Marc Weiszer hits on something in this piece I’ve mentioned before.
UGA football’s roster bulges with a whopping 16 players who were rated as five-star recruits, balanced out equally with eight on offense and eight on defense.
“You want to have guys behind you pushing you,” junior cornerback Tyson Campbell said. “That’s the best part about playing at Georgia.”
That quality depth is needed more than ever in this season being played in a pandemic.
It may need to be called on due to players being ruled out due to COVID-19 protocols.
“With concerns for COVID knocking somebody out we’ve got to be deeper than we’ve ever been,” said coach Kirby Smart, whose third-ranked team opens the season Saturday at Arkansas.
Missing spring practice, turnover on coaching staffs, new personnel at key positions — all that stuff is relevant, but I’m not sure any of it is more important in a season of COVID than roster depth.
“The need to be prepared for disruption is reality,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said on the SEC Network.
The SEC laid out its policy for what would cause a game to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Teams would need to have at least 53 scholarship players available including seven offensive linemen with one being a center, one quarterback and four defensive linemen. An impacted team could choose to play with fewer than that.
Players are “cross-training,” at practice so they can be plugged in at another spot if a teammate isn’t available.
“We’ve got a lot of guys rotating 1s, 2s, 3s, so if someone does go down, a person is ready to step up and go in there because they’ve been going with 1s, they’ve been going with the 2s,” outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson said.
“We’ve been put in situations in practice we’ll say what if I go down, the next person has got to be up,” wide receiver Kearis Jackson said. “It’s always a next man mentality especially with COVID because of who may get knocked out for this week.”
There are two teams, Alabama and Georgia, better situated to deal with the numbers game than any others in the conference, and, with all due respect to the media members who think otherwise, until I see differently, those are the two I would pick to face off in the SECCG.