ATHENS — There was another flurry of activity over the past few days as it pertains next season’s — now this year’s — Georgia football roster. So it’s a good time to Update the 85, to coin a term that jumped in my head a minute ago, and may or may not stick.
Isaiah McKenzie: Gone. Dominick Sanders and Aaron Davis: Staying. DeAngelo Gibbs and Tray Bishop: Coming. Monty Rice: Reportedly already in Athens, instead of LSU.
So where does that leave Georgia as far as scholarships on the dole for the 2017 team? Still very tight.
Based on what is publicly known, there are 63 scholarships committed to returning players. There are 23 committed players, after Rice’s flip. That adds up being one over the 85 NCAA scholarship limit. Here’s the breakdown:
Seniors (18): QB-P Brice Ramsey, RB Nick Chubb, RB Sony Michel, TE Jeb Blazevich; TE Jordan Davis, WR Javon Wims, WR Shakenneth Williams, OL Isaiah Wynn, OL Dyshon Sims, OT Aulden Bynum, NT John Atkins, ILB Reggie Carter, OLB Davin Bellamy, OLB Lorenzo Carter, DB Aaron Davis, CB Malkom Parrish, DB Reggie Wilkerson, S Dominick Sanders, SN Trent Frix*.
Juniors (18 + 1*): TE Jackson Harris, WR Terry Godwin, WR Michael Chigbu, WR Jayson Stanley, G-C Lamont Gaillard, OL Kendall Baker, DT Trent Thompson, DT DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, DE Jonathan Ledbetter, DL Keyon Brown, ILB Roquan Smith, ILB Juwan Taylor, ILB Natrez Patrick, ILB-S Rashad Roundtree, OLB D’Andre Walker, CB Deandre Baker, S Jarvis Wilson, S Kirby Choates.*
Sophomores (23 + 1*): QB Jacob Eason, RB Brian Herrien, RB Elijah Holyfield, TE Isaac Nauta, TE Charlie Woerner, WR Riley Ridley, WR Tyler Simmons, DL Tyler Clark , DL Julian Rochester, DL David Marshall, ILB Jaleel Laguins, DL Michail Carter, CB Tyrique McGhee, CB Mecole Hardman, DB J.R. Reed; P Marshall Long, OL Solomon Kindley*; OL Pat Allen, DE Justin Young, ILB Tae Crowder, OL Sam Madden, OL Sage Hardin, OL-DL Michael Barnett.
Redshirt freshmen (3): OL Chris Barnes, OL Ben Cleveland, OLB Chauncey Manac.
Incoming recruits: 23 … and counting?
*-Frix was awarded a scholarship this past year, but it’s not clear if it carries into the next season.
*-Choates is still officially with the team, though it’s known that he’s contemplating a transfer.
*-Kindley played in just one snap, at Missouri, and Kirby Smart has mentioned trying to apply for a redshirt. It doesn’t affect the scholarship numbers, but it’s a situation on its own that is worth watching.
There are a number of other caveats that go with this, the most important being that this is not an official list, just the best educated guess. There could be walk-ons who have been guaranteed scholarships. There could be players planning to transfer who have not announced it yet. Georgia is the only one that truly knows its numbers, and doesn’t tend to publicize it.
There’s also the Rodrigo Blankenship situation: The kicker has been a walk-on the past two seasons, but after a pretty good redshirt freshman season, he and his family are hoping to be rewarded with a scholarship. The indications are the staff is interested in making that happen, if there’s room.
So will there be room? If Georgia’s class was frozen as it is right this very minute, and our calculations on the current scholarship situation are right (please feel free to check my math), and Choates does leave, there would be room for Blankenship to get a scholarship or Frix to continue on scholarship.
But if Georgia adds to its class, and you’d certainly expect it would be a couple players — it may be able to sign up to 27 — then you will see further attrition. Stay tuned.