The 6 Georgia football players who benefit the most with the return of voluntary workouts
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The Georgia football players that benefit the most with a return to campus
Jamie Newman: This is perhaps the most obvious inclusion. Even though Newman still can’t work in person with new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Monken in person, he can now organize seven-on-seven drills with his teammates. He can continue to develop a connection with his receivers now that they’re all training under the same roof.
And Newman can really take advantage of this time to provide some distance between himself and JT Daniels, should the latter be granted eligibility and a full-oe quarterback competition develop. If Newman is able to become more comfortable in Athens and the new Georgia offense, that will only help when Georgia plays Virginia and Alabama in the first three weeks of the 2020 season.
No individual player was hurt more by the loss of spring practice than Newman. These voluntary workouts will at least allow Newman to potentially make-up some of the ground he lost in the months of March and April.
Dominick Blaylock: Had Blaylock not torn his ACL in the opening quarter of the SEC championship, Georgia would probably feel a lot better about its wide receiver situation heading into this season.
But alas that’s not the reality we live in. Instead, Blaylock has spent all off-season rehabbing, something that Kirby Smart has pointed out that you could do anywhere.
So far that rehab seems to have paid off, as a recent video published by the Georgia football account showed Blaylock walking without any brace on his knee. Does this mean he’ll be the next Wes Welker in Monken’s new offense to start the season? Of course, not. But it’s still a sign of progress to this point.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) June 7, 2020
Georgia will obviously be cautious in how it brings Blaylock back. Now that he’s in Athens, and over six months removed from the injury, he’ll be able to make continued progress and preparation for the upcoming season, only now under the much closer eyes of Scott Sinclair and Ron Courson.
Broderick Jones: Perhaps no 2020 signee has more potential than Jones. The offensive tackle prospect entered the program at 6-foot-6 and a lean 285 pounds. He’s going to have to get that weight up if he’s to lock down one of the tackle spots for Georgia.
Accomplishing that will be much easier with the help of Sinclair and Collier Perno, Georgia’s director of football performance nutrition. They’ll help Jones add weight to his body while allowing him to maintain his impressive athleticism.
Georgia has two huge holes to fill at both offensive tackle spots. Smart has cautioned in the past about Jones stepping in right away as a freshman like Andrew Thomas did, and history backs Smart in that regard.
Jones though is a special prospect and if he’s able to make the most of the current situation, he might just live up to Thomas’ impossible standards.
Jordan Davis: There might not be a player more important to Georgia’s defense this season than Davis. He’s a massive reason – literally — Georgia had the nation’s top run defense a season ago. And if he’s able to take a step forward as a pass rusher this offseason, it could perhaps help make Georgia the best defense in the country.
The one worry with Davis in the past has been his weight. Both himself and Smart have spoken about it and the need to keep it in check. It’s much easier to do that at Georgia’s world-class facilities than it was at his home. That’s not just true for Davis but every player on the Georgia roster.
Given who the Bulldogs start the season against, it’s going to be critical for the team to be in top physical shape, especially when that won’t be the case for every team. If the Bulldogs and Davis can make the most of this current set-up, there shouldn’t be too much of a drop-off come September.
Nakobe Dean: Unlike some of the other players on the list, Dean doesn’t need to re-shape his body or have it heal. Other than a minor ankle injury to start his freshman season, he hasn’t had any health issues.
Dean being back in Athens should help facilitate his transition into a bigger role for the Georgia defense this season. He is expected to take over for Tae Crowder this season, after producing a strong freshman campaign.
Dean’s game isn’t so much built on physical strength but rather speed and his mental approach to the game. The agility workouts that Sinclair will put Dean through will likely help just as much as the weight training does for the sophomore linebacker.
Lewis Cine: Similar to Dean, Cine has a big opportunity to step into a starting role in 2020, as he’s considered the favorite to replace J.R. Reed.
Cine flashed some of his potential to close the 2019 season and the spring practices would’ve allowed him to continue to build on what he showed to end that season. Now some of that momentum has been slowed due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Cine also isn’t quite as big as Reed was a season ago, specifically in the upper body. If the sophomore can beef up in that aspect, he should be able to better withstand some of the physical rigors of being an every-down player at an SEC level.
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