ATHENS — The Georgia coaching staff is currently going through the process of determining which players will be on the scout team and which will end up on the varsity, or travel squad.
As coach Mark Richt pointed out recently, this is always a difficult time for the coaches. While being placed on the scout team doesn’t guarantee a redshirt year, it’s a strong indication you won’t be counted on this season and often that can be a bitter pill to swallow. But you have 125 players per team, 85 on scholarship, dress out only 60 in conference games and can only play 11 at a time. So it’s a numbers game in which everybody can’t play.
While the coaches are still making their decisions, let’s go ahead and take a crack, centering on the freshman class. I encourage you guys to weigh in as well. This is a hypothesis at best.
Here’s a rundown of the first-year guys:
1. David Andrews, OL 6-3, 276 Wesleyan
One of two true freshmen linemen O-line coach Will Friend said are in position to suit up and possibly play. Andrews has impressed with his ability to play center but at this point would likely be the third man end behind senior Ben Jones and sophomore Dallas Lee.
2. Sterling Bailey, DE 6-4, 250 East Hall
Was recently medically cleared to participate following shoulder surgery last spring. Late start likely assures redshirt season.
3. Devin Bowman, CB 6-0, 175 Ridgeland
Was unable to attain academic eligibility until one day before preseason camp opened. Good athlete but late start puts him behind several other young players at the same position.
4. Chris Conley, WR 6-3, 185 North Paulding
One of just two signees to enroll early and participate in spring practice. Battling to get into six-man rotation at receiver. Regardless, likely to dress out and at least play special teams.
5. Isaiah Crowell, RB 6-0 210
Missed four practices with a groin injury but extremely impressive when full speed. Strong candidate not only to get significant playing time in opener but also to start at tailback.
6. Watts Dantzler, OL 6-7, 315 Dalton
Most impressive of freshmen offensive linemen, has trimmed down 20 pounds since reporting and is currently backing up Cordy Glenn at left tackle. Likely third in at that position. Dogs would move guard Kenarious Gates to left tackle should Glenn have to come out.
7. Zach DeBell, OL 6-7, 275 Tarpon Springs, Fla.
Excellent athlete but a little undersized to make an immediate contribution. Likely redshirt.
8. Ray Drew, DE-OLB 6-5, 250 Thomas County Central
This five-star signee was backing up Cornelius Washington at weakside linebacker and getting reps with the first team before a scooter crash left him with a separated shoulder. Back at practice in a non-contact capacity, still likely to dress out and contribute early if not in the first game.
9. Quintavious Harrow, DB 6-0, 185 Carver-Columbus
Best known as Crowell’s best friend from Columbus, Harrow is making transition from linebacker to defensive back. Likely redshirt.
10. Amarlo Herrera, LB 6-2, 215 North Clayton
Another impressive freshman in line to play until he was sidelined with a shoulder injury. Likely to play at least on special teams but maybe not first game.
11. John Jenkins, NG, 6-4, 243, Meriden, Conn.
Sidelined the last several days with a “mild” hamstring, Jenkins has been unable to unseat Kwame Geathers on the first team. Will be part of a two-man rotation at nose guard.
12. Christian LeMay, QB 6-3, 200 Matthews, N.C.
Also an early enrollee, LeMay has wowed coaches with his play-making ability but behind Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason in command of playbook. Will dress out as No. 3 quarterback but Georgia will try to redshirt him.
13. Hunter Long, OL 6-3, 293 Eads, Tenn.
Younger brother of redshirt freshman Austin Long. Third string at guard and not likely to play this year.
14. Nick Marshall, CB, 6-2, 200 Wilcox County
Would have been a certain contributor until a collision on a punt return left him concussed and forced him to miss four practices. Working at third-string cornerback and likely contributor on special teams.
15. Malcolm Mitchell, WR 6-1, 190 Valdosta
One of the early standouts among the freshmen, this explaosive athlete cooled midway through camp with a pulled leg muscle and occasional struggles with playbook. But a definite contributor who could end up starting in a three-receiver set.
16. Corey Moore, DB 6-1, 185 Griffin
An excellent football player who seems likely to start in the future. Battling to break through on No. 2 defense at safety and definite contrbutor on special teams.
17. Jay Rome, TE 6-6, 240 Valdosta
Fantastic athlete and future star at his position but currently buried behind three top-notch lettermen. Will get to prove his worth on special teams and occasional play on offense.
18. Chris Sanders, DB 6-0, 175 Tucker
Another one of Georgia’s bountiful supply of freakishly athletic skill players. A safety in high school, he has worked his way up at cornerback and threatening to make the two-deep. Will play special teams at the very least.
19. Justin Scott-Wesley, WR 6-1, 200Mitchell County
Raw athlete and one of fastest players on the team, Scott-Wesley is still learning the position. Would benefit from redshirt year.
20. Sanford Seay, WR 6-2, 190 Lee County
A late addition to the signing class who has proven even better than advertised. Likely redshirt.
21. Damian Swann, CB 6-0, 175 Grady
Would compete with Crowell and Mitchell for title of “most impressive freshman.” Swann will likely get snaps on defense in the first game and will be a prominent player on special teams.
22. Nathan Theus, SN 6-3, 255 Jacksonville
Backup to Ty Frix on all special teams snaps. Will dress out but will be redshirted if at all possible.
24. Xzavier Ward, OL 6-7, 260 Colquitt County
Still recovering from spring ACL surgery and has not practiced. Will redshirt.
25. Ramik Wilson, LB 6-3, 225 Tampa
Has been getting work at both inside and outside linebacker. Will back up both positions and contribute on special teams.