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 dominating 27-6 home win against Auburn.
DawgNation saw three more members of its 2020 signing class take the field for the first time as Bulldogs on Saturday night.
Do you know those three names? Which two Georgia 2020 signees have now also started both games this season?
Do those answers intrigue? If so, then the weekly DawgNation “Freshman Report” was filed with that sort of reader interest in mind.
Those plays – 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 truly measure up and make an impact on the team during their first season on campus? Let’s hunt down those answers for last Saturday’s game.
The Bulldogs played 60 players against Auburn, including 16 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.
Those numbers varied from Week 1 at Arkansas. Georgia played 59 guys against the Razorbacks, including 18 redshirt or true freshmen.
Freshman OL Tate Ratledge, freshman OLB Mekhail Sherman and freshman center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger all saw their first action as Bulldogs versus Auburn. Freshman WR Jermaine Burton and freshman TE Darnell Washington also started the second consecutive games of their UGA careers.
Let’s be sure to note here that Georgia played just 13 redshirt or true freshmen among their 57 participants the last time it faced Auburn in November of 2019.
The quick takeaway from all that charting is rather simple. Georgia is going to play even more freshmen against an ALL-SEC schedule than it did in 2019.
Rapid-fire participation info from Georgia-Auburn
- Georgia started two true freshmen (Burton, Washington) and one redshirt freshman (OT Warren McClendon) against Auburn. The Bulldogs also had three freshmen (redshirt or true) start in the opener against Arkansas.
- The one variable this week was McClendon started instead of redshirt freshman QB D’Wan Mathis.
- Georgia started 17 sophomores or redshirt sophomores in the 2020 opener. That was more than any other group.
- The Bulldogs also played 17 sophomores or redshirt sophomores on Saturday. That was more than any other class.
Who played against Auburn (by classes):
- Freshmen: 10 (+1 from last week)
- Redshirt freshmen: 5 (-2 from last week)
- Sophomores: 8
- Redshirt sophomores: 9 (+1 from last week)
- Juniors: 10 (+1 from last week)
- Redshirt juniors: 6 (-1 from last week)
- Seniors: 8 (-1 from last week)
- Redshirt or graduate seniors: 4
- Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 0
- True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 0
Auburn game freshman focus
Georgia played 16 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture tallies up to 26 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to:
- 1 of 2 QBs
- 2 of 5 RBs
- 2 of 7 WRs (3 of 8 WRs last week; True freshman WR Justin Robinson did not play this week.)
- 4 of 9 OLs (2 of 7 OLs last week: See Ratledge and Van Pran-Granger)
- 1 of 2 TEs (2 of 3 last week: Redshirt freshman TE Brett Seither did not play this week.)
- 2 of 7 DLs (4 of 10 DLs last week)
- 1 of 7 ILBs
- 1 of 5 OLBs (0 of 4 OLBs last week: Robert Beal (R-Jr.) and Sherman (Fr.) played. Senior OLB Jermaine Johnson did not.)
- 1 of 11 DBs (2 of 13 DBs last week: Major Burns (Fr.) and Latavious Brini (R-Jr.) did not play.)
- 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.
Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2020.
- Freshman WR Jermaine Burton (2 games)
- Redshirt freshman QB D’Wan Mathis (1 game)
- Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon (1 game)
- Freshman TE Darnell Washington (2 games)
Who started against Auburn (all true freshmen): Burton, McClendon, Washington
How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 67
How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 20 (30 percent of all participation)
Of note: Georgia has seen eight of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That’s out of the 13 freshmen who have played so far in 2020.
Freshman Game Ball
OT Warren McClendon
(Brunswick HS/Brunswick, Ga.)
McClendon earns this weekly “Freshmen Report” honor for the first time this season. He does after his first career start at right tackle against Auburn.
The Brunswick High School alum is a Georgia legacy. He hails from the same family when has sent his uncle, Willie, and his cousin, Bryan, to Athens to all line up for the Bulldogs. He was a member of the 2019 recruiting class at Georgia and redshirted last season.
He was an early enrollee in January of 2019 and played in the Baylor, Georgia Tech, Missouri and Murray State games. He’s now played in his last four games at UGA. McClendon also played basketball during his time in high school and intends a major in Mechanical Engineering.
He steadied the line last week when he came in for relief of another first-time starter Owen Condon and earned himself the start for the Auburn game.
- The stat line: DawgNation tracked 19 pass sets for McClendon against Auburn and he did not give up a sack or a quarterback pressure.
- Of note: It was the first start of his collegiate career.
- Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation’s No. 20 OT/No. 227 overall prospect. McClendon was the 16th highest-rated recruit in Georgia’s 2019 class.
