Class of 2015: who will play?

Here’s a Dawgs247 piece that speculates on which of the incoming freshmen will see the field this season.  A lot of it’s pretty obvious – when you recruit and sign five-star kids like Thompson and Godwin, you don’t expect to redshirt them, and Gawd knows we’ll see some fresh faces in the secondary out of necessity – but I’m a little intrigued by the Pat Allen suggestion.

I think Rowe is right that with both tackles gone after the 2015 season, Rob Sale has some grooming to do, whether it’s Allen or someone else.  It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on.

The one name I’m surprised he doesn’t mention is Roquan Smith.  If Smith’s got legit coverage skills, I don’t see how he doesn’t play.  Georgia has been desperate for an ILB who can contribute as a pass defender for what seems like ages; I hope Smith can fit the bill in that department.  If he does, look out.  For me, he’s this year’s preseason version of Isaiah McKenzie.

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18 responses to “Class of 2015: who will play?

  1. Roquan is going to play on punt and kickoff teams. I also think he’s going to be a 3rd down pass coverage specialist playing a robber type of position like Dannell Ellerbe used to do while he puts additional weight on his frame.

    Natrez Patrick looks like it’s going to be tough to keep him off the field, and I’m looking forward to seeing Reggie Wilkerson assuming he’s recovered from his knee.

    On offense, it’s got to be the receivers. Mitchell and Scott-Wesley (if fully ready) are going to be the outside guys. Who becomes the physical presence that Chris Conley was? Who is the security blanket in the slot that White Lightning Bennett was for both Murray and Mason?

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    • Conley and Bennett’s big body blocking will be missed. Some guys have to step up, or the run game will take a hit. Chubb is great, but some help from downfield blocking WRs is still needed.

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      • I get that, but bottom line is this: Chubb is 230lbs of “dedicated, running with a purpose, business-like” tailback who runs with authority. It truly will be a business decision for a 190lb DB to want to tackle him. If he gets to the second level, the betting line on him will go up. While Gurley ran “angry”…Chubb runs with authority and purpose. A few doses of #27 on a backfield, and they won’t like hitting him anymore. We do need the down field blocking for sure; that is a given. But just my “hill billy” common sense coming out… #27 is dangerous to a DB’s future mental health.

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        • Cojones

          Yep. Like the head-on crash into the downfield defender, and Chubb keeps churning, foot OB or not, until he crosses the goal line. If old memory can serve correctly today, I think he broke or was hit 4 times on that run. No one blocked 4 guys at least.

          You bet that our larger-framed TEs and WRs have performed great (on tunnel screens and other receiver-dependent blocking plays) to make receiver scoring a big weapon in all games and it doesn’t shade the performance Chubb puts on on his own. And he got better athletically this summer? Better shape, leg strength and spring? Much more and I’m not going to be able to stand it!

          Those years before the arrival of those receivers that will be missed; didn’t we worry in the same manner as we are now? Our receivers have stars that show up early and some late, but they at least have made teams a pass threat for some years. Don’t think that will subside. It’s guys like Conley and Bennett developing that should give us confidence that an Air Corps of men lies between. And a couple of those potential receiver stars already play at another position or on STs. Have we forgotten that Isaiah was recruited as a WR and that Richt plans on using him there this year?

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      • Totally agree – both of those guys were willing to do the dirty work downfield to clear the 2nd/3rd levels for Gurley, Chubb, Michel and Marshall over the last 3 years. Both were definitely underappreciated for these parts of their games.

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      • Chadwick

        I actually think Hegedus will help. He’s got decent size, speed and he’s got some experience.

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    • perhaps Towns will get to where he should be…

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  2. I am pumped. This class has some great talent. It will be interesting to see who all contributes and how well they do.

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  3. Macallanlover

    I also like the call on Allen and hope Coach Sale does get him a lot of playing time this season. I was touting McKenzie all last summer as a guy who would make major contributions during the season, but I don’t see Smith playing a huge role in 2015. He has great speed and could help some in coverage situations or on special teams but he doesn’t have the size for an ILB at this time. Patrick was a great surprise at ILB to me this spring, but he is at 248 pounds. His size and time spent in the spring give me a big headstart over Roquon. UGA will get tested by every team with a decent OL and RB, it was what cost us three losses last season and we will have to prove we have fixed the leak.

    Given the lack of depth at WR, 2 or three of those names listed have a great opportunity to play a significant role. This is a position where freshmen can often step in and shine early, I think we see that in Athens in 2015

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    • dawgtired

      “He has great speed and could help some in coverage situations or on special teams but he doesn’t have the size for an ILB at this time.”

      Would Roquan be an option at the star position? Isn’t that position a LB/Cover hybrid? He could be good downhill support against the run and still provide cover skills when needed.

      I think Floyd played some in the interior last season, I guess at the ‘hybrid’ position or ILB. I picture Zo and Jenkins at OLB, Floyd and Patrick at ILB with Roquan playing the hybrid. All of them on the field at the same time.

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      • Good Question DT. Star position may be the option until Roquan grows into an inside LB body type or some of the linebackers are gone next season. I am excited about this defensive and believe that he is going to play a good bit. He brings a lot of flexibility to this defense which already has the potential to be stifling. I would think he’d be a big help with the running teams a la Tech and Auburn that like to catch you off guard with the pass if you stack the box with too many run stoppers.

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  4. I was thinking the same thing regarding R Smith as I read the article yesterday. If he doesn’t see the field much this year, particularly on passing downs then I’m not sure I can even imagine how good this linebacking corps is gonna be this year. From the small amount of video I’ve seen of him, they are gonna find a way to get him on the field… even if it is a hybrid strong safety a la Terrell Davis position. He just looks to be that good and someone we haven’t had with that kind of flexibility at the LB spot since… Curran maybe?

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  5. Heard/read scuttlebutt that Jayson Stanley grew two inches and is 6′ 3″ and put on weight up to 209.
    On top of that, his summer drills straight line speed is there with Marshall, Mitchell, Davis, & Scott-Wesley.

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    • Macallanlover

      He is one of those 2-3 young WRs I feel will contribute more than many expect. As for Terrell Davis playing defense Big Ones, why not? We didn’t work him in very often on the offensive side when he wore R&B. 🙂

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  6. DawgPhan

    I think that getting serious quality minutes from freshmen is something that has changed for the better during the last couple of years. Another thing that CMR has adjusted over the years and a situation where he definitely learned from his mistakes.

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