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 14-3 win on the road at Kentucky.
How are those 2020 signing class Bulldogs doing so far in this weird year?
The Kentucky game offered up another visual progress report for how the true freshmen of the 2020 signing class and the redshirt freshman from 2019 are doing.
Here’s what is happening:
- There is a core of six true freshmen Bulldogs who have played in every game
- Freshman WR Jermaine Burton has started in four of the five games, but he did not start against Kentucky.
- In his absence in the starting lineup, Georgia did award the first career start to another true freshman WR in Marcus Rosemy.
- Kendall Milton goes into the Florida game as one of Georgia’s bigger weapons on offense. He’s the second-leading rusher and has produced more highlights per touch than any other Georgia back so far in 2020. He’ll need to be a big part of the game plan.
Here’s what is not happening:
- Those 2020 signees at receiver are playing, but the Bulldogs have yet to get the impact and playmaker contributions from the freshman wide receivers that it did in 2019.
- That void takes on an even greater importance with George Pickens not on the field (he did not travel for Kentucky) or not making the same amount of plays that he did in 2019.
- The redshirt freshmen defensive line group from the 2019 class has not made a significant impact. With Jordan Davis and Julian Rochester sidelined against Kentucky, the Bulldogs turned to true freshmen Warren Brinson, Jalen Carter and Nazir Stackhouse to fill those important reps.
There were a few significant player participation bullets to point out against Kentucky.
- Georgia only played a season-low eight true freshmen at Alabama. That’s the same amount who saw the field or showed up on the official particpation report at Kentucky.
- That was five less than the amount of redshirt or true freshmen (13) who saw the field against Tennessee on Oct. 10.
- The Bulldogs only played 51 players in the loss at Alabama earlier this year. They only played 53 players at Kentucky.
- True freshman QB Carson Beck did not play. He has yet to see the field in 2020, but he did travel to Kentucky after not traveling for the Alabama game.
- True freshman RB Daijun Edwards did not play for the first time this season. True freshman DT Nazir Stackhouse did play early against Kentucky. It was his second game of the season. He also played against Tennessee.
- When it comes to the DB group, Smart and position coach Charlton Warren lean exclusively on veterans for big games. Of the nine DBs who played against Alabama and Kentucky, there was only one player (sophomore S Lewis Cine) that saw action who has not spent at least three years in the program.
- Sophomore ILB Nakobe Dean led Georgia with a career-high 14 tackles.
- The true sophomores at UGA saw their player participation number drop to six from their weekly typical eight. That’s because both Pickens and RB Kenny McIntosh were unable to go.
- Redshirt sophomore OL Warren Ericson did not play against Alabama, but did see the field against the Wildcats due to the Ben Cleveland injury.
- Redshirt junior Matt Landers and Bulldog seniors Trey Blount and DJ Daniel played against Kentucky after not getting any action at Alabama.
- Blount, a redshirt junior, not only saw action for the first time all season but he started against Kentucky. It was his first career start since starting in the SEC Championship Game against Auburn in 2017. He only played in four games in 2019 and drew a redshirt.
Does data like that intrigue? If so, then the weekly DawgNation “Freshman Report” is filed every week to track that sort of information and 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?
The Bulldogs deployed 53 players at Kentucky, including 10 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.
It seems like Georgia has been shrinking its playing roster over the last few weeks.
- 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 5 at Kentucky: 53 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)
Who played against Kentucky (by classes):
- Freshmen: 8 (-2 from the last game)
- Redshirt freshmen: 2
- Sophomores: 6 (-2 from the last game)
- Redshirt sophomores: 8 (+1 from the last game)
- Juniors: 10
- Redshirt juniors: 5 (+2 from the last game)
- Seniors: 9 (+1 from the last game)
- Redshirt or graduate seniors: 5
- Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 0 (-1 from last week)
- True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 0 (-1 from last week)
Kentucky game freshman focus
Georgia played 10 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 19 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to:
- 0 of 1 QBs (0 of 1 QBs in last game)
- 1 of 3 RBs (2 of 5 in last game)
- 2 of 7 WRs (2 of 6 in last game)
- 1 of 6 OLs (1 of 5 in last game)
- 1 of 3 TEs
- 3 of 9 DLs (1 of 6 DLs in last game)
- 0 of 5 ILBs (0 of 5 ILBs in last game)
- 1 of 5 OLBs
- 0 of 9 DBs (0 of 9 DBs in last game)
- 0 of 1 PKs
- 0 of 1 Ps
- 1 of 2 LSs
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.
- Freshman WR Jermaine Burton (4 games)
- Redshirt freshman QB D’Wan Mathis (1 game)
- Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon (4 games)
- Freshman WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (1 game)
- Freshman TE Darnell Washington (3 games)
Who started against Kentucky (all freshmen): McClendon and Rosemy-Jacksaint
How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 72
How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 21 (29 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 15 freshmen who have played so far in 2020.
Freshman Game Ball
TE Darnell Washington
(Desert Pines HS/Las Vegas, Nev.)
