Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. We’re talking redshirt linemen and Georgia basketball’s big win against Auburn. Oh boy.
Top Dawgs – redshirt linemen
Between the plethora of true freshmen who contributed for Georgia football last fall and the highly touted recruits from the Class of 2017, lots of folks have forgotten about some of the freshman redshirts. Given, there aren’t many freshmen who redshirted last season, but the ones who did have a chance to be major contributors this season. And the bulk of redshirts from last season came on the offensive line, where there will be plenty of opportunities for guys to stake claims on first- and second-team spots.
Offensive line is a position that takes young players a bit longer to play into, if only because of the physicality difference of recent high school graduates going up against guys who have been in college weight programs for four or five years. That single season to get their bodies acclimated to the college game and get their fitness to the level needed makes a huge difference. Just because a guy didn’t play last season doesn’t mean he can’t be a star in the future. So, here are three redshirt freshman linemen to look out for in spring practice and the 2017 season:
Ben Cleveland — Cleveland was Georgia’s highest-rated OL recruit from the Class of 2016, so it was a bit disappointing that he was unable to break into the two-deep. But, as someone who attended the same high school as Cleveland, I can tell you the competition he faced on a regular basis in high school doesn’t have anything close to the physicality that many of Georgia’s recruits see in more competitive regions. Cleveland has all the size to be a dominant lineman in