Georgia scrambles with 3 scholarship tailbacks sidelined for Scrimmage One, moves walk-ons to RB room
ATHENS — Kirby Smart has a loaded Georgia football roster, and the eighth-year head coach is proving it’s also a resourceful group.
The Bulldogs were down three scholarship running backs in Scrimmage One on Saturday, but Smart found capable walk-ons in Joseph Daniels and Miles Thornton to change positions and line up in the backfield to help with receiving duties.
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Asked on Saturday how UGA planned to work on replacing Kenny McIntosh’s prowess as a receiver out of the backfield, Smart replied, “It’s almost impossible with the situation we have with Kendall (Milton) and Daijun (Edwards), and you’re not going to replace Kenny’s receptions with the backs we have.”
Kenny McIntosh led the backs with 456 snaps played last season and 43 catches for 504 yards.
Milton is out the remainder of spring with a hamstring injury and Edwards has also been slowed by a hamstring injury but could be close to returning.
“Andrew Paul (knee) is almost back but he’s not, (and) Daijun is almost back but he’s not, and Kendall is out,” Smart said.
Sophomore tailback Branson Robinson and freshman tailback Roderick Robinson each had 10 carries in the scrimmage, Smart said, adding that walk-on running backs Sevaughn Clark and Cash Jones are also at the position.
With Edwards (308 snaps in 2022) and Milton (191 snaps) sidelined, Robinson (113 snaps) had the most game snaps among the returning players at the position, ahead of Jones (19) and Clark (13).
Smart noted that giving Brandon Robinson and Roderick Robinson that much work in scrimmage as the current Nos. 1 and 2 backs is uncharacteristic.
“That’s (10 carries) is a lot for us in a scrimmage, the guys who haven’t played in games in the fall, we tend to get them 10 or 12 in a scrimmage,” Smart said. “Guys that play a lot of games, we try to get them four or five in a scrimmage, but those guys did a nice job.
“Clark did a nice job, Cash has been working at that position and has done a really good job.”
Smart is also impressed with the walk-ons who changed positions to help with some of the receiving duties out of the backfield.
“Those two guys, Daniels and Thornton, have done great, man,” Smart said on Saturday after putting his team through a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.
“They’re part of the culture at Georgia; you go out and get really good high school players from the state of Georgia and they can play any position, and they have helped with their receiving skills.”
Smart said Branson Robinson and Roderick Robinson are still coming along as receivers out of the backfield.
Thornton is listed as a 6-foot, 190-pound redshirt freshman from Sandy Creek who was also recruited by Georgia State and LaGrange College.
Daniels is listed as a 5-10, 188-pound defensive back who transferred from Indiana as a graduate student. Originally from Roswell high school.
Daniels appeared in nine games as a junior for the Hoosiers in 2021 and has found a way to contribute for his home-state school with the attrition at running back.
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