ATHENS — With 19 early enrollees this spring, there were bound to be a few new Bulldogs who earned praise from Kirby Smart following the conclusion of G-Day.
While the rest of Georgia’s 2022 signing class was honored during G-Day, most of the signees were completing their 15th practice of the spring. And quite a few of them made a noticeable impact during G-Day.
The most obvious standout was Oscar Delp. The freshman tight end led all players in receptions with seven, totaling 91 yards. What was most impressive about Delp was his ability to make plays after the catch, including running through a would-be tackle attempt by fellow freshmen JaCorey Thomas.
Given the recent success of Brock Bowers, there are naturally now going to be heightened expectations for what Delp can do for this Georgia team. The Cumming, Ga., product was the No. 100 overall prospect in the 2022 signing class and has quickly acclimated to life in Athens.
But Smart, wanting to slow the rising expectations for Delp, cautioned against reading too much into the spring game performance.
“I thought he had a decent scrimmage today,” Smart said. “He caught the ball well. He ran after the catch well. We didn’t ask him to block and do some things, and those are things that he’s got to continue to work on. To play in the SEC you’ve got to be able to do both. You can’t just be a receiving tight end.”
On the offensive line, Earnest Greene caught Smart’s eye, with the Georgia head coach praising the performance of the young offensive tackle. Greene worked as the left tackle for the second-string offensive line on Saturday.
He was the top-rated offensive line signee for Georgia in this cycle, as he rated as the No. 45 overall player in the 2022 recruiting cycle. This spring, Greene certainly looked the part.
“Earnest has come a long way, from getting here and having to lose 25 to 30 pounds, he did that before spring, and then once he got on the field, because of his conditioning level, he was able to handle the number of reps we gave him,” Smart said. “He took almost every rep with the twos and the threes for all spring, and just think he’s going to be a talented player that’s extremely tough, does things the right way. We’re very fortunate to have Earnest in the program.”
Greene’s development took on greater importance when Amarius Mims entered the transfer portal earlier in April. Even with the recent news that Mims will be returning to the Georgia football program, Greene still looks to have the makings of a future building block of the Georgia offensive line.
Much of Georgia’s top 2022 talent actually comes on the defensive side of the ball, with 5-star prospects Mykel Williams, Malaki Starks and Daylen Everette all making their Sanford Stadium debuts on Saturday.
Everette and Starks both notched five tackles on Saturday, with fellow freshman defensive back JaCorey Thomas breaking up a pass and adding four tackles of his own. The three all played a prominent role in the second-team defense.