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Georgia football-Dominick Blaylock-George Pickens
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, Georgia receiver Dominick Blaylock (8) during the Bulldogs’ game against South Carolina on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)
Chamberlain Smith

Dominick Blaylock, Arik Gilbert lead 4 players to watch at Georgia football G-Day Game

ATHENS — Gray skies hung over Sanford Stadium leading up to the G-Day Game, but the forecast for Georgia football is blue skies.

The Bulldogs are losing a record NFL Draft class, with at least 12 players expected to be selected into the professional ranks April 28-30 in Las Vegas.

RELATED: Georgia football beast of SEC East, favored by double-digits in all but one game

But there are enough experienced players returning to give Georgia a solid nucleus, leading one oddsmaker to set the win total over-under at 11.5.

In addition to the more established players — Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Christopher Smith, Brock Bowers, A.D. Mitchell and Stetson Bennett — the Bulldogs expect to get a boost from new and recently healed faces.

RELATED: Georgia Scrimmage Two in pictures, Blaylock stars

Arik Gilbert and Dominick Blaylock, in particular, will be key as UGA’s offense will be asked to do more and the Bulldogs lost George Pickens to early entry to the NFL draft and Jermaine Burton transferred to Alabama.

RELATED: Kirby Smart raves about Stetson Bennett, expects more from offense

Here are four players that will be watched closely in the G-Day Game:

1. TE Arik Gilbert

The former LSU transfer has lost more than 30 points to get back engaged with the program since sitting out last season to deal with personal issues.

Gilbert still comes in at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds — 25 pounds than the 240 target weight he’s listed at — and runs and catches with great fluidity.

Gilbert has gotten a lot of work leading up to the scrimmage (1 p.m., ESPN2) with Bowers and Darnell Washington sidelined by injuries this spring.

2. WR Dominick Blaylock

Blaylock is back after suffering back-to-back ACL injuries that knocked him out of the 2020 season and kept him severely limited through most of 2021.

All reports indicate that Blaylock, known for his sharp route-running and ability to separate, has been one of the standout player in the closed scrimmages leading up to G-Day.

3. DT Zion Logue

Logue is next man up at nose tackle, and even if he won’t quite fill Jordan Davis’ shoes, he’s plenty capable.

RELATED: Team leader high on Zion Logue, puts championship in rearview mirror

Center Sedrick Van Pran, who goes against Logue each day, said Logue is a combination of Devonte Wyatt and Davis with his quickness and ability to plug run gaps.

4. P Brett Thorson

The former Australian Rules Football player has had some strong moments in spring drills, but Thorson will get his first taste of pressure in G-Day.

Former punter Jake Camarda was a big weapon, producing several hidden yards with booming and well-placed punts, and the talented Thorson will be looked to step up.

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