DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and which ones might lose one of those newfangled (four games or less) redshirts. Check out the Georgia football edition after a 21-0 blanking of SEC East foe Kentucky.
Georgia fell last week.
Raindrops (and plenty of them) fell this past weekend to soak all the narratives and game summations from Georgia’s 21-0 home win.
It marked the second shutout of the season for Georgia. It was also the second shutout of an SEC opponent of the Kirby Smart era. The night also meant the 11th time one of his defenses held a team to single digits during his time in Athens.
The Bulldogs played fewer players against Kentucky on Saturday than they did in any other Power 5 game this season. It was the first time this year that UGA fielded less than 60 players against an opponent.
How many freshmen (redshirt and true) still hit that soggy Sanford Stadium field? The charter for this post will be to break all of that down.
The Bulldogs played 58 players on Saturday. They sent 62 out on the field in the previous game against South Carolina. Let’s also quickly note that:
- 14 of the 58 Bulldogs who played were freshmen (redshirt or true freshmen)
- UGA started two of its redshirt freshmen in Azeez Ojulari (OLB) and Divaad Wilson (STAR)
- The Bulldogs also started a true freshman (George Pickens) for the first time in 2019.
- Georgia continued to start a 2019 signee in JUCO transfer DJ Daniel. It was his fourth straight start.
- Kentucky saw just 46 of its players see action in that game
Want a clear takeaway from the freshman who played earlier this year?
The Bulldogs saw 13 of 61 play against Vanderbilt, 29 of 86 see time against Murray State, 30 of 86 log reps versus Arkansas State, 13 out of 60 against Notre Dame and 15 of 63 players at Tennessee and 15 of the 62 who took on South Carolina.
Who played against Kentucky (by classes):
- Freshmen: 8
- Redshirt freshmen: 6
- Touchdowns by true or redshirt freshmen: 0
- True or redshirt freshmen among the leading tacklers: 1 (Nakobe Dean)
Kentucky game freshman focus
Georgia played 14 redshirt or true freshmen. The big picture still tallies up to 24 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to:
- 0 of 1 QBs (1 QBs played in the previous game)
- 2 of 6 RBs (5 RBs played in the previous game)
- 3 of 5 WRs (7 WRs played in the previous game)
- 0 of 7 OLs (8 OLs played in the previous game)
- 1 of 3 TEs (3 TEs played in the previous game)
- 0 of 8 DLs (9 DLs played in the previous game
- 2 of 7 ILBs (8 ILBs played in the previous game)
- 2 of 5 OLBs (5 OLBs played in the previous game)
- 3 of 12 DBs (12 DBs played in the previous game)
- 0 of 1 PKs (No change versus the previous game)
- 0 of 1 Ps (No change from the previous game)
- 1 of 2 LSs (No change from the previous game)
Why did Georgia play fewer Bulldogs on Saturday: The main reason was due to injury. Lawrence Cage, Justin Shaffer and Travon Walker were not able to dress out. Brian Herrien returned and Matt Landers also did not show up on the participation report.
What that study has shown far this year: Georgia plays the same group of DLs, ILBs and OLBs regardless of the quality of the opponent.
FRESHMEN BULLDOGS IN 2019
What’s more important? Snaps or starts? Both are important, but there is a reason why certain players start the game and stay on the field for the biggest plays. That’s because the coaches trust them to play winning football by what they have seen on the practice field.
There are common instances where the scheme fit based on each opponent allows for a different starting rotation as well.
Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2019.
- Redshirt freshman TE John FitzPatrick (1 game)
- Redshirt freshman WR Kearis Jackson (1 game)
- Redshirt freshman OLB Azeez Ojulari (7 games)
- Redshirt freshman DB Divaad Wilson (2 games)
- Freshman WR George Pickens (1 game)
Who started against Kentucky (all freshmen): Ojulari, Pickens and Wilson.
How many different Bulldogs have played in 2019: 97
How many of those have been freshmen or redshirt freshmen: 34 (35 percent of all participation)
Overall participation in 2019
- Redshirt or grad transfer seniors: 9
- Seniors: 8
- Redshirt juniors: 5
- Juniors: 15
- Redshirt sophomores: 14
- Sophomores: 12
- Redshirt freshmen: 11
- Freshmen: 23
- Of note: Georgia has seen six of its true freshmen play in every game this year. That’s out of the 23 freshmen who have played so far in 2019. (Lewis Cine, Nakobe Dean, Trezmen Marshall, George Pickens, Nolan Smith and Tyrique Stevenson.)
THE BIG PICTURE, PART I
Freshman Game Ball
ILB Nakobe Dean (Horn Lakes High, Horn Lakes, Miss.)
Dean earns this weekly “Freshmen Report” honor for the first time this season.
- The Nakobe Dean stat line: 6 total tackles/ 4 solo tackles/1 forced fumble
- The biggest play he made was: It came on special teams. Dean forced a fumble by punt returner Josh Ali that the Wildcats were able to recover at their own 29. He also tallied up four of his six tackles in the second half.
- Final 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings: Nation’s No. 2 ILB and No. 19 overall (Was the nation’s No. 1 ILB at the time he signed with UGA.)
- Former All-American: Yes (2019 Under Armour All-American)
There are a couple of elements to point out here from the day Dean had:
- Led the team with his four solo tackles
- Tied for the team-best total with his six total tackles
Notable time for other freshmen against Kentucky
- Freshman WR George Pickens: Led Bulldogs in catches (4) and yards (35) while getting his first career start against the Wildcats.
- Redshirt freshman Divaad Wilson: Finished his second career start for UGA with two total tackles.
FRESHMEN SUPERLATIVES FOR 2019
There are a number of categories in which a redshirt or a true freshmen Bulldog is already leading the team in 2019.
