ATHENS— Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson was one of three Georgia football FWAA Freshman All-American selections last season, and from the sounds of it, the Bulldogs will have more candidates in 2019.
Wilson highlighted the performances of two incoming freshmen that impressed him during spring drills during his interview with the WSB Gameday crew this week.
“Nolan Smith is somebody that I look at,” said the 6-foot-7, 340-pound Wilson, who faced the nation’s No. 1 recruit from the 2019 class in spring drills regularly, Smith lining up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment and rushing the edge.
“It’s like he’s fresh out of high school, 18 or 19, and he’s strong enough to push people around, and earhole people.”
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said much of the same at the start of spring drills, referencing the “superman” plays that Smith and incoming junior college linebacker Jermaine Johnson showed they were capable of making.
“Nolan has flashed some plays, (and) he made a hell of a hit today and a really good play,” Smart said after an early spring practice. “He’s also some flashed some ‘what are you doing?’ Jermaine has been the same way. We call them superman plays. You look out there and go ‘man, who is that guy? who is that jersey number?’ But then they’re lost some, too.”
Smart referenced Smith’s “high motor” more than once, but his final assessment was that the young freshman needs to become more assignment sound in fall drills.
“Nolan plays hard all the time, but he doesn’t always play smart,” Smart said, raising the bar on the talented freshman. “But he plays with great effort and (overall) does a great job.”
Wilson said he was also impressed with freshman defensive back Tyrique “The Freak” Stevenson.
“The kid is athletic, he’s a ball hawk, he finds the ball, he makes a lot of plays on the ball,” Wilson said, “and he has hands like a receiver.”
Indeed, Smart said at the start of spring drills that Stevenson had picked some things up and the competition was on at cornerback.
The Bulldogs are in voluntary workouts with fall drills rapidly approaching.
— Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) June 28, 2019