- Bet you didn’t know: McClendon was coached at Brunswick High School by the same head coach, Sean Pender, who had coached current starting QB Stetson Bennett IV at Pierce County.
- Why McClendon chose Georgia: He chose the Bulldogs for basically the same reasons which led his uncle to Georgia in 1975 and his cousin in 2002. He had been torn between Georgia and South Carolina for the longest here. That’s where Bryan had been coaching. Former line coach Sam Pittman was also a major factor in his choice.
- The commitment quote: “It was just an amazing feeling knowing that you were part of something special and something that had been so special to my family for the longest time,” he said during his senior year at Brunswick in 2018.
- Former All-American: No. (McClendon was named to the elite “Opening” finals for elite recruits at the training facilities of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys prior to his senior year. That honor usually goes to the top 160 rising seniors in the country.)
- Check out his commitment day story from July of 2018
Georgia football: Freshmen Report “Game balls” for 2020
- Redshirt freshman OT Warren McClendon Jr: 1
- Freshman TE Darnell Washington: 1
Notables for other redshirt or true freshmen vs. Auburn
- Freshman CB Jalen Kimber: The 2020 early enrollee played in his second straight UGA game and also recorded his first career tackle.
- Freshman RB Daijun Edwards: He had seven carries for 27 yards.
- Freshman RB Kendall Milton: He had six carries for 30 yards, including an impressive slip of a contested tackle from a 300-pound defensive lineman.
- Redshirt freshmen who saw time against Arkansas: ILB Rian Davis, QB D’wan Mathis, OL Warren McClendon, LS William Mote, DT Tymon Mitchell and OL Xavier Truss.
FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2020
- Catches (game): 2 (Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint)
- Catches (season): 2 (Jermaine Burton and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint)
- Longest catch: 26 (Washington)
- Longest TD catch: N/A
- Longest run: 10 (Kendall Milton)
- Longest TD run: N/A
- Most receiving TDs: N/A
- Receiving yards (season): 27 (Burton)
- Rushing yards (season): 34 (Milton)
- Sacks (game): N/A
- Sacks (season): N/A
- Tackles (game): 1 (Multiple)
- Tackles (season): 2 (Jalen Carter and receiver Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint)
- Tackles for a loss (game): 1 (Carter)
FRESHMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
This might be my favorite UGA-related tweet of the season so far.
— Dean Ratledge (@dratledge81) October 4, 2020
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 4, 2020
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) October 4, 2020
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 Warren Brinson
- DT Jalen Carter
- Redshirt ILB Rian Davis
- RB Daijun Edwards
- CB Jalen Kimber
- Redshirt QB D’Wan Mathis
- Redshirt OT Warren McClendon
- RB Kendall Milton
- Redshirt LS William Mote
- WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint
- Redshirt OT Xavier Truss
- TE Darnell Washington
2020 Freshmen participation
The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2020.
- S Major Burns (1 game)
- WR Jermaine Burton (2 games)
- DT Warren Brinson (2 games)
- DT Jalen Carter (2 games)
- Redshirt ILB Rian Davis (2 games)
- RB Daijun Edwards (2 games)
- CB Jalen Kimber (2 games)
- Redshirt QB D’Wan Mathis (2 games)
- Redshirt OT Warren McClendon (2 games)
- RB Kendall Milton (2 games)
- Redshirt DT Tymon Mitchell (1 game)
- Redshirt LS William Mote (2 games)
- Redshirt DE Bill Norton (1 game)
- WR Justin Robinson (1 game)
- WR Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (2 games)
- Redshirt TE Brett Seither (1 game)
- Redshirt OT Xavier Truss (2 games)
2020 signees who did not play this week: S Major Burns; CB Kelee Ringo (out for year/shoulder); OT Broderick Jones; WR Arian Smith; OL Chad Lindberg; WR Justin Robinson; DT Nazir Stackhouse; OL Austin Blaske; DB Daran Branch; OL Devin Willock, WR Ladd McConkey; OL Cameron Kinnie; PK Jared Zirkel and grad transfer TE Tre’ McKitty (injury)
2019 signees who did not play this week: Sophomore WR Dominick Blaylock (out for year/knee); Redshirt freshman TE Ryland Goede; OLB Jermain Johnson (injury); Redshirt freshman DT Zion Logue; DT Tymon Mitchell; DE Bill Norton; TE Brett Seither; Redshirt freshman WR Makiya Tongue; DT Tramel Walthour; Redshirt freshman OG Clay Webb.
2018 signees who did not play this week: Redshirt sophomore WR Tommy Bush.
2017 signees who did not play this week: Redshirt junior WR Trey Blount; Redshirt junior DB Latavious Brini; Senior Walter Grant.