The start of fall practice is right around the corner, and there are still questions concerning how this Georgia football team will look come the start of the season. Let’s take a look at position groups that have uncertainty going forward.
The most noticeable “weakness” is at the receiver position. It’s not because Georgia is lacking talent there, but more so because nobody really knows how that group will perform with so little experience. With the top returning receiver, Tyler Simmons, only having nine catches last year, it’s unclear how much of a threat this group can be to opposing defenses.
Junior receiver Demetris Robertson has proven that he can be depended on as a top receiver, as his freshman season at the University of California, Berkeley, was one that included 50 receptions, over 750 yards and seven touchdowns. But in his first season with the Bulldogs, Robertson didn’t have a single reception.
There are good reasons to be optimistic with incoming freshmen George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock and Makiya Tongue, but how well they can block and how quickly they can learn the offense is still unknown.
There isn’t much concern surrounding this position, and there shouldn’t be, but it’s interesting to see who emerges to help split carries with D’Andre Swift. How will Zamir White look after suffering his second torn ACL in consecutive years? Will James Cook — who has gotten noticeably stronger this offseason — see more carries and be used as a receiving threat? Or will senior Brian Herrien get his long-awaited opportunity to share the majority of the snaps?
Last week at the annual SEC Media Days, head coach Kirby Smart hinted at the possibility of using three-plus running backs in the game plan this season, which will only make it tougher for defenses to prepare for and will also keep the backs fresher as the season progresses.
Georgia has had plenty of talent at running back for many years, and with one of the best offensive lines in the country, the question with this group shouldn’t be how they perform, but who will perform.
Deandre Baker — Jim Thorpe Award winner and first cornerback taken in the 2019 NFL Draft — is certainly a difficult void to replace. It helps to have a player like Eric Stokes Jr. who improved as the 2018 season progressed and is a safe bet to get better, but who else is there?
Tyson Campbell should be the player Georgia fans keep their eye on. Campbell started in 11 of 14 games last season as a true freshman. He was inconsistent at times, causing him to lose playing time as the season went along.
Divaad Wilson suffered a torn ACL in last year’s spring practice and as a result, missed every game but the Sugar Bowl against Texas. Wilson was used as the slot-corner in that game and gave reasons to be optimistic going into his sophomore season.
A dark horse to earn some playing time is freshman Tyrique Stevenson. Stevenson has received some praise recently for his “ball-hawking” ability and athleticism, and could be in the conversation to earn significant time on the field.