Before Georgia's season starts on Aug. 31 against Vanderbilt, The Red & Black is analyzing the depth chart of each position group in a 10-part series. The 10th and final edition focuses on the special teams.
Blankenship heads into his swan song as Georgia’s kicker, getting ready to polish off a three-year run as the starter. Blankenship has become a fan favorite and earned his way to a scholarship position for good reason. He’s automatic on extra points, having made all 154 in his career. He is also a reliable leg when the Bulldogs need three more points on the board. In 2018, Blankenship knocked 19 of 23 kicks through the uprights. Blankenship is effective on kickoffs as well. 82 of his 97 kickoffs resulted in a touchback a year ago. “Hot Rod” seems to have a secure job as Georgia’s placekicker once again.
Camarda came to Georgia from Norcross High School and immediately became the starting punter as a true freshman. He averaged 42.6 yards per punt and had three punts over 60 yards. He entered college as the nation’s No. 1 high school punter, according to the 247Sports Composite. With a year of experience under his belt, Camarda is poised to be a weapon and flip the field on special teams.
James Cook, Demetris Robertson, Brian Herrien, Tyler Simmons, Kearis Jackson, Dominick Blaylock and co.
No one really knows who Georgia's return man will be this season. Mecole Hardman left for the NFL, leaving a void in the return game. Brian Herrien was the next man underneath Hardman, returning four kickoffs for 64 yards in 2018. James Cook also returned a kickoff. Herrien and Cook will jockey for reps at running back but also help the team on special teams.
In the spring, Kirby Smart said punt returns could be the quickest way for some true freshman to get on the field. So there is a chance George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock and other young players see action early on special teams.
But at a press conference on Monday, Smart said Cook and Demetris Robertson have been working in the kickoff return game and Tyler Simmons, Kearis Jackson, Dominick Blaylock and D'Andre Swift were working as punt returners.
The race still seems wide open and could be fluid as the year progresses.