Fab frosh

This year’s freshman class didn’t come in with a catchy nickname, but it’s been pretty damned productive this season.

Nick Chubb has been the most visible member, of course, but he’s far from alone.

Two weeks ago, the conversation about Georgia’s freshmen might have been at a peak. In the Bulldogs’ 63-31 rout of Kentucky, a quartet of freshmen — running backs Chubb and Sony Michel, tight end Jeb Blazevich and return specialist Isaiah McKenzie — combined for six of the team’s nine touchdowns, recording rushing, receiving and special teams scores.

In that contest, freshman outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter did enough chasing the quarterback (2.5 sacks) to earn the SEC’s defensive lineman of the week, capping a three-honor week for Georgia freshmen with Chubb (co-freshman of the week) and McKenzie (special teamer of the week).

The freshmen didn’t fold under the spotlight of, arguably, Georgia’s biggest stage of the season against Auburn. Chubb was terrific. Carter earned yet another start within a loaded, veteran linebacker corps. And freshmen defensive backs Dominick Sanders and Malkom Parrish, who collectively recorded the team’s only pass breakups and forced fumble, impressed, as well.

Considering a variety of factors – the offseason attrition on defense, last year’s lackluster special teams, and, of course, Gurley’s suspension – the timing of all these kids stepping up as significant contributors couldn’t be more fortuitous.  (Although you could argue it probably helps explain the somewhat up and down nature to this season, as well.)

And the best may be yet to come.

Fellow offensive lineman John Theus, who started on the offensive line when he was a freshman, said coaches and players are well aware of “guys who don’t play who (they) know are going to be really good” players, too, suggesting the team’s youthful depth goes far beyond what Georgia has put on the field in games this season.

I’m guessing that’s at least in part a reference to a couple of the freshmen offensive linemen who have already cracked the two-deep, although not the starting rotation.  If that’s not just happy talk, and Georgia can hold serve on what looks like another stellar class coming in 2015, this team may not miss much of a beat next season.

53 Comments

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53 responses to “Fab frosh

  1. DawgPhan

    Dawgs have a great class coming in if they can hold everyone. I would love to see a top back in this next class, but everything else is solid.

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      • Dawgbro42

        Big time WR class, headed by 5-star Terry Godwin. Pulled a kid from Louisiana (Michael Chigbu), who has a big-time frame. Jayson Stanley will be a home run hitter once his knee heals, and Van Jefferson may be the most polished, game-ready of the bunch (father was an NFL player and coached with Rocker for the Titans). We have a decent shot at Darius Slayton too, who may be right near Godwin in terms of playmaking abilities.

        WR and DL are said to be the strengths of this class. Need an ILB and some quality DBs, and we’re incredibly stocked for the future.

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        • Cojones

          Thanks. Gotcha. Thought Godwin was recruited for D Safety, but I’m not arguing your good reference points, rather, I’m in agreement. Just hadn’t put them together in numbers. Weren’t we feeling that we had to flip a guy from Bama to make this class of WRs in line to replace all the talent we will lose? Isn’t there an AJ type guy we have our sights on?

          One thing is for certain, the pony under the Christmas Tree in recruiting is that the WR losses give Freshmen WRs visions of snagging plums. And that’s all good.

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          • Dawgbro42

            And don’t underestimate the impact of having Jacob Eason already locked in as a 5-star QB recruit for 2016 – that dude is 16, and already recruiting for UGA at all-star camps. Between Ramsey, Eason and Bobo, we offer quite a bit to young receivers looking for a home.

            Godwin, while currently a two-way player, apparently wants the ball in his hands, so he’s heading for offense, most likely. There is no AJ in this class (there aren’t in most classes, to be honest), but we are getting a bunch of kids with varied skill sets and high ceilings, so definitely not a bad thing there at all. And watch out for Shakenneth Williams (a true FR this year) – he’s apparently competing for PT already, and MM and JSW are likely to be back also. We also had Charlie Hegedus transfer in and is taking a RS this year – he’s has a little Michael Bennett and CC in him.

            Otherwise, all indications are that Pruitt is going to push for a number on D, especially at DB. No empty spots this year, for sure.

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  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    Assuming Mark and Mike can field a suitable quarterback-type person next year, we ought to be decent. He won’t be The Noodle, but he should be reasonably competent.

    In one of those sad but true things there, we have already gone through losing Todd Gurley so that is behind us.

    I’ll be a lot more comfortable with the prospects for next year when we get through the next two weeks without getting any major injuries from chop blocks.

    I fear Tech is gonna be the stem-winder some of us thought Auburn would be.

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    • TNlogdawg

      The coaches are bringing in a top 5 QB in the 16′ class from Stevens, WA. Jacob Eason is 6’5″ / 205 lbs. He should be the real deal!

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      • Rick

        Yep – the next two years really come down to the question mark that is QB. I have no idea how good Ramsey is, but it makes me nervous that not once have I seen anyone talk about having confidence in him if Mason goes down (which we heard constantly about Mason for two years when Murray was starting). Eason looks fantastic, but he’ll need at least a year.

