True freshman RB Kendall Milton is second on the Bulldogs with his 29 carries for 165 yards rushing in 2020.

Georgia football freshmen report: Georgia 14, Kentucky 3

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)

RELATED: Did you read what Mark Stoops and Kentucky had to say about Georgia? 

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.

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 

Darnell Washington can soon become one of the toughest TE matchups in the SEC at Georgia. (Tony Walsh/UGAAA)

TE Darnell Washington

(Desert Pines HS/Las Vegas, Nev.)

Hgt./Wgt: 6-7.5/263

NextNext man up: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart official injury update
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