Georgia football stock report: California freshman and ‘Mr. Anderson,’ have soaring value

Georgia outside linebacker Adam Anderson (19) during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia football completed what Coach Kirby Smart refers to as the “camp” portion of fall drills with Scrimmage 2 on Saturday, now turning the page to set offensive identity and game plan for Clemson.

RELATED: 3 things from Scrimmage 2, amoeba-like offense evolves

The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs open the season against No. 3-ranked Clemson at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Both teams have had an offseason of significant reloading, with the Tigers losing No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, and first-round running back Travis Etienne.

RELATED: Dabo puts a wrap on Clemson scrimmage 2, quarterback ‘at his best’

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have seven defensive backs off last season’s roster to replace, in addition to the fall camp injuries that have displaced no less than three projected starters (center, star, tight end).

Smart seemed pleased with the scrimmage on Saturday, indicating the team emerged in better health than it had in the first scrimmage of fall camp.

Here’s a look at how Georgia football is trending entering its preparation for Clemson

Stock Soaring

Brock Bowers: Bowers could be the most impactful signee in the 2020 class, based on how offensive coordinator Todd Monken talked about his versatility. Bowers figures to line up many places and do many things from week to week.

Adam Anderson: ESPN recently ranked Anderson as the highest-rated Georgia NFL prospect in the 2022 draft, and Clemson will likely find out why in 13 days. Anderson’s ability to get to the quarterback is impressive.

RELATED: ESPN high on Adam Anderson, Jordan Davis in NFL draft ratings

Sedrick Van Pran: The fact Smart sent the second-year player out for interviews was telling, a good indication Van Pran will get the start at center in place of injured incumbent Warren Ericson. Van Pran was impressive, at ease taking questions in machine-gun fashion, and seemingly comfortable with the challenge ahead.

RELATED: Sedrick Van Pran opens up on center play, challenge ahead

Arian Smith: The head coach is talking a lot about this speedy second-year player, and that’s likely because Smith has the rare ability to turn the game around on one play. Smith missed football time in the offseason to run track, but the Bulldogs will be counting on him to catch up in the playbook and get on the field.

RELATED: Georgia injury report, Kirby Smart reveals injuries to 2 rising stars

Stock Even

JT Daniels: Daniels is making a killing for himself and teammates through recent NIL deals, and his scrimmage results have been on par with the high expectations on the UGA pass game. Daniels — or any pocket QB — can only be as good as the supporting cast, so getting Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson back was big.

RELATED: Georgia lineup hit with injuries, what comes next for Bulldogs

Defensive line: Smart didn’t have much to say about the defensive line in scrimmage, which is usually a good sign, because he’s been hypercritical of a unit that he knows could be the best in the country.

Stock Down

Tight ends: There is no “next man up” capable of filling the shoes of Darnell Washington, and if veteran John FitzPatrick is down or at less than 100 percent there may not be any double tight end formations. That might not sound like a big deal, but it is, because UGA figured to have some nasty matchups waiting for defenses.

Alliance talk: Remember when leaders and instructors would tell students that the best way to compete is to invest in themselves and improve their performances? Well, the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 obviously believe the best path to compete is aversion, as there has been talks of an “Alliance.” It’s hard to say exactly what direction that leads, but if it takes us back to the pre-BCS era of split national championships and exclusivity in postseason meetings, that would be a shame.

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