        We may need to get used to this run-oriented version of the offense for a couple years.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      Tech’s D makes Auburn look like the ’85 Bears by comparison, even if their O is better.

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  3. sniffer

    Speaking of Theus, couldn’t help but notice that our Oline looked a lot like a Big10 squad lately. You know, smart, heady gym rat types. You know…

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    • Macallanlover

      The Mizzou and Florida games being the exception (Andrews’ absence in Jax made a huge difference for 2 quarters), this OL has been much better than I expected, and we have a good chance that four of the starters come back. I feel Coach Will Friend should get major kudos for the improvement this year, and the players are noticeably more focused. We have other OL talent on hand and additional help coming. Near term future looking very good at this point, not sure I remember feeling as good about the state of the program, talent and staff, for the next 3-4 years (although 1980-84 was another time for smugness.)

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      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Yeah, but Mac, I gotta ask…were you really smug till after the 80 season?
        That 80-84 smugness kinda snuck up on me. 🙂

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        • Macallanlover

          Me too, but I adjusted real quickly. If I had another 4-5 years of that I could have been a Bama or FU fan (lower 40% of the former or all 100% of the latter.) in my level of obnoxious-ness.

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      • Debby Balcer

        Andrews went out in the first quarter. We never had issues with snaps but blocking suffered.

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      • Russ

        What was wrong with the OL in the Mizzou game?

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        • Macallanlover

          Beat us like a drum Russ, Chubb was hit behind the line 22 of his 38 carries. Might have been his best game with 143 yards, and we had trouble with the DEs on pass rush too. Fortunately, the defense got us the ball in good field position with TOs, and 3 and outs. Florida was stout to begin with but with Andrews out for the first time all year I think the blocking calls got screwed up.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      lot of “cake mix” bellies.

      After the trauma of Trinton Sturdivant, maybe they are going for the chunky types instead of the basketball player type.

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      • jack

        Oh Dude, you gotta love the fat boys! I hope you saw them after that touchdown run on fourth and one. They were acting like it was Christmas morning; it was great to see them so excited.

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  4. If Ramsey, Bauta or Park can run the offense like Mason and we can find a guy to replace Boss Andrews, we’ll be ok.

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  5. hassan

    So now I gotta hold on to the “we are going to make a run at a national title in 2 years” delusion. Just like I did with Zeier….just like I did with Greene….just like I did with Stafford…just like I did with Murray…

    lather, rinse, repeat

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    • Rick

      You would probably be better served just not watching football anymore. You would have been frustrated with the greatest coaches in college football history – Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden, Joe Paterno, Bear Bryant, Vince Dooley, Bo Schembechler, because they took decades to get you a #1 final ranking (or in Schembechler’s case, never got one at all).

      When you pin all your hopes on a #1 ranking, which a rare statistical event no matter how good of a coach you are, you are vulnerable to a lifetime of disappointment with just a little bad luck.

      I wish fans like you would just go away.

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    • Cousin Eddie

      “What no Carter reference? Don’t tell me you didn’t think he could lead the team to the promised land? in sarcasm font” Although he probably did lead to the Drug Testing policies of today.

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    • MGW

      So you’re upset that we have a pile of great freshmen, and a hell of a recruiting class on the way?

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      • hassan

        No…just saying that a lot more goes in to winning a title that having a great roster. It was a joke aimed at those who really do put all their stock into what a team looks like on paper. Hence the “delusion” part.

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  6. BrightOwl

    The main thing we’ll be losing is leadership. Andrews, Mason, Wilson, Herrera. Talent-wise we’ll be fine; we just need guys to step up in the locker room.

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  7. Cojones

    Senator, you have elicited some shiny bright remarks from the foregoing bloggers. Great post. I see that you got my cookies. Can we announce a cure for cynicism yet?

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  8. Irishdawg

    I’m not particularly worried about Ramsey. The kid has got a cannon for an arm, he just needs game reps.

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  9. I Wanna Red Cup

    They ought to just rename the SEC Freshman of the Week award to the Nick Chubb Award.

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  10. W Cobb Dawg

    This class is excellent talent-wise. Numbers-wise, not so great. 2015 class looks very good on talent. Hoping we sign a minimum of 30.

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  11. Cojones

    That Aub win just may do the trick for gathering the finishing talent to this incoming class. I expect a flip or two going both ways. Some kids will see a chance to get on the field with us, but you can’t fault a kid (like Christian from Athens) going where he doesn’t feel like he would be crowded off the field because of the talent ahead. That’s the down side to a good class that looks formidable to a recruit as to their breakthrough for playing time.

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  12. Brandon (Version 1)

    If the defense continues its improvement and becomes a reliable part of the team, the best is absolutely yet to come.

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    • Will (The Other One)

      Yep. As good as the D has been at times this year, it’s been happening without ideal depth (especially at DT and in the secondary). Years 2 and 3 with Pruitt (assuming we get year 3) should be even better. That, plus Chubb + Michel and good OLine play, should make breaking a new QB in a LOT easier.

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  13. Bubba King

    Leonard Floyd also forced a fumble on his sack in the 4th Q…Parrish FF was not the only one of the game…

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