ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart and his staff have been eagerly awaiting the Saturday scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.
The Bulldogs have had a few contact practices to get the players loose and back in the football mode. The first fall scrimmage always sets the tone.
Most importantly, it provides players an opportunity for an 11-on-11 first seson impression.
Obviously the quarterback play of Jake Fromm and Justin Fields will be important. The coaches continue to evaluate a plan for getting both work in games.
But Fromm and Fields are under the microscope every day.
Quarterback competitions are the most fluid of battles and involve concepts and dynamics that go well beyond the line of scrimmage and outside of the playing field.
For other players, the scrimmage is an audition opportunity like no other.
Here are three players who will be under the microscope and need an impressive first scrimmage
WR Demetris Robertson
Georgia players don’t worry about Twitter and social media, but they notice, and it would be hard to miss all the hype surrounding Robertson.
The speedy Cal transfer was granted a waiver for immediate eligibility by the NCAA on Friday.
Is Robertson really that dynamic? Is he really worthy of being titled a “game-changer?” The players in the Bulldogs locker room know the answers to those questions better than anyone.
Robertson needs to earn his teammates’ respect and impress, or the hype machine could prove to be a negative.
FS Richard LeCounte lll
One of the most talented defensive backs on the Georgia football team has been called out by his head coach.
It’s an honor when the head coach cares enough to name a player in a press conference and publicly challenge him. That’s because it’s an indication the head coach knows the player can meet the challenge.
Kirby Smart is one of the most intelligent coaches and best motivators in college football. Smart knows LeCounte is a rising star, and he takes personal pride in him having played the same position.
LeCounte needs to put his head coach’s mind at ease and show his teammates he’s up to the challenge of playing disciplined football in the last line of defense.
ILB Natrez Patrick
Patrick’s off-field issues have been well-documented, and it’s important he put his past disciplinary problems behind him both for the good of the team and for his NFL hopes.
Patrick has the potential to be the catalyst Georgia desperately needs with Roquan Smith departed for the NFL.
The Bulldogs need a vocal tough guy they can count on to lead the charge.
Patrick has a chance to evolve as one of the best comeback stories in college football after being suspended for the college football playoffs last season.
Patrick will need a loud scrimmage and then a quiet Saturday night to stay on course and play a valuable role for Georgia.