DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played and what they did. No one will lose a redshirt amid the new rules of the 2020 pandemic-affected season. Check out the Georgia football edition from the bitter 44-28 loss to Florida in Jacksonville.
Georgia didn’t have the services of freshman DT Warren Brinson, junior ALL-SEC DT candidate Jordan Davis, sophomore ALL-SEC WR candidate George Pickens, senior All-American safety hopeful Richard LeCounte and fifth-year senior DT Julian Rochester on Saturday against Florida.
The Bulldogs still played 59 players in that game. It meant that the “next man up” line dipped deep in the redshirt freshman and redshirt junior classes against the Gators.
It meant UGA played seven more players from those classes than it did against Kentucky and nine more than hit the field against Alabama.
Does data like that intrigue? If so, then the weekly DawgNation “Freshman Report” is filed every week to meet that level of reader interest.
Those data points – and the young Georgia football team members who made them – are what the weekly DawgNation “Freshmen Report” is all about. It was created to move the needle forward on all the elite recruiting classes the program signs.
Do those young players that get hyped up make an impact on the team during their first season?
Here’s a quick jog around the bigger player participation pieces for Georgia from the Florida game:
- True freshman WR Marcus Rosemy started last week against Kentucky but did not start against Florida. The Florida native did score his first career touchdown as a Bulldog on Saturday.
- Kendall Milton needed to be a big part of the game plan as the Bulldogs started two tailbacks. Milton was one of those and it marked his first career UGA start.
- Georgia showed its hand as far as its depleted receiver corps goes on the game’s first snap. The Bulldogs started three tight ends, two tailbacks and zero receivers.
- George Pickens did not travel for the second straight week.
- The redshirt freshmen defensive line group from the 2019 class did make their first real appearance of the season with Brinson, Davis and Rochester out. Defensive end Bill Norton and defensive tackle Zion Logue, both 2019 signees who redshirted a year ago, saw reps against the Gators.
- The SEC is a physical grown man league, but the Bulldogs used just two defensive linemen against Florida who had more than two full seasons of experience. The breakdown went zero fifth-year seniors, two seniors, zero redshirt seniors, zero redshirt juniors, zero redshirt sophomores, two sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and two true freshmen. That’s not an enviable playing rotation.
That’s the first cache of data points to ingest. These next few are also worth sharing high up in this post.
- Georgia wound up playing nine freshmen players against Florida. True freshman WR Arian Smith was credited on the participation report with his Georgia debut. That’s one more than had seen action against both Alabama and Kentucky.
- The Bulldogs only played 51 players in the loss at Alabama earlier this year. They only played 53 players at Kentucky but saw the total number of players go up to 59 in Jacksonville.
- True freshman QB Carson Beck did not play. He has yet to see the field in 2020, but he did travel to his second straight road game after not traveling for Alabama.
- The defensive back group was severely depleted against a stout opponent. Georgia played three more DBs (12) than it did against either Alabama or Kentucky.
- Sophomore ILB Nakobe Dean led Georgia for the second straight game with a career-high 15 tackles.
- Georgia played six offensive linemen for the second straight game.
- Redshirt freshman DL Zion Logue saw his first playing time of the 2020 season.
The Bulldogs deployed 59 players against Florida, including 15 redshirt and true freshmen. That’s based on DawgNation’s pregame and postgame observations, the TV copy, social media postings and finally the official postgame participation chart.
Georgia had been shrinking its playing roster over the last few weeks, but that total rose to the same number of players needed against Arkansas in the first week of the season.
- Week 1 at Arkansas: 59 (18 redshirt or true freshmen
- Week 2 vs. Auburn: 60 (16 redshirt or true freshmen)
- Week 3 vs. Tennessee: 63 (17 redshirt or true freshmen)
- Week 4 at Alabama: 51 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)
- Week 6 at Kentucky: 53 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)
- Week 7 vs. Florida in Jacksonville: 59 (15 redshirt or true freshmen)
RELATED: Did you read what Dan Mullen and Florida had to say about Georgia?
Who played against Florida (by classes):
- Freshmen: 9
- Redshirt freshmen: 5 (+3 from the last game)
- Sophomores: 7 (+1 from the last game)
- Redshirt sophomores: 8
- Juniors: 9 (-1 from the last game)
- Redshirt juniors: 8 (+3 from the last game)
- Seniors: 8 (-1 from the last game)
- Redshirt or graduate seniors: 4 (-1 from the last game)
- Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 1 (+1 from last week)
- True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 0 (-1 from last week)
Florida game freshman focus
Georgia played 15 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 25 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That figure went up six percent from the past few weeks against Alabama and Kentucky.
That equates to:
- 1 of 2 QBs (0 of 1 QBs in last game)
- 1 of 4 RBs (1 of 3 RBs in last game)
- 3 of 8 WRs (2 of 7 WRs in last game)
- 1 of 6 OLs (1 of 6 OLs in last game)
- 1 of 3 TEs (1 of 3 TEs in last game)
- 4 of 8 DLs (3 of 9 DLs in last game)
- 0 of 5 ILBs (0 of 5 ILBs in last game)
- 1 of 5 OLBs (1 of 5 OLBs in last game)
- 0 of 9 DBs (0 of 9 DBs in last game)
- 0 of 1 PKs (0 of 1 PKs in last game)
- 0 of 1 Ps (0 of 1 Ps in last game)
- 1 of 2 LSs (1 of 2 LSs in last game)
FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2020
What’s more important? Snaps or starts? Both are important, but there is a reason why certain players start the game and stay on the field for the biggest plays. That’s because the coaches trust them to play winning football by what they have seen on the practice field.
There are common instances where the scheme fit based on each opponent allows for a different starting rotation as well. Georgia has started out games in “12” personnel this season.
Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2020.
Who started against Florida (all freshmen): McClendon, Milton and Washington
How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 74
How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 23 (31 percent of all participation)
Of note: Georgia has seen six of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That’s out of the 16 freshmen who have played so far in 2020.
Freshman Game Ball
WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
(St. Thomas Aquinas/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)