of the class is already headed pro: Nose tackle John Jenkins was a junior college transfer and is a senior this year. Jenkins, who is out for the Capital One Bowl because of academics, is considered a possibility for the first round in next April's draft.
The Dream Team class had 26 players who actually signed. Two didn't enroll. Five more - including star tailback Isaiah Crowell - have left the program, either dismissed or otherwise.