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Defensive back Richard LeCounte (2) will be a player to watch at G-Day this Saturday in Athens.

5 Georgia players to watch in 2018 G-Day game

Cy Brown

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5 Dawgs to watch at G-Day

We are only days away from G-Day (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET) when we’ll get our first look at the 2018 edition of the Georgia Bulldogs. Between a number of uber-talented guys who had to wait their turn behind some of the Dawgs’ stars of the last few years and a highly-touted group of early enrollees, Georgia fans will have their hands full keeping an eye on all the players who could prove to be the stars of tomorrow.

So to help y’all out, I’ve whittled that group down to five Bulldogs you should keep a particularly close eye on come Saturday.

• Elijah Holyfield, RB — Holyfield has been a name on a lot of lips this spring and not just because of his massive guns. Georgia coach Kirby Smart recently called Holyfield one of his “favorite competitors out there.” With D’Andre Swift (groin) expected to be limited, if he plays at all, expect Holyfield to get plenty of carries and turn a few heads.

• Brenton Cox, OLB/DE — Cox, an early enrollee, is a player I’ve long held is simply too talented and versatile to not play as a freshman, whether that be at defensive end of outside linebacker. Smart noted recently that Cox has been getting some work with the first team, so he should get plenty of minutes at both positions at G-Day. If he’s got it in him to be the next great Georgia pass rusher — which, by all indications, he does — we should get a taste Saturday.

• Richard LeCounte, DB — LeCounte, a rising sophomore, was considered by many a shoo-in for the starting safety spot vacated by Dominick Sanders, including me. But Smart has been critical of LeCounte this spring, calling his performance “up and down.” Smart tends to only call out players he knows can do better and expects a lot from, so in many ways it’s a compliment to LeCounte. We’ll see how he responds Saturday, when the lights are brightest.

• J.J. Holloman, WR — Although Smart has expressed concerns about many positions this spring, he’s been pretty upbeat about the receivers. He singled out Holloman and early enrollee Kearis Jackson — another players you should keep an eye on — as second-team guys who are “challenging the guys in front of them.” Holloman has all the physical tools to be a standout receiver. If he’s got all the Xs and Os figured out, we could be in for a star turn this season.

• Justin Fields, QB — There is no player whose performance will be more scrutinized and overanalyzed than Fields. He’s one of the highest-rated players the program has ever signed and plays at the most high-profile position on the field. A lot of fans have speculated he could see the field as a change of pace behind center — à la Tim Tebow in his freshman year at Florida — or even beat out Jake Fromm outright for the starting spot. While the latter seems unlikely, the former is well within the realm of possibility. And if he stands out Saturday, there will be no stopping the calls from fans to get him on the field in some capacity this season.

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A quick look at the LBs

You have to like this attitude from sophomore inside linebacker Monty Rice, who is refusing to let the Bulldogs live in the past.

“We can’t live off what Roquan [Smith] did, or Lorenzo [Carter] did, or Dom Sanders did,” Rice said, according to Chip Towers of DawgNation. “What’s Juwan Taylor gonna do? What’s Nate McBride gonna do? What’s Monty Rice gonna do? We’ve got to live off what we’re going to do. We can’t dwell on last year’s success.”

Speaking of linebackers, Towers answered a succinct question about him in the Wednesday edition of the Question of the Day: “What is up with Nate McBride?”

Short answer: He’s competing, just like everyone else. Long answers: Towers has you covered there.

Georgia schedules Indiana State for 2023

There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one, but the Bulldogs have reportedly scheduled Indiana State for a game at Sanford Stadium in 2023. Georgia is reportedly paying the Sycamores $500,000 to come to Athens, according to FBSchedules.com’s Kevin Kelley.

Georgia equestrian has strong first day at NCEA Championships

So far, so good for Georgia equestrian at the 2018 NCEA Championships in Waco, Texas. The Bulldogs went 4-0 against West Texas A&M in Equitation over Fences on Wednesday and have already advanced in the quarterfinals of the event championship thanks to byes in the other four events.

“It was great to see all those four scores at 160s and above,” Georgia coach Meghan Boenig said. “There was consistency from every single ride. Even just the first fence – the entrance and momentum – those were great things for the rest of our trips here today. It was a great opener.”

The Bulldogs will face South Carolina in the team championship quarterfinals on Thursday and will resume competition in the event championship against TCU Friday. All winners in team and event competitions will be crowned Saturday.

Projects Safe to hold ‘Dancing with the Athens Stars’ following G-Day

If anyone is looking for something to do after G-Day Saturday and wants to support a good cause, Projects Safe will be holding its 11th annual “Dancing with the Athens Stars” event at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Classic Center.

Projects Safe is organization that works to end domestic violence through prevention and education and also gives support to domestic violence survivors and their children, a worthy endeavor by almost anyone’s estimation. If you want to support one of Athens’ best and most vital non-profits, you should check out the show Saturday night. Tickets are $21 in advance at the Classic Center website and $26 at the door.

You can also donate directly to Project Safe if you’d like.

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