Washington earns this weekly “Freshmen Report” honor for the second time this season. This was another week in which the freshman contributions were scarce. Milton also had eight carries of 31 yards against the Wildcats, including a 14-yard run.
Washington got the game ball for his second explosive catch of the season. It was another play in which Georgia grabbed some momentum and this time it led to only the second scoring drive of the day for the Bulldogs.
This one covered 33 yards. Washington now has two catches on the season. Both of them were highlight plays.
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 31, 2020
The progression here from the freshman season to the sophomore year should be key. That would make Washington one of the tougher TE matchups in the SEC. It would give Georgia the type of weapon at the position that Florida QB Kyle Trask feeds on the regular for his offense.
The true freshman wideout clearly falls in line with his preseason label as one of the most likely impact performers in the DawgNation preseason “Freshman Report” for 2020.
- The stat line: Washington had one catch for 33 yards. It was the second biggest offensive play of the game for the Bulldogs.
- Of note: That touchdown drive provided the final points of the game.
- Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation’s No. 2 ATH/No. 23 overall prospect. Washington was the fourth highest-rated recruit in Georgia’s 2019 class.
- Why Washington chose Georgia: “I just kind of knew that was going to be my new home,” he said back in January.
- Former All-American: Yes (Washington played in the 2020 Under Armour All-American Game.)
- Check out his commitment day story from January of 2020. That’s when the Bulldogs beat out Miami and Tennessee for Washington.
Georgia football: Freshmen “Game balls” for 2020
- Freshman WR Jermaine Burton: 1
- Freshman DT/FB Jalen Carter: 1
- Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon Jr: 1
- Freshman TE Darnell Washington: 2
FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2020
- Catches (game): 4 (Jermaine Burton)
- Catches (season): 9 (Burton)
- Longest catch: 36 (Burton)
- Longest TD catch: 5 (Burton)
- Longest run: 43 (Burton)
- Longest TD run: N/A
- Most receiving TDs: 1 (Burton and Jalen Carter)
- Receiving yards (season): 122 (Burton)
- Rushing yards (season): 165 (Kendall Milton)
- Sacks (game): N/A
- Sacks (season): N/A
- Tackles (game): 3 (Carter)
- Tackles (season): 5 (Carter)
- Tackles for a loss (game): 1 (Carter)
FRESHMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
There were only a couple of additional plays to share from the Kentucky game.
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 31, 2020
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 31, 2020
FRESHMEN TO PLAY IN EVERY GAME
The following true or redshirt freshmen Bulldogs have played in every game so far this season:
- DT Warren Brinson
- WR Jermaine Burton
- DT Jalen Carter
- Redshirt OT Warren McClendon
- RB Kendall Milton
- Redshirt LS William Mote
- WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
- TE Darnell Washington
2020 Freshmen participation
The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2020.
- S Major Burns (2 games)
- WR Jermaine Burton (5 games)
- DT Warren Brinson (5 games)
- DT Jalen Carter (5 games)
- Redshirt ILB Rian Davis (2 games)
- RB Daijun Edwards (4 games)
- OT Broderick Jones (1 game)
- CB Jalen Kimber (3 games)
- Redshirt QB D’Wan Mathis (3 games)
- Redshirt OT Warren McClendon (5 games)
- RB Kendall Milton (5 games)
- Redshirt DT Tymon Mitchell (1 game)
- Redshirt LS William Mote (5 games)
- Redshirt DE Bill Norton (1 game)
- OT Tate Ratledge (1 game)
- WR Justin Robinson (1 game)
- WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (5 games)
- Redshirt TE Brett Seither (1 game)
- OLB MJ Sherman (4 games)
- DT Nazir Stackhouse (2 games)
- Redshirt OT Xavier Truss (3 games)
- OC Sedrick Van Pran-Granger (2 games)
2020 signees who did not play this week: QB Carson Beck; OL Austin Blaske; DB Daran Branch; DB Major Burns; RB Daijun Edwards; CB Jalen Kimber; OL Broderick Jones; OL Cameron Kinnie; OL Chad Lindberg; WR Ladd McConkey; OL Tate Ratledge; CB Kelee Ringo (out for year/shoulder); WR Justin Robinson; WR Arian Smith (knee/wrist); OL Sedrick Van Pran-Granger; OL Devin Willock and PK Jared Zirkel
2019 signees who did not play this week: Sophomore WR Dominick Blaylock (out for year/knee); Redshirt freshman ILB Rian Davis; Redshirt freshman TE Ryland Goede; Redshirt freshman DT Zion Logue; Sophomore ILB Trezmen Marshall; Redshirt freshman DT Tymon Mitchell; Redshirt freshman DE Bill Norton; Redshirt freshman TE Brett Seither; Redshirt freshman WR Makiya Tongue; Redshirt freshman OG Clay Webb.
2018 signees who did not play this week: Redshirt sophomore WR Tommy Bush and redshirt sophomore OT Owen Condon
2017 signees who did not play this week: Redshirt junior OLB Robert Beal; Redshirt junior DB Latavious Brini; Senior Walter Grant; Redshirt junior OL Netori Johnson; Redshirt junior DB William Poole III