ATHENS — If Georgia football was a stock, it would be a good time to buy in for 2021 based on feedback from the opening scrimmage on Saturday.
The Bulldogs played more than 130 snaps at Sanford Stadium before hundreds of boosters and fans. Georgia showed off a passing game that was at times explosive, and a defense that is capable of dishing out big hits
UGA seems to have escaped serious injuries, though receiver Arian Smith suffered a sprained wrist, and offensive tackle Amarius Mims was checked out for an unspecified leg injury.
Here’s a look at whose stock appears to be going up through Scrimmage One:
WR Justin Robinson: The second-year receiver could be next in line at the “X” to replace George Pickens, particularly with Jermaine Burton still day-to-day with a hyperextended knee. Robinson knows how to put his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame between the ball and the defender, and his high-point skills make him popular with quarterbacks. Robinson is also a physical blocker, something Kirby Smart likes.
QB Carson Beck: Smart didn’t say much about Beck, but he knew he didn’t need to, because everyone at the scrimmage was commenting on how good the second-year quarterback looks. Beck’s size and arm strength were never in question. But learning the playbook and adding some weight were things to work on. Beck has been doing both to the extent he looks like the quarterback of the future.
QB JT Daniels: Daniels has only started four games and posted efficiency numbers that ranked third in the nation over that span, and already, the expectations have arrived. A great day for JT Daniels? Ho-hum, that’s expected now. Daniels wasn’t perfect, he fumbled a snap and was intercepted. But his skills are convincing, and the head coach and offensive coordinator have delegated authority and a degree of autonomy, the highest compliments a QB can receive.
CB Jalen Kimber: Kimber had a good day at cornerback, with some pass break-up action and open field tackles. It’s a position of need, and Kimber is ready to deliver in his second year. Kimber knows he must get bigger and stronger to be able to weather the pounding of an SEC season, however, so he remains a work in progress to a certain extent.
RB Kendall Milton: Running backs coach Dell McGee says experience won’t be a factor when choosing the starting running back, and Milton has the talent to put McGee’s words to the test. Milton showed flashes last season. But durability will remain a question for him after he suffered a hamstring injury in the fall, and a sprained knee later in the season. Milton takes a lot of blows with his physical running style, so it will take elite conditioning and disciplined maintenance on his body.
WR Demetris Robertson: Georgia fans were excited to hear that “D-Rob” made the most of his first scrimmage, as most all are rooting for him to fulfill his 5-star recruiting promise and the Freshman All-American status he earned at Cal. It’s a tough gig at UGA, where Smart asks receivers to be more physical. That said, Todd Monken’s Air Raid is a blessing for Robertson, who has the quickness to get open and the toughness to make catches in traffic. It will be a big offseason for Robertson on and off the field.
TE John FitzPatrick: FitzPatrick has quietly gotten better each of his previous three season swhile developing into a welcoming target at 6-7, 250. FitzPatrick’s skills are such that he could evolve into a player Monken feels comfortable moving out wide, as he’s a disciplined route runner who works at his craft. For all the hype others are getting, FitzPartrick could be the tight end who delivers most.
TE Brock Bowers: You don’t often think of freshmen tight ends as impact players, but you also don’t often hear Smart singing the praises of freshmen at any position. That’s what’s happening here, and when the head coach talks, there’s usually reasons behind it. Smart is impressed with how quickly Bowers is picking things up, and some have likened the young talent to San Francisco tight end George Kittle. Bowers, however, has to improve his run blocking to be an every-down player, and that could take time.
LB Nakobe Dean: Even more rare is to raise the stock on a player who’s not even on the field playing, but Smart explained how Dean is more engaged right now than any player he’s seen during a recovery period. Dean was calling plays out from the sideline, being vocal, which was the one area of his game that needed to improve when he arrived at UGA. The fact Dean remains the “field general” even while out speaks volumes for the leadership he has developed and the respect he commands.
HC Kirby Smart: The head coach stays on the list, showing he’s as resilient and driven as he asks his player to be. Smart doesn’t want to waste time whining about injuries or hyping up his own team, but he is making an effort to be direct with his answers and share the sorts of insights about the players and the team’s personality that fans like to read about.
Rising Stock Watch: A freshman receiver who is starting to be talked about is Adonai Mitchell, a 6-4, 190-pounder whose modest recruiting rankings had kept him somewhat under the radar. This, even though Texas, Auburn, Arkansas and Ole Miss all offered, and he was actually committed to Lane Kiffin’s Rebels. One thing is for certain, Monken and Daniels don’t care about his 3-star ranking so much as the fact it appears he can get open and catch the ball consistently. Stay tuned. Then there’s David Daniel, an incoming freshman defensive back who showed some hitting power in Scrimmage One.
Stock Down: 2026-2027 schedule.
Oklahoma, UCLA, Texas, Ohio State …… Louisville?
See, it just doesn’t roll off the tongue, and that’s why the 2026-2027 schedule isn’t that much more attractive with Georgia adding Louisville in football. The Bulldogs have future home-and-homes with those other teams and those other attractive venues.
Home games at Sanford Stadium are valuable, so when UGA decides to schedule a home-and-home, it needs to be a special trip.
Georgia should have at least gotten Louisville to package a home-and-home in basketball as part of this deal. This game is a much bigger deal for Louisville than Georgia.