Coming off 2017 and looking ahead, it's a great time to be a Georgia fan

Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm, the SEC Freshman of the Year, finished his rookie season 12-2 as a starter. Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

We’re less than a week from national signing day (Wednesday), and it’s a great time to be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.

Historic 2017 season

Georgia finished 13-2 in 2017, matching the school record for wins in a season set in 2002. Along the way, the Bulldogs won their first SEC football championship since 2005 and became the first SEC school to win the Rose Bowl since 1945.

Georgia’s run ended with an overtime loss to Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

Kirby Smart, a former All-SEC defensive back at Georgia, fell just short of becoming the first head coach to lead his alma mater to a national championship at the FBS level since Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer in 1998.

After the championship game loss, the Bulldogs finished No. 2 in the final Associated Press poll, their best since they finished No. 2 in 2007.

Returning talent

Georgia is projected to return as many as eight players who were primarily starters from an offense that ranked fifth nationally in overall efficiency.

Leading the way is quarterback Jake Fromm, who, as a true freshman, was 12-2 as a starter and ranked among the top 10 in the FBS in yards per attempt (9.0) and Total QBR (81.1).

Also back is wide receiver Terry Godwin, a three-year starter who passed on a chance to declare for the NFL draft. Godwin led the Bulldogs in yards per catch last season (16.8) and ranked second in receptions (38), receiving yards (629) and receiving touchdowns (six).

Throw in running back D’Andre Swift, who showed flashes as a true freshman, and Georgia has a trio of playmakers to headline next season’s offense.

Recruiting success

Helping replace those who won’t return next season is a tremendous recruiting class. Georgia will enter signing day with ESPN’s No. 1 class for 2018, a spot that Alabama has claimed five times in the past six years (Florida State signed the No. 1 class in 2016).

The Bulldogs have signed 15 players in the ESPN 300, including seven from the top 50 prospects -- the most by any school.

Among the notables are the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback (Justin Fields), the No. 1 running back (Zamir White) and the No. 1 offensive guard (Trey Hill).

Things are going so well for Georgia that it even signed the nation’s top kicker (Jake Camarda).

Favorable schedule

After navigating last season’s gantlet -- which included an SEC-high 10 games against bowl teams and road games against Notre Dame, Auburn and Georgia Tech -- the schedule appears much more favorable in 2018.

The Bulldogs will play one road game in 2018 against a team that finished in the final AP poll (Oct. 13 at LSU), and their non-conference schedule consists of an FCS team (Austin Peay), two Group of 5 teams (Middle Tennessee and Massachusetts) and Georgia Tech. Even better? All four games will be played at Sanford Stadium.