Robert Peel Makes Georgian Football Rush Strong in 2022

Georgian football lost a lot of its defense in 2021. Three of the defensive linemen who participated in the first round of the draft are gone. Three players have been drafted from the inside as well. Safety Lewis Cine went in the first round and cornerback Derion Kendrick came off the board in sixth.

Much more will be done about how Georgia can replace all this lost production. But one thing Georgia didn’t lose in enlistment though was that it was her best pass from last season.

That would be Robert Peel.

Bale finished the season strong, collecting 5.0 sacks in Georgia’s last six games of the season giving him the team’s best 6.5 sacks. He earned his spot in games against both Alabama and Michigan in the College Football Playoff last season.

What’s more is that since Kirby Smart became the show’s head coach prior to the 2016 season, only Aziz Ogolari in 2020 and D’Andre Walker in 2017 had more sacks in a season.

The reason Bale finished the season strong is largely due to opportunity. Adam Anderson was suspended prior to the team’s game against Missouri, which made way for Bale to earn more picks at the outside quarterback. He took full advantage of this opportunity.

That late-season success prompted Bill to return for another season in Georgia. He first signed on as a member of the 2018 Georgia Signature Class, but Bell earned an extra year of eligibility thanks to a one-year COVID exemption from the NCAA.

One caveat is that for the 2022 season, seniors actually count against the scholarship number of 85 men. Georgia theoretically had a choice to make if she wanted Bale back for another season. Given last season’s sack production, and Georgia saw the departure of the fastest second, third, fourth and fifth pass races, it’s clear that the Bulldogs wanted what Beal brings to the table.

The Bulldogs have recruited well into the outside quarterback position in the last cycle and have also seen fellow outside quarterback Nolan Smith return for 2022 as well. While Georgia will require Smith to wear several hats — adjust the brim, go down in coverage, spy more athletic quarterbacks and dash passersby — Beal’s most important trait is having the opposing quarterback.

Bale missed the Georgia game in the spring due to an undisclosed injury, but Smart indicated it was not serious and that he would be willing to go to fall camp. He will play for a new coach as Chidera Ozo Derbe takes over as Dan Lanning, who is now Oregon’s head coach.

Related: What Georgia footballers say about their new assistant coaches: ‘It looks like a player’

Maybe it’s because he’s his fifth year in Georgia why Bill seems so underrated. Perhaps the fact that he was only 107th in the 2018 class – not 5-star – plays a role. There are sure to be plenty of other great defenders in Georgia’s defense in 2021.

For most of his time as a Georgia Bulldog, he overshadowed Bell. Until this moment, he started his career only twice. But his late-season production shouldn’t be seen as a fluke. Yes, he will have to take on a bigger role in the 2022 season, but after all this time, there’s no doubt Bale is ready to go from underestimating him to proper respect.

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