Much has been made of the presence Georgia football will have inside the Philadelphia locker room in 2023. The Eagles took two Bulldogs, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, in the 2022 NFL Draft. They selected three more in 2023 and two, Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, in the first round. Philly also traded for D’Andre Swift right around the same time they took Kelee Ringo in the fourth round.
The draft slot was lower than many expected for Ringo, but the 20-year-old rookie isn’t dwelling on that. Ringo would be tasked with proving himself and standing out amongst a host of veteran players no matter where he was drafted. Instead he’s excited about the opportunity and the situation he will step into once he works out his rookie contract.
“Man I’m super excited,” Ringo said in a virtual meeting with reporters soon after he was picked. “Just to have the opportunity to go to the Eagles overall, but man, it definitely makes it better with my past teammates at the University of Georgia. Definitely our bonds will continue to grow like no other. Of course it would definitely be there even if we were on different teams but just being in the same building as those guys and just to be able to learn the ropes from guys there like Jordan Davis and Nakobe (Dean) and me, Jalen, and Nolan will walk in there to open arms from the entire community and the staff. Honestly just feel like it’s a great situation to be coming into as a rookie.”
There was talk of Ringo having issues with work ethic and injuries during the 2023 NFL Draft. Rumors swirled about a potential medical flag because of a shoulder surgery he had in 2020. Others reported that teams questioned his work ethic and effort on the practice field.
Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman insists that none of that was in the Eagles’ file on Ringo. In fact, Roseman told ESPN that Ringo was much higher on the Eagles’ board than where he was picked.
After a three-year career at Georgia with two as a starter, Ringo left his mark on the Georgia program. His 79-yard interception return for a touchdown against Alabama won’t soon be forgotten. It finished off UGA’s first National Championship run since 1980 with a bang. Then there’s the interception against No. 1 Tennessee in 2022 and the pass breakup on Ohio State’s final possession in the Peach Bowl, a series that ended in a missed field goal.
Ringo caught his fair share of criticism shrapnel at Georgia. Some great receivers got the better of him at times as he missed a few tackles and missed some opportunities with the ball in the air. Still, there was much more positive than negative and the Eagles get a 6-foot-2 205-pound speedster who can probably play a multitude of positions in the back half.
The former five-star prospect will try and avoid getting ahead of himself. At Georgia he learned to take things one play at a time and, for now, the play is to be thankful for the situation. That started before the Eagles traded up to pick him.
“At that point in time, I was like, one of the best situations would be for me to go to the Eagles for sure,” Ringo said per NBCSports Philadelphia. “Just inside thinking.”
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