- Receptions in a game: 7 (George Pickens)
- Receiving yards in a game: 112 (Blaylock)
- Longest catch: 60 (Blaylock)
- Longest TD catch: 60 (Blaylock)
- Longest run: 62 (Kenny McIntosh)
- Longest TD run: 62 (McIntosh)
- Sacks (game): 2.0 (Ojulari
- Sacks (season): 3.5 (Ojulari)
- Tackles for a loss (game): 2 (Ojulari)
- Interceptions (game): 1 (Lewis Cine and Divaad Wilson, tied for season-high)
- Interceptions (season): 1 (Cine and Wilson, tied for first)
THE BIG PICTURE, PART II
HOT BOARD: Game-by-game freshman heat check
Let’s continue the blog with an assessment of the five most valuable freshmen and redshirt freshmen to the team for the 2019 season. This feature is a nod to the top freshmen (redshirt or true) who have impacted the overall balance of the season the most up to this point.
- No. 1: OLB Azeez Ojulari (Redshirt freshman and a former 4-star recruit): Ojulari continues to perform admirably along his redshirt freshman season, but he did not record a tackle on Saturday against the Wildcats. He continued to provide pressure on the pocket.
- No. 2: WR George Pickens (former 5-star recruit): Besides his first start, he had four catches for 35 yards, including a 22-yard connection from Jake Fromm. That play call came on 1st-and-10 from the Georgia 19. He brought down an even bigger catch for seven yards on 4th-and-4 from the Kentucky 29 which extended the final Bulldog scoring drive of the game.
- No. 3: RB Zamir White (former 5-star recruit): White had one carry for three yards against the Wildcats. Senior RB Brian Herrien was back this week and that reduced his touches. He has 39 carries for 249 yards (6.3 yards per attempt) this fall and that ranks third on the team. He also ranks third with his two rushing touchdowns and is averaging 40.8 rushing yards per game.
- No. 4: OLB Nolan Smith (former 5-star recruit): Smith continues to take the field on third down in the “Nickel” and “Dime” packages for the Bulldogs. His combination of power and speed rushes make him an all-around pass rusher. He finished with one tackle against Kentucky.
- No. 5: DB Divaad Wilson (former 4-star recruit): Wilson has now started two games for Georgia this fall. That’s more than every other redshirt or true freshmen on the team except for Ojulari.
- No. 6: ILB Nakobe Dean (former 5-star recruit): See above.
OTHERS TO MAKE THE HEAT CHECK THIS FALL: Freshman WR Dominick Blaylock, Freshman DT Travon Walker
FRESHMEN BULLDOGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
— Hiro Katsuki (@KatsukiFB) October 20, 2019
You know your momma has a unconditional picture taking illness, when you taking pictures in the rain 😂😂❤️ pic.twitter.com/CQipHoBLHb
— Divaad "Newt" Wilson #LLP (@NikemanNewt) October 21, 2019
— The Freak 7️⃣⚡️™️ (@dreamchaserTy10) October 20, 2019
— The Freak 7️⃣⚡️™️ (@dreamchaserTy10) October 20, 2019
FRESHMEN TO PLAY IN EVERY GAME
The following true or redshirt freshmen Bulldogs have played in every game so far this season:
- S Lewis Cine
- ILB Nakobe Dean
- Redshirt TE John FitzPatrick
- ILB Trezmen Marshall
- Redshirt OLB Azeez Ojulari
- WR George Pickens
- CB Tyrique Stevenson
- OLB Nolan Smith
- Redshirt walk-on LS Payne Walker
- Redshirt DB Divaad Wilson
Participation for 2019 signees
The Bulldogs who have seen action so far in 2019 is worth watching in terms of the new redshirt rules.
- QB Stetson Bennett IV (redshirt sophomore): 3 games
- WR Dominick Blaylock: 6 games
- WR Lawrence Cager (grad transfer senior): 6 games
- S Lewis Cine: 7 games
- CB D.J. Daniel (junior college transfer): 6 games
- ILB Rian Davis: 1 game
- ILB Nakobe Dean: 7 games
- TE Ryland Goede: 2 games
- OLB Jermaine Johnson (junior college transfer): 7 games
- DL Zion Logue: 2 games
- ILB Trezmen Marshall: 7 games (special teams)
- QB D’Wan Mathis: 0 games
- OL Warren McClendon: 1 game
- RB Kenny McIntosh: 5 games
- DL Tymon Mitchell: 2 games
- DL Bill Norton: 2 games
- WR George Pickens: 7 games
- TE Brett Seither: 2 games
- OLB Nolan Smith: 7 games
- CB Tyrique Stevenson: 7 games
- WR Makiya Tongue: 2 games
- OL Xavier Truss: 2 games
- DT Travon Walker: 5 games
- DL Tramel Walthour: 0 games
- OL Clay Webb: 1 game
- TE Eli Wolf (grad transfer senior): 7 games
True freshmen signees who did not play this week: ILB Rian Davis, TE Ryland Goede, QB D’Wan Mathis, OL Warren McClendon, DL Zion Logue, DL Tymon Mitchell, DL Bill Norton, TE Brett Seither, WR Makiya Tongue, OT Xavier Truss, DT Travon Walker and OL Clay Webb.
The 2019 Freshman Reports on DawgNation
- South Carolina 20, Georgia 17
- The “Freshmen Report” from Georgia’s 43-14 win at Tennessee
- The “FR” from the biggest win of the year so far: Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17
- FR: Georgia 55, Arkansas State 0
- Freshmen Report: Georgia 63, Murray State 17
- Freshmen Report: Georgia 30, Vanderbilt 6