I don’t know about you, but if I were Lovasea Carroll, I’d have probably gone to Kirby after this play and said, “Coach, I’m ready to go play running back.”
Daily Archives: April 18, 2021
“I didn’t see it that way. I saw it where I thought our guys came out a little bit slow but a lot of times the vertical passing game is based on your ability to run the ball and that wasn’t our goal this game, to come out and establish the run and really run the ball hard. G-Days are built around a lot of two-minute drives. You want to go hurry-up. We want to throw and catch the ball. That reduces the risk of injury. So when you’re doing that, there’s a lot of intermediate passing game, kind of like we did in 7-on-7 before it. The defense is also playing some quarter, quarter, halves, which doesn’t allow you to take the top off a lot of times. But I did think that we threw and caught the ball well. We didn’t have all our arsenal out there in terms of wideouts but the ones that were out there, I thought they competed really well. Some of the DBs got to make plays and then some of them we didn’t make plays but that’s always going to be the case in a spring game. I was pleased with the effort and attitude of the guys with it, though.”
Skill players needed reps. The green defensive backs needed to be tested. We see a lot in G-Day, but, ultimately, Smart sees it as just another scrimmage. That’s how you get to almost 100 passes attempted on a nice spring day in April.
Don’t try to read anything more into it.
By halftime, we’d seen all four of Georgia’s scholarship quarterbacks play. My first thought as the players walked off the field was what a difference half a year makes. Consider where the Dawgs were when 2020 kicked off: Newman gone, Daniels recovering from injury, Mathis melting down in the opener and Bennett all that stood between complete disaster and a functional season.
Fast forward to the spring of 2021 and what do we have now? An entrenched number one in JT Daniels, who’s got the confidence of his coaches and teammates and is clearly growing into his role there. An experienced backup in Stetson Bennett who may not be able to carry a team through a season, but is more than capable of stepping in on a spot basis when called upon and holding things together.
And the future is there, too. Beck has a live arm and looks to be emerging as a quarterback who is learning Monken’s offense. Vandagriff’s talented and his athleticism is off the charts. What he’s going to look like in a year’s time after learning the offense will be fun to see. The great thing is that neither of these two will, barring a complete disaster, be forced into early learning mode on the job. That’s one helluva luxury.
And there’s another five-star in Stockton who will be joining the group in 2022!
I honestly cannot remember another G-Day this century where the position was both this deep and this organized. The turnaround that Smart has engineered with the most important group in the program — let’s face it, that’s the way the game is structured these days — is truly remarkable.
It’s quite simple, really.
If, like me, you walked away from any of the Georgia losses to Alabama in the past decade and wondered (after sighing deeply) what it would be like to support a program that stacked top three classes on top of each other, well, you can quit wondering now. Kirby’s done it. Georgia is there.
Don’t take my word for it.
The sheer aggregation of talent is impossible to miss. It’s there at every level of the defense. It’s there at the skill positions on offense. It’s just there.
That isn’t to say I’m guaranteeing a natty this season. For one thing, Nick Saban hasn’t stopped stacking recruiting classes and there are a few other programs killing it in recruiting, too. But after seeing what I saw at G-Day, I’m pretty confident in saying after the Clemson game, there won’t be another 2021 regular season opponent that’s going to match Georgia’s sheer depth of talent. It’s a good feeling to have.