DawgNation will have a season-long offering every Sunday after games this fall which focuses on the freshmen who played for the Bulldogs, what they did and who still has a chance at a redshirt. Check out this week’s edition for UGA football after a 45-0 win against Austin Peay.
Editor’s note: The original report did not include preferred walk-on QB Matthew Downing among the names of the freshmen Bulldogs who saw action against Austin Peay.
This will be a planned Sunday feature where DawgNation can show the path between the nation’s top-rated recruiting class for 2018 onto the playing field. The way-too-easy prediction here is that Saturday’s game will not be an aberration.
Potential + Preparation = Production.
Who started: Freshman P Jake Camarda, Freshman CB Tyson Campbell
How many freshmen played (true or redshirt): 25
👀👀 True freshman Tyson Campbell starts first game at UGA. 5 ⭐️ corner that rated No. 2 in the country in 2018. pic.twitter.com/zsE6HHy0ly
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) September 1, 2018
The 18 who played (true freshmen column:): Camarda + Campbell plus:
- OLB Adam Anderson
- WR Tommy Bush
- RB James Cook
- DE Brenton Cox
- DT Jordan Davis
- QB Matthew Downing (walk-on)
- QB Justin Fields
- TE John FitzPatrick
- TE Luke Ford
- OL Trey Hill
- FB/H-back/OT Cade Mays
- S Otis Reese
- OG Jamaree Salyer
- DB Chris Smith II
- ILB Channing Tindall
- ILB Quay Walker
Who played (redshirt column):
- OLB Robert Beal Jr
- S Latavious Brini
- OG Netori Johnson
- WR Matt Landers
- OT D’Marcus Hayes
- CB Eric Stokes
- OT Isaiah Wilson
Other first games for the Bulldogs: Graduate transfer DT Jay Hayes; Sophomore WR Demetris Robertson; sophomore DT Devonte Wyatt.
The scholarship freshmen who did not play: Freshman OT Owen Condon, Freshman OL Warren Ericson; Freshman WR Kearis Jackson (probable for next week); freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari (returning from ACL injury); Freshman RB Zamir White (out for the season); freshman DB Divaad Wilson (likely out for at least 4-6 more weeks.)
Justin Fields came into the game when: The fourth and fifth series of the first half and the first and second possessions of the second half.
Top 5 Freshmen flashes:
- Redshirt freshman OT Isaiah Wilson started. It was laborious to get around that guy. Get used to that for the next 29 games or so. At least.
- Did you see any of those runs by James Cook? Dang. Just. Dang. 6 carries. 68 yards.
- Adam Anderson’s first big hit as a Georgia Bulldog was the first step toward the No. 56 becoming the staple of a very bad man at LB for a new generation of fans.
- Camarda punted three times for 155 yards. That’s a mean 55.0 yards mean per boot. We will notice the two touchbacks and try not to sound greedy for his first game. His last action was against Grayson High School. Here’s our special teams coach impression: The net yards would have been better if he dropped those anywhere inside the 15. Don’t give away yards.
- The brain + arm (7-of-8 for 63 yards and 1 TD) and legs (3 carries, 33 yards) for Fields are as advertised. Follow along below for some dry Kirby Smart wit among his post-game comments. Oy.
Smart made reference to the way his freshman QB took on two tacklers on his second snap of action.
The Obligatory Justin Fields Kirby Quote: “I thought early in the game he was a little nervous, [and] he had a couple of plays where things broke down a little bit and he created. Maybe he didn’t like his first read and took off. I encouraged him to not take a hit and his first play he ran over like two guys. so I told him that was not really what we were looking for.”
“But he took better care of himself the rest of the time.”
Freshman stats you might have missed: Campbell tied for third on the team with three tackles. Anderson was right behind with him with two.
Moment the TV cameras didn’t show you: It was a very cool thing to see Zamir White in good spirits on the sidelines. It was something else entirely when James Cook made a play. White was pumped to watch Cook and then he re-watched him on the new Kirby-sized videoboard. When his playing time was over, it wasn’t long before Cook stationed himself by White on the trainer’s table. Those two examples say something to me about the team concept UGA is building and they type of young men in the program.
Freshman stat trend: James Cook was in on the first series and caught a Jake Fromm pass which went for seven yards. Here’s what he did on his first eight touches as a Bulldog: 7 (catch), -1 (rush), 36 (rush), -1 (rush), 26 (rush), 2 (rush), 4 (rush), 0 (catch)
Biggest freshman “going to see that on the film” moment: It looked like Campbell got lost on a downfield ball which Austin Peay wasn’t able to complete. Appeared to be a drop. But the big one will have to be the James Cook ejection for targeting that even Kirby Smart didn’t see during the game.
Freshmen of the game: James Cook (offense); Tyson Campbell (defense); Jake Camarda (special teams)
Kirby Smart roster efficiency moment of the game: Yes, that was 5-star OT Cade Mays wearing No. 42 prior to the game. The Bulldogs no longer dangle scholarships to fullbacks. Maybe they just save those slots in each class for a 5-star OL like Mays?
Those elite road graders can play fullback and H-back in short-yardage or power situations until they are ready to start. I’m trying to jest here, but there might actually be a kernel of truth to that. Mays wore No. 42 and sophomore OG Justin Shaffer wore No. 44 in the early going.
This section could have also been called “The Moment which had Media Members scrambling in the Press Box on Saturday.”