ATHENS — Georgia updated its depth chart on Monday for the first time in nine months. It didn’t end up being much of a revelation. It did, however, end up being a good source of fun.
The word “or” was listed 21 times on Georgia’s depth chart, meaning the starter, or in some cases the second-teamer, was undecided. There was a three-way tie at quarterback, even though head coach Kirby Smart himself said it was down to a two-man race. Star tailback Nick Chubb had an “or” by his name, even though he’s cleared and ready to go.
If the depth chart is read literally – and it shouldn’t be – then five days before the season begins only 12 starting jobs across offense, defense and special teams are decided.
“Am I an ‘or’ guy?” senior center Brandon Kublanow asked.
No, you’re one of the exceptions, he was told.
“I was about to say, that’s messed up,” Kublanow said, smiling.
Laughing aside, there was a reason the media was ready to devour the depth chart, which was tucked into the second page of the game notes. It was the first issued since Kirby Smart became head coach. This is how long it had been since Georgia updated its depth chart: Malcolm Mitchell at receiver, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins at outside linebacker, and Faton Bauta at third-team quarterback.
So all the “ors” ended up being somewhat of a letdown. Oh, few expected Smart would name a starting quarterback. (The depth chart listed Greyson Lambert, Brice Ramsey and Jacob Eason as being in a three-way tie, in that order, but Smart said during the press conference it was down to Lambert and Eason.)
The highly-watched starting jobs at left tackle, kicker and punter were also all given the “or” treatment.
Smart said it was because “a lot of people deserve ‘ors’.” But he meant that in a good way.
“Well a lot of guys are playing,” Smart said. “A lot of guys on defense are going to play. And when your Mom and Dad read the paper they like to know their son’s on the roster. So a lot of ‘ors’ on there because you have to play a lot of people, and you have to play fast. And we’ve got a lot of great competition at a lot of positions.”
The few spots that don’t have any “or” at first team: Kublanow at center, Greg Pyke at right tackle, Jeb Blazevich at tight end, Trent Thompson at defensive tackle, John Atkins at nose tackle, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle at defensivve end, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy at outside linebacker, Malkom Parrish and Juwuan Briscoe at cornerback, Dominick Sanders at safety, and Trent Frix at long snapper.
Kublanow, turning serious, said it shouldn’t be a reflection of too much uncertainty.
“I think there’s a lot of guys that are still competing,” Kublanow said. “The game’s in a week, so I’m sure things are gonna be pretty settled down. Probably today.”