Georgia will tee it up between the hedges against Louisiana-LaFayette this Saturday. And it will do so without a lot of youth on the field.
The Bulldogs look like a relative old folks home compared to SEC East brethren such as Tennessee and Florida. Seventeen true freshmen are included on the Gators’ two-deep depth chart for Miami-Ohio while the Vols are expected to play 17 freshmen and redshirt freshmen in their opener against UT-Martin.
Nothing of the sort for Georgia. Much attention will be placed on redshirt freshman Aaron Murray, who will make his debut as the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs. But the only true freshman on the two-deep is quarterback Hutson Mason. Junior college transfer Jakar Hamilton will get the starting nod at one of the safety positions. Otherwise, it’s a relatively seasoned squad that will take the field for Georgia in the season opener.
The biggest question surrounding the Bulldogs’ rookies will be whether commit to playing Mason right away this season or try to redshirt him. Odds are pretty good that Murray will get his bell rung and have to come out of a game for at least one play this season. And with Logan Gray concentrating on receiver and missing extended time with an ankle injury, it seems even more likely they Bulldogs will need to have Mason ready.
Head coach Mark Richt has been evasive on the subject of playing Mason. “We haven’t told him anything yet,” he said. “That’ll be coming up here pretty soon. You might have to ask me after the game Saturday.”
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said Mason is solidly entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback. “He’s No. 2,” Bobo said. “He’s one play away [from playing in a game]. If there was an injury, he’d be in the game.”
True freshmen Richt said he expects to play are safety Alec Ogletree, fullback Zander Ogletree (special teams) and cornerback Derek Owens — and said he’s not sure who else. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said OLB T.J. Stripling had a chance to see the field after he “showed me something” late in camp.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Michael Bennett of Alpharetta is listed as third-team split end, so he could definitely see some time.
This didn’t project as a high-impact recruiting class. In fact, it was the lowest-rated Georgia class under Richt, ranked No. 15 by Rivals.com and No. 21 by Scout.
GEORGIA CLASS OF 2010
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>>>Tomorrow: Freshmen of impact around the South