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Curtis Compton/AJC
True freshman WR Jermaine Burton just had one of the five best receiving days in Georgia history against Mississippi State.

Georgia football freshmen report: Georgia 31, Mississippi State 24

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 momentum-building 31-24 home win against Mississippi State. 

The published reports swirled earlier in the week about how few players Mississippi State had available for Saturday night’s game against Georgia. SEC rules allow teams to travel 70 players for league games.

While that seems striking on the surface level, those that read DawgNation’s “Freshman Report” on the regular already know that is not a very big deal at all. 49 players?

Georgia usually plays anywhere from 50-60 players in all of its games this year. That’s even with a loaded roster stacked by top 3 recruiting classes in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Mississippi State placed 43 of its players on the official participation report against Georgia on Saturday night. The Bulldogs utilized 54 of their own in a back-and-forth 31-24 victory.

They played 59 players against Florida. In that loss, DawgNation saw the Bulldogs dip heavily into the redshirt freshman and redshirt junior classes against the Gators.

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 sought out 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 its latest game:

  • Redshirt sophomore QB JT Daniels saw his first action of the season and all reports do indicate he did more than fairly well. Even for the very hard-to-please folks cloaked in anonymity on message boards and social media platforms. 
  • Georgia played fewer true freshmen than it did in any game this season. That’s because true freshman WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint is out for the year and promising RB Kendall Milton is out for at least a couple more weeks. 
  • To combat Mississippi State’s “Air Raid” passing attack, the Bulldogs started six defensive backs against Mike Leach and his Bulldogs.
  • True freshman WR Jermaine Burton returned to the starting lineup and made the most of it. 
  • George Pickens returned to the field and the starting lineup after having not traveled for Kentucky and Florida games. 
  • Redshirt freshman DL Zion Logue did not play at all this year until the Florida game but has now seen action in the last two Bulldog games. 
  • Georgia needed five fewer players this week than it used against Florida. 
  • The Bulldogs continue to get stable player participation numbers from their redshirt sophomore, junior and senior classes. The other classes have been up-and-down this fall. 

The Bulldogs deployed 54 players against State, 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.

Georgia used the same amount of redshirt or true freshmen players as it did in two other games this year.

  • 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)
  • Week 9 vs. Mississippi State: 54 (10 redshirt or true freshmen)

RELATED: Did you read what Mike Leach and Mississippi State had to say about Georgia? 

Jermaine Burton-Georgia football-UGA football
Georgia senior OG Justin Shaffer lifts up freshman WR Jermaine Burton after one of his big touchdowns on Saturday night. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Who played vs. Mississippi State (by classes):

  • Freshmen: 6 (-3 from the last game) 
  • Redshirt freshmen: 4 (-1 from the last game)  
  • Sophomores: 8 (+1 from the last game)
  • Redshirt sophomores: 8
  • Juniors: 9
  • Redshirt juniors: 6 (-2 from the last game)
  • Seniors: 8
  • Redshirt or graduate seniors: 4 (-1 from the last game)
  • Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 2 (+1 from last week)
  • True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 0
  • True freshmen among the greatest all-time receiving games in UGA history: 1

Mississippi State game freshman focus

Georgia played 10 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 18 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That figure dropped seven percent from the Florida game but was right in line with the Alabama and Kentucky games.

That equates to:

  •  0 of 1 QBs (1 of 2 QBs in last game)
  • 1 of 4 RBs  (1 of 4 RBs in last game)
  • 1 of 6 WRs (3 of 8 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)
  • 3 of 7 DLs (4 of 8 DLs in last game)
  • 0 of 5 ILBs (0 of 5 ILBs in last game)
  • 1 of 6 OLBs  (1 of 5 OLBs in last game)
  • 0 of 11 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.

  • Freshman WR Jermaine Burton (5 games)
  • Redshirt freshman QB D’Wan Mathis (1 game)
  • True freshman RB Kendall Milton (1 game)
  • Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon (5 games)
  • Freshman WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (1 game)
  • Freshman TE Darnell Washington (4 games)

Who started against Mississippi State (all freshmen): Burton and McClendon

How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 75

How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 23 (31 percent of all participation)

Of note: Georgia has seen three 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 Jermaine Burton

(Calabasas HS/Calabasas, Calif.)

Hgt./Wgt: 6-0/195

Jermaine Burton-Georgia football-UGA football
Georgia true freshman Jermaine Burton had one of the most prolific games for a receiver in Georgia football history Saturday night. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Burton earns this weekly “Freshmen Report” honor for the second time this season. He caught touchdown passes of 18 and 48 yards from new starter JT Daniels in a thrilling 31-24 victory.

He finished with eight catches for 197 yards on the night. That’s the No. 2 single-game total for receiving yards for a freshman WR in UGA football history. It now stands as the fourth-best outing for any Bulldog.

The Georgia native went off to Florida and then California to finish out the last three years of his prep career. He was back home and put on a show in front of family members on Saturday night.

Burton caught six balls for 143 yards in the second quarter alone against State. His only catch in the second half gave UGA a 24-17 lead.

The honor here goes to Burton as a no-contest among the freshmen. His night, along with the passing line authored by Daniels, look like the first and second-best individual offensive performances for any Bulldogs so far this year.

    • The stat line: Burton had seven catches for 197 yards and two touchdown catches. He more than doubled his previous receiving yards (130) for 2020 coming into the game.
    • Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation’s No. 15 WR and No. 82 overall prospect 
    • Bet you didn’t knowBurton has been trained by former Georgia all-time great WR Terrence Edwards and was a former high school teammate of Chris Smith II at Hapeville Charter and Nolan Smith at IMG Academy.
    • Bet you didn’t know, Part IIHe was a late flip in the 2020 class from LSU. 
    • Bet you didn’t know, Part IIIHe traveled 5,663 miles on his road from prep prospect to future Bulldog. It was at least that many miles on Google Maps. That how all the turns along his high school career add up on his way to coming home to sign with UGA in the 2020 class.
    • Why Burton chose GeorgiaWhen he thinks of the 15 people he loves the most in this world, they all live in Georgia. When he planned to catch his first career touchdown, he was going to look up in the stands. His eyes will track down those people. “Of course,” this year before he enrolled at UGA. “That’s it. 100 percent. That by just saying that it will give me the chills right now.”
    • Former All-American? Yes. He was an Under Armour All-American but did not attend the game and practices that week. 
    • RELATED: Check out the definitive DawgNation profile on Burton from this year

Georgia football: Freshmen “Game balls” for 2020

  • Freshman WR Jermaine Burton: 2
  • Freshman DT/FB Jalen Carter: 1
  • Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon Jr: 1
  • Freshman WR Marcus Rosmey-Jacksaint: 1
  • Freshman TE Darnell Washington: 2

FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2020

Jermaine Burton-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
Jermaine Burton now has three touchdown catches for the season after the Mississippi State game. He is tied for the team lead (Tony Walsh/UGAA)
  • Catches (game): 7 (Jermaine Burton)
  • Catches (season): 17 (Burton)
  • Longest catch: 48 (Burton)
  • Longest TD catch: 48 (Burton)
  • Longest run: 43 (Burton)
  • Longest TD run: N/A
  • Most receiving TDs: 3 (Burton)
  • Receiving yards (season): 327 (Burton)
  • Rushing yards (season): 183 (Kendall Milton)
  • Sacks (game): N/A
  • Sacks (season): N/A
  • Tackles (game): 3 (Jalen Carter)
  • Tackles (season): 8 (Carter)
  • Tackles for a loss (game): 1 (Carter)

FRESHMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA

There are several additional points of view and plays to share from the game. Burton’s highlight reel will also follow below.

FRESHMEN TO PLAY IN EVERY GAME

The following true or redshirt freshmen Bulldogs have played in every game so far this season:

  • WR Jermaine Burton
  • DT Jalen Carter
  • Redshirt OT Warren McClendon
  • Redshirt LS William Mote
  • TE Darnell Washington 

2020 Freshmen participation

The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2020.

  • S Major Burns (3 games)
  • WR Jermaine Burton (7 games)
  • DT Warren Brinson (5 games)
  • DT Jalen Carter (7 games)
  • Redshirt ILB Rian Davis (3 games)
  • RB Daijun Edwards (5 games)
  • OT Broderick Jones (1 game)
  • CB Jalen Kimber (3 games)
  • Redshirt QB D’Wan Mathis (4 games)
  • Redshirt OT Warren McClendon (7 games)
  • RB Kendall Milton (6 games)
  • Redshirt DT Tymon Mitchell (1 game)
  • Redshirt LS William Mote (7 games)
  • Redshirt freshman DL Zion Logue (2 games)
  • Redshirt DE Bill Norton (2 games)
  • OT Tate Ratledge (1 game)
  • WR Justin Robinson (1 game)
  • WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (6 games)
  • Redshirt TE Brett Seither (1 game)
  • OLB MJ Sherman (6 games)
  • DT Nazir Stackhouse (4 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 Major BurnsCB Jalen Kimber; OL Broderick Jones; OL Cameron Kinnie; OL Chad Lindberg; WR Ladd McConkey; RB Kendall Milton (knee); OL Tate Ratledge; CB Kelee Ringo (out for year/shoulder); WR Justin Robinson; WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (dislocated ankle/out for year); WR Arian Smith; OL Sedrick Van Pran-Granger; OL Devin Willock and PK Jared Zirkel

2019 signees who did not play this week: Redshirt junior QB Stetson Bennett IV (shoulder); Sophomore WR Dominick Blaylock (out for year/knee); Redshirt freshman TE Ryland Goede; 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 WR Trey Blount; Senior Walter Grant; Redshirt junior OL Netori Johnson


Georgia football: 2020 Freshman Reports on DawgNation

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