’s ‘freshmen of impact’ doesn’t include any locals

I’ve been writing a lot lately about true freshmen that could have an impact at Tech and Georgia. We’ve talked about the UGA’s Orson Charles, Marlon Brown, Washaun Ealey, Arthur Lynch and Aaron Murray and Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill, Izaan Cross, Jamea Thomas and Emmanuel Dieke.

And that’s just scratching the surface. Georgia coach Mark Richt vows to play every non-lineman/quarterback true freshman he can. Paul Johnson said of the Jackets’ new group: “There’s some really good athletes in that class and I’m excited about them as a whole. I think they’re going to do good.”’s Andy Staples takes a look at true freshmen of impact across the country. It should be noted that he includes no one from Tech or Georgia. Of the 14 he listed, five play for SEC schools: Tennessee RB Bryce Brown, South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore, Alabama RB Trent Richardson, Florida WR Andre Debose and LSU QB Russell Sheppard. He has two players from the ACC: Florida State DT Jacobi McDaniel and Miami S Ray Ray Armstrong.

Personally, I think he could have easily added Tech’s Hill or Georgia’s Brown or Branden Smith to that list. But what do I know? (don’t answer that)

Are there some other freshmen of impact we’re all overlooking? Tell me the single freshman at Tech and Georgia you expect to make the most significant contribution this season.

Now for some links (I’ll add more as they come in over the next few days):

Good story in the Gwinnett Daily Post on North Gwinnett offensive lineman Austin Shepherd and his relationship with Lake Lanier neighbor Morten Anderson. The Alabama commitment apparently has dropped considerable weight heading into his senior season. . . .

Some bad news for the Bulldogs. Carver-Columbus DT Gabriel Wright, one of their top targets for 2011, has Auburn on the top of his list, according to (registration required). . . .

Georgia’s freshman quarterbacks appear to be a little overwhelmed early on, reports the Macon Telegraph. . . .

A former LSU defensive lineman is transfering to Troy, according to the Dothan Eagle. . . .

Tennessee picks up another commitment from a Florida player, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

25 comments Add your comment


August 14th, 2009
4:46 pm


August 14th, 2009
4:55 pm

Um, Chip…check your English. “…don’t included”?

Mister NFL

August 14th, 2009
5:03 pm

As soon as GTech and UGA start making major moves in BCS bowls they’ll start getting more attention.

Voice of Reason

August 14th, 2009
5:04 pm

Orson Charles will have the biggest impact for the Dawgs as a freshman, followed by Brown, Smith, and Wooten. That’s just my opinion of course. Feel free to disagree.


August 14th, 2009
5:13 pm

Saint Simons sez nothing!

Smyrna Man

August 14th, 2009
5:33 pm

Bryce Brown says… V, B!


August 14th, 2009
6:18 pm

I think the biggest freshman impact will be J.C Lanier along Techs D Line.


August 14th, 2009
6:24 pm

MODAWG…it that all you have time to to: look for someone’s TYPO instead of making a comment of value related to the subject matter. I think the CB, Smith, at Georgia will have a the biggest and most significant impact this year for the Dawgs. Can’t see leaving him off. I also believe it will take Charles a while to get up to level with the experienced talent/speed in the SEC. He won’t be catching passes against high school DBs. It is tough for a freshman to play his position and be highly successful. Ask Aaron Hernandez at Florida who had the same skills as Charles coming in. He played as a freshman and did OK, but didn’t really become an impact player until his soph. year. Now, he is ready for the pros. Debose is having some difficulty picking up the Florida offense this fall and Jeff Demps has been moved into Harvin’s old position. If Demps can prove he can catch the ball consistently in short pass paterns, Debose will see limited action this year (or play just WR). Watch out for the freshman Janani Jenkins at LB this year for the Gators. Brown for Tennessee better have a big year or the Vols are going to be hurting badly for some offense. Oh, they are going to be hurting anyway. No proven QB or WRs. But, of course, they are going to upset the Gators in Gainesville soon….right Vol fans?


August 14th, 2009
6:25 pm

MODAWG…I misspelled “patern” (pattern). I am sure there are more. Looking yet?

nwizzle dawg

August 14th, 2009
7:08 pm

rhymes with “car in town”


August 14th, 2009
9:23 pm

hill won’t start this year. i think meltons got that spot but i doubt hell redshirt


August 15th, 2009
1:20 am

marlon brown will step up big time, giving us the best 1-2 wr tandem in the nation. go dawgs.

Big Dawg

August 15th, 2009
9:25 am

The freshman player with the biggest impact for Georgia this year will be redshirt freshman Carlton Thomas, the kid has got the “IT” factor. He is very, very quick, runs with power and makes guys miss. He also has very good hands and is unstoppable in the open field. Another guy to look out for is Mike Gilliard at linebacker.

Go Dawgs


August 15th, 2009
1:03 pm

The employee at the AJC who posts under the name, “Saint Simons”, does not work on Saturday, apparently.

Joe Cox

August 15th, 2009
4:00 pm

Stephen Hill might start opening day if Melton keeps struggling with injuries.


August 16th, 2009
1:27 am

Chip I enjoy your writings. By the way, I saw your interview on Nancy Grace about the professor killings a while back. I was kinda shocked when they said your name but I enjoyed the invterview. And wow, Nancy is such a ….. well you know.


August 16th, 2009
9:03 am

This is actually good news since SI has consistently proven over the years to know nothing about college football. Their preseason Top 25 is always way out there compared to the other ones. I just feel sorry for those mentioned as the SI jinx will probably get em.

Reality Check

August 16th, 2009
9:54 am

For the Dawgs…. Orson Charles is a monster… Authur Lynch will play… Branden Smith (cb)… Rantavious Wooten(wr), Montez Williams(de). Georgia has more freshmen in this class capable of contributing than any class in UGA history. We will see a bunch of them. And I agree with BIG DAWG… Carlton Thomas the is real deal he will play a bunch at tailback.

Ted Striker

August 16th, 2009
4:27 pm

Keep up the good work, Chip. (Except for appearing on Nancy Grace — that’s slumming).


August 16th, 2009
6:27 pm

How can you have an impact player if he suits up for an irrelevant program? That is what Athens will be this year.

The impact player for Florida may be a LB named Bostic who will challenge to start on one of the best LB alignments in the nation.


August 16th, 2009
9:09 pm

Jamal Patterson at Stanford is having outstanding camp.


August 17th, 2009
8:43 am

This article is like polls. It would be better to wait until at least the 3rd game of the season before writing it.


August 17th, 2009
1:30 pm

Good Lord, TampaGator….hate much?

I was simply letting Chip know…nothing more, nothing less. If you have ever read ANY of my prior posts, you would know that I generally stay on topic and do not look for typos. The comment section here is such “mice type”, it’s hard to catch any when you type them so I don’t bother. But Chip is the author and his was in the title of the article. Take it easy, chief!

By the way, your post was riddled with misspelled words, but who’s counting….

R Gillespie

August 18th, 2009
5:33 pm

Congrats UGA and GT fans. Being a SC fan, I would hope to one day see the time when SC doesn’t have to look for freshman to make an impact. I don’t see the honor in SI picking a player at SC thats going to make an impact playing a position such as CB in the SEC. Doesn’t say much for our upper classmen does it?

Miller Groves #1Fan

August 24th, 2009
6:03 pm

Do not sleep on Hill. He is going to take someones spot !