Predicting a breakout player at each position for Georgia football
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Predicting which Georgia football players could breakout in the 2019 season
Quarterback: No one
Jake Fromm is already established as one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He threw for 30 touchdowns a season ago and racked up 23 wins over the last two seasons as a starter. If another quarterback is to breakout at Georgia this season, it means that something terrible has happened to Fromm.
And while fans should feel comfortable in Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis as possible back-ups, a breakout campaign might not be in the cards for either quarterback.
Running back: Zamir White, redshirt freshman
Of all the players on this list, White breaking out would make fans the most excited. He was the No. 1 running back in the 2018 recruiting class but his career to this point has been slowed by two separate ACL injuries.
Kirby Smart has continued to reiterate that he’s on track to be ready for August. D’Andre Swift is going to need a counterpart to help him carry the load this season, and based on his high school pedigree, White has as much potential as anyone. Senior Brian Herrien could also just as easily have a big year for the Bulldogs. But we’ll give White the slightest of edges due to his potential end of season upside.
Wide receiver: Dominick Blaylock, freshman
Take your pick at the wide receiver position. Jeremiah Holloman seems poised to become a household name this season. Demetris Robertson is in a much better place than when he first entered the Georgia program a season ago. And George Pickens is the first 5-star wide receiver to sign with the Bulldogs since 2009.
But we’re going to give the slightest of nods here to another freshman in Dominick Blaylock. He just narrowly missed being ranked as a 5-star, but was still a top-40 overall prospect in the 2019 class. And multiple times this spring, Smart has gushed about the potential of the freshman from Marietta, Ga.
“We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside,” Smart said. “He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well. We think he’s going to help in the return game, too. But it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them.”
Where Blaylock really might make a difference is on special teams as a returner. It’s that added layer that gives Blaylock just another way to showcase his talent.
Tight end: Charlie Woerner, senior
This might be the easiest one to pick on the team. Woerner has contributed in each of the last two seasons serving as a back-up to Isaac Nauta. Now that Nuata is in the NFL, and offensive coordinator James Coley has a tendency to get tight ends more involved in the passing game, Woerner could have a very big year for the Bulldogs.
There isn’t great depth behind Woerner, which may end up limiting his final stats. But if there is going to be a tight end with All-SEC potential on Georgia’s roster, it’s going to be Woerner.
Offensive line: Trey Hill, sophomore
Georgia brings back multiple players with significant starting experience. And if we knew who was going to start at right guard, we might be more tempted to say either Ben Cleveland, Cade Mays or Jamaree Salyer.
But it’s pretty easy to say that sophomore Trey Hill is going to be the starting center for the Bulldogs. Hill ended up starting at right guard to end the 2018 season and looked good in doing so. And even though he had some issues snapping the ball against Kentucky, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hill lay as well as Lamont Gaillard did a season ago.
Defensive line: Jordan Davis, sophomore
Davis looked very good for the Bulldogs when he played as a freshman for the Bulldogs. If he can continue to keep his weight in check and become more consistent, he’s going to be an all-out force for Georgia.
On Monday, ESPN tabbed Davis as the sophomore on Georgia’s team most likely to become a breakout player. That’s over guys like Channing Tindall and Brenton Cox, who were much higher rated as recruits. But Davis was such a key to the run defense a season ago, and could become an even more disruptive playmaker in 2019.
Outside linebacker: Azeez Ojulari, redshirt freshman
When you lose your leading pass rusher and have recruited as well as Georgia has at the outside linebacker position, you’ll have a number of options to pick from. We could’ve easily made cases for the likes of Nolan Smith, Adam Anderson, Jermaine Johnson and Cox.
But we’re going to go with Ojulari. The redshirt freshman had an outstanding spring for the Bulldogs. This comes after a promising performance in the Sugar Bowl. As Ojulari continues to get farther away from the ACL injury he sustained in high school, the better he is going to continue to get.
This position group doesn’t just have multiple breakout candidates but the real potential to have multiple breakout players.
Inside linebacker: Nakobe Dean, freshman
We thought long and hard about picking Smith at the outside linebacker spot. Instead, we’re going to pick a freshman at the inside linebacker spot in Dean. The 5-star linebacker came into Georgia with high expectations as one of the top overall prospects in the country.
And in his first spring, he didn’t just meet those expectations but he somehow may have exceeded them. It’s not yet known whether or not he’ll start over veterans like Monty Rice and Tae Crowder, but it’s clear that Dean is going to be a force during his time at Georgia.
Defensive back: Divaad Wilson, redshirt freshman
It’s fair to say that Richard LeCounte, J.R. Reed and Eric Stokes are already known quantities. Tyson Campbell started 10 games a season ago and has room for improvement. But he’s also an experienced member of Georgia’s secondary.
That’s why we’re instead going to tab Wilson. The redshirt freshman shares a similar story that of Ojulari. Wilson was impressing coaches early last spring before tearing his ACL. Like Ojulari he came back and played well in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia’s secondary is loaded with talent and experience. But Wilson could potentially add another talented option to Smart and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning’s arsenal.
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- WATCH: Sam Pittman celebrates Georgia’s latest commitment with live bulldog
- Georgia football lands commitment from 4-star offensive lineman Joshua Braun
- Georgia football podcast: Local and national perception of Jake Fromm seemingly quite different
- NCAA transfer proponent Tom Mars predicts sweeping changes after Luke Ford’s ‘shocking’ denial
- ESPN names who will be the breakout sophomore for Georgia football in 2019
- Kirby Smart: Georgia football offseason changes spark ‘really good energy’
- How recent Georgia football transfers show how flawed the NCAA transfer process is
- Georgia football legend David Pollack goes off on NCAA transfer inconsistencies
- How the University of Georgia could realistically have the No. 1 pick in the 2020
Dawgs on Twitter
Joshua just got off the phone with Coach Smart and Coach Pittman. He has committed to the University of Georgia! pic.twitter.com/w3sJri7ERV
— Mike Braun 🦏 (@CoachBraun72) June 11, 2019
— Kendall Milton (@_KendallMilton) June 11, 2019
— Coach Sam Pittman (@CoachSamPittman) June 11, 2019
— Mekhail Sherman🌹 (@JuicedUpK9) June 10, 2019
Dawgs on Twitter
I aspire to be as care free as this good boy pic.twitter.com/dP3n0uzG1c
— Dak (@RidiculousDak) June 10, 2019