Georgia running back Kendall Milton (2) during the Duke’s Mayo Classic against Clemson at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC, on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. (photo by Rob Davis)
Rob Davis

Georgia football stock report: Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton could bring back ‘RBU’

ATHENS — Georgia spring football is coming down the homestretch, but the race to return to greatness remains in the early stages.

The first of three spring scrimmages took place on Saturday, and from all reports, there were mixed results.

Not only are mixed results typical, but they are also manufactured, as Kirby Smart himself said the coaching staff would look to create some adversity to see how the team responds.

Here’s a quick take on impressions shared from reliable sources who attended Kirby Smart’s team scrimmage last Saturday at Sanford Stadium:

Stock soaring

Dominick Blaylock: From all accounts it was a breakout performance from receiver Dominick Blaylock, who Georgia has stayed invested in after two knee surgeries, a pulled hamstring and two lost seasons.

Sedrick Van Pran: Van Pran is a better center than his predecessor, Trey Hill, and quite possibly current NFL player Lamont Gaillard. Perhaps just as importantly, Van Pran is the sort of leader this offense desperately needs.

Kenny McIntosh: McIntosh showed his catching ability and his moves in the Bulldogs’ opening scrimmage and is more than ready to step into the co-No. 1 spot at tailback. McIntosh averaged 5.7 yards per carry last season.

Kendall Milton: Milton looks to share the RB duties with McIntosh, a 1-2 punch like few other teams in the SEC. Milton made a great catch in the end zone from Brock Vandagriff and looks quicker this spring. Milton could improve his 4.7 yards per carry and certainly catch more than the two receptions for 25 yards he had last season.

Daijun Edwards: Edwards will get more quality reps this season, and he could prove to be much better than just a No. 3 running back.

Run game: Things are looking up, to the point the Bulldogs could have the best run game in the SEC. UGA ranked sixth in the SEC in rushing last season, and Smart has yet to produce a consensus first-team All-SEC running back in his six-year tenure. Nick Chubb, in 2014, was the most recent consensus first-team All-SEC running back at Georgia.

Stock up

Carson Beck: Beck’s deep ball to Blaylock resonated with many of those in attendance. Beck has been performing well this spring, and with the issues that Smart indicated Stetson Bennett is having, that could bode well for the third-year QB from Jacksonville.

Jalen Carter: Carter doesn’t appear to have lost a step, based on the play UGA highlighted on the video it released on social media. The biggest question is when will Smart shut him down in action to ensure he doesn’t injure any of his teammates?

Brock Vandagriff: Three touchdowns in 11-on-11 work for Vandagriff, which was more than the other QBs even if he was getting more of his reps with the twos and threes. The former 5-star is a big, strong thrower with the best running skills of the quarterbacks.

Arik Gilbert: It’s impressive Gilbert is getting himself dialed back into football after taking off the 2021 season. Georgia needs Gilbert to regain the dynamic form he showed as a freshman at LSU in 2020.

Broderick Jones: Georgia’s new starting left tackle has a high ceiling and an athletic frame. Jones will tell you he can get even more physical, which will vault him into a first-round NFL pick in 2023 if he keeps his nose to the grindstone.

Stock even

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