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Nolan Smith is the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 class.

Three winners from Georgia football’s first 10 spring practices

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Three winners from the first 10 Georgia football spring practices

Georgia football has completed its first 10 spring practices. It has five left with one counting as G-Day, which is set for April 20. Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is usually tight-lipped about evaluating players and how they perform. But some players have gotten praise, whether it be from Smart or other Georgia players.

DawgNation has identified three players that have really benefitted the most from spring practice to this point.

Nolan Smith, freshman outside linebacker

Based on everything that’s been said about Smith, he’s lived up to the hype so far. He was ranked as the No. 1 overall player in the 247Sports Composite rankings, and his performance this spring has justified it.

Smith looks the part of an elite recruit. But his motor — or ability to give 100 percent on every rep — is what has really stood out this spring.

“I thought Nolan played with a high motor today. He played really explosive but he’s got to get more explosive in the run game,” Smart said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “He certainly plays hard. You know he’s out there. He covers down and makes plays.”

Smith has benefitted from the absences of Robert Beal, Brenton Cox and Jermaine Johnson from practice. Beal and Cox have missed practice time due to fallout from their arrests. Johnson meanwhile is battling an ankle injury.

Related: Why the national media shouldn’t sleep on Nolan Smith

If Smith can continue to improve in the run game — like literally every other player on Georgia’s roster — he won’t just push for playing time. He’ll push to be a starter sooner rather than later.

Demetris Robertson, junior wide receiver

There’s been a number of wide receivers vying to fill the roles of Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin. At one point or another Smart has mentioned just about everyone from Matt Landers to Robertson, a former 5-star recruit.

“He is more comfortable in the system,” Smart said of Robertson. “He knows the routes better, he knows how to beat a guy now,” Smart said. ” He doesn’t have to think about what to do.  He has caught some deep balls.  He has played better and has played more physical.  He is growing.”

Robertson has popped up in a number of Georgia football highlight videos. That may be something. It may be nothing. But what really stood was what teammate D’Andre Swift said about the former Cal transfer.

On Tuesday, Swift said Robertson has had, “the best spring out of anyone.”

“Vertical threat, speed, consistency, Swift said. “I’m happy to see him get his confidence back… When people come to G-Day, they’ll see the hard work he’s put in with the results.”

If Robertson can be the player that Smart and Swift have talked about this spring, he will provide a huge boost to the Georgia passing game.

Dominick Blaylock, incoming freshman

This may be a little bit of stretch. But it’s certainly something Smart has spoken at length about Blaylock, who isn’t even on campus yet.

Blaylock is one of Georgia’s top signees from its 2019 class. Smart spoke about Blaylock in his very first press conference this spring and followed up about him when Smart last spoke to the media

“We don’t have him pigeonholed anywhere,” Smart said. “We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside. He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well.”

He also didn’t hesitate to mention Blaylock could work in the return game when he arrives in May.

“We think he’s going to help in the return game, but it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘ He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them,” Smart said.

It’s been made abundantly clear Blaylock has some lofty expectations to live up to when he joins the team. But Smart thinks Blaylock is more than capable of living up to them.

*Honorable mention: D.J. Daniel, Andrew Thomas, Jamaree Salyer, Trey Hill, Nakobe Dean, Charlie Woerner. 

Three former Georgia golfers to play in 2019 Masters

The 2019 Masters begins on Thursday morning. Three former Georgia golfers are in the field, as two-time winner Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner and Keith Mitchell will represent the Bulldogs.

Watson won the tournament in 2012 and ’14. After missing the cut in ’17, he bounced back to finish tied for fifth at last year’s Masters. Watson tees off at 1:27 p.m. on Thursday and 10:31 a.m. on Friday. He will be playing with Patrick Cantlay and Satoshi Kodaira.

Kisner is the most recent Bulldog to win an event, as he won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play championship two weeks ago. This will be Kisner’s fourth Masters, and he has made the cut every time. He goes off at 12:54 p.m. with Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shugo Imahira on Thursday. Kisner tees off at 9:47 a.m. on Friday.

Related: Kevin Kisner gives a pep talk to UGA football team

Mitchell will be playing in his first Masters. He qualified for the event after winning the Honda Classic in March. Mitchell will be the first Bulldog to tee off on Thursday, as his tee time is 8:41 a.m. His group, consisting of Ian Woosnam and Kevin Tway, will be the second group off in the morning.

TV coverage for the 2019 Masters begins at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN on Thursday.

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