Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at Kirby Smart’s “Millennial Oklahoma” drill and rank the top 10 players the Bulldogs will play this season.
Who’s the best player Georgia football will play in 2017?
Last week, we reached the end of the road in our position-by-position rankings of the best players Georgia will face in 2017 (You can check out all of those at the end of this section.). But we still have one more ranking to do and that’s the top 10 players the Bulldogs will face, regardless of position. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
10. Cece Jefferson, DL, Florida — Jefferson is the top-ranked defensive lineman Georgia will face this season. Jumping around between end and tackle put a damper on his stats last season. He’s steady now at end, his natural position. Although his numbers weren’t as good as some of the other linemen on that list, he projects to have the best 2017 season.
9. Deebo Samuel, WR/KR, South Carolina — Samuel is the only player who appeared in the rankings for two different positions, coming in as the No. 3 WR and No. 4 specialist. Regardless of whether he’s lined up in the slot or returning kickoffs, he’s one of the most electrifying players who will take on the Bulldogs.
8. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn — Despite not yet taking a snap for Auburn, Stidham ranked second best among quarterbacks Georgia will play. The former Baylor signal caller has a skill set perfectly suited to Gus Malzahn’s offense and should be the best QB to suit up for the Tigers since Cam Newton.
7. Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame — He’s the best receiver the Bulldogs will play in 2017 and probably has the best name of anyone they’ll play, too. He’s 6-foot-5 with plenty of speed to burn. Newcomer QB Brandon Wimbush will look for a reliable target early in the season so expect to hear St. Brown’s name often when the Dawgs travel to South Bend.
6. Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt — Webb is the best tailback in Vanderbilt history and on pace to become the eighth rusher in SEC history to rush for more than 4,000 yards in his career (ninth if Nick Chubb gets there first). He’s a grinder who will get a nice chunk of yards every time he touches the ball and the backbone of the Commodores offense, and the second-best tailback Georgia will play this season.
5. Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State — Fitzgerald is a true dual-threat quarterback who can hurt opponents as much with his legs as with his arm. With a solid offensive line in front of him, Fitzgerald has the skill to gain a lot of yards and score a lot of points. He’s the most dangerous QB Georgia will play in 2017.
4. Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky — The All-SEC safety is the best defensive back Georgia will take on this season and the No. 1 player on a Kentucky defense stacked with talent. Along with LB Jordan Jones and DL Denzil Ware — who each earned spots on their respective position rankings — Edwards is part of one of the most underrated defenses in the conference.
3. Quenton Nelson, OL, Notre Dame — Nelson is one of the best guards in college football and could have made the jump to the NFL after his junior season. He’s one-half of a pairing that makes Notre Dame’s line one of the most formidable in college football.
2. Mike McGlinchey, OL, Notre Dame — The other half of that pair is McGlinchey, who ranked 1-2 along with Nelson in the rankings of best offensive linemen Georgia will face. McGlinchey would have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft. As it stands, he’ll be the first lineman taken in the 2018 draft. Between him and Nelson, Georgia’s pass rush will get an early test when the Dawgs go to South Bend in Week 2.
1. Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn — The luckiest break Georgia caught in 2016 was that Pettway was injured when the Tigers traveled to Sanford Stadium. Had Pettway been involved, that upset may never have happened. His quickness and power make him a home run threat when he gets even an inch of running room. Between him and Stidham, don’t expect the Tigers offense to roll over against Georgia like it did last season.
These millennials and their dang Oklahomas
If you haven’t already seen this video of Kirby Smart explaining the ‘Millennial Oklahoma’ drill — which basically amounts to a perimeter blocking drill — you should check it out, if nothing else just to see Smart try to explain what a millennial is:
Saw this drill on Facebook and really liked it. "Millenial Oklahoma" pic.twitter.com/RYoxRbYc8Q
— James Light (@JamesALight) July 8, 2017
It’s a good example of how Smart is trying to make Georgia more physical at the point of attack, and the perimeter is somewhere that physicality is sorely needed. Just a few years ago, blocking from wide receivers was one of the strengths of this team, as exemplified by some of the fantastic runs Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb had to the outside. But the blocking from WRs dropped off in a big way when Chris Conley and Michael Bennett left the program in 2014, leaving the team with only smaller WRs such as Terry Godwin, Isaiah McKenzie and Reggie Davis.
Smart already is returning the size with his recruiting efforts, targeting bigger players who can battle with corners and dominate in run blocking. We’ll see this season if his focus on perimeter blocking pays dividends from the guys already on the team.
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) July 7, 2017
First look at 2017 UGA Media Guide… pic.twitter.com/Emlo7SOQmd
— DawgPost (@Dawg_Post) July 9, 2017
— Hargrett Library (@hargrettlibrary) July 7, 2017
- Georgia’s most important player of 2017: Jacob Eason (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- How many wins is enough in Kirby Smart’s second year? (Bill King, DawgNation)
- Much anticipation for Georgia’s fast-approaching season (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Why Nolan Smith remains committed to UGA despite a 5-star push from Clemson (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Luck of Irish was on UGA’s side vs. Notre Dame in Sugar Bowl (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Auburn legend Ronnie Brown predicts Georgia will win SEC East (Nick Cole, DawgNation)
- Former UGA pitcher Alex Wood named MLB All-Star, replaces Clayton Kershaw (Connor Riley, DawgNation)
- Ex-Dogs’ return to UGA a lift for kidney transplant recipient (Nicole Saavedra, Athens Banner-Herald)
- UGA holding two ‘Dawg Days’ fan events in August (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- UGA recruiting notebook: New December signing period means different approach for some schools (Dean Legge, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Georgia has another opportunity to land Adam Anderson after de-commitment from LSU (Brandon Sudge, The Telegraph)
- How Georgia could land its best recruiting class in 2018 (Kipp Adams, Dawgs247)
- Right or 2rong: UGA’s history in SEC Media Days poll (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
- Who is on the Mount Rushmore of Georgia football (Kyle Funderburk, Dawn of the Dawg)
Dog in a bag?
Unconfort situations? Not a good. but, you still pup? Great. pic.twitter.com/dj9W2bUT2F
— Dog Solution (@DogSolutions) July 7, 2017
Dog in a bag.