Youth will be served, and served.

More evidence of what the incredible shrinking class of 2013 hath wrought:

If you thought you saw a lot of freshmen on the field for Georgia this past Saturday, you were right. The Bulldogs played 11 true freshmen in the season opener against North Carolina. They also played two redshirt freshmen and two graduate transfers, so there were a lot of new faces on the field for UGA.

Tight end Charlie Woerner and punter Marshall Long were the only true freshman to start. The others that played were quarterback Jacob Eason, tailback Brian Herrien, defensive back Tyrique McGhee, defensive tackle Julian Rochester, receiver Riley Ridley, tight end Isaac Nauta, linebacker Jaleel Laguins, defensive end David Marshall, defensive tackle Tyler Clark and defensive tackle Michail Carter.

Graduate transfers Tyler Catalina (left tackle) and Maurice Davis (Nickelback) also started. So Georgia got some immediate impact from its 2016 recruiting class.

“To me, (that) is a lot,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “… (Twelve) true freshmen playing in that kind of game is pretty unique in my opinion. It was a tight game, back-and-forth. We knew it was going to be that way. We knew the guys that played were going to play.”

That’s further validation of just how young Georgia’s 2016 team is. Consider that the Bulldogs played a total of 22 true freshmen last season – including 19 in the first game — which was the most in the nation, according to UGA. In all, 33 Bulldogs played the first snaps of their careers last season.

Expect that number to go up this week. Tailback Elijah Holyfield and defensive back Mecole Hardman are among several newbies expected to get their first action against Nicholls State, which visits Sanford Stadium on Saturday.

It would have been easy to chuckle over Kirby’s post signing day scavenging for players, but considering the contributions he got from Catalina, Herrien and Smith Saturday, he’s getting the last laugh.  Just don’t forget this team has a lot of growing up to do this season.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

19 responses to “Youth will be served, and served.

  1. PTC DAWG

    Nauta was on the field for the opening kick…does that count as a starter? It was good to see the yutes.

  2. Bulldog Joe

    Freshmen playing time appears to be up everywhere.

    The RF QB Florida State played was unreal after the first quarter. The freshmen QBs at Texas and Alabama also took about a quarter to adjust to the speed of the college game and thrived. There is a reason Saban likes playing in Texas.

    The sports academies are speeding up the development cycle for high school players.

  3. Juan

    Was Mecole hurt?

  4. MGW

    Definitely a reason not to get hopes too high for the rest of the year, but it bodes well for the whole “championship in the second or third year under a new coach” thing.

  5. Herrien is going to be a player. He and Holyfield look like another excellent tailback tandem.

    Catalina looked really good at times and really slow at times. I’m worried about Ole Mi$$ with him protection the back side. I really hoped Greg Pyke would take the left tackle position, but he seems to be just fine on the right.

    Mo Smith … Saban has to be kicking himself for whatever he and Pruitt did to piss him off. The deep pass breakup was absolutely beautiful.

  6. DawgPhan

    Yep. Fill like we have some great players who will continue to improve over the course of the season.

    Herrien seems like a real steal at this point.

  7. 69Dawg

    Larry Munson here: how in the world are we going to stay on the field with Ole Miss. They are big, fast and hard hitting. We’re too young and small to stop them. Our offensive line is too slow to slow down their speed rushers. I’m worried.

    • Uglydawg

      Loran here..Larry, the Georgia offense believes it can run the ball on Old Missus defense. They seemed to tire early in the second half against FSU and if they can be worn down by some of our larger backs, they will be looking at the backs our fast ones in the fourth quarter. There is some concern about the safety of our quarterbacks, but some people think that a duel threat option qb like Ramsey may negate the passrush somewhat, if it comes down to that. Other than that, I’ve got nothing. There are some pretty cheerlea….(cut off by commercial message)

  8. Hardcoredawg 93

    Excited to see what Holyfield brings to the backfield…

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    I still believe much of our success this season depends on the 2015 class. Thompson, Roquon, Walker, Hawk-Muck, Godwin, Barnett, Amaechi, McGraw, Chigbu, etc., etc. We need a big batch of last year’s class to establish themselves as all-sec candidates.

  10. The great thing about that is that most of them played well and had a positive impact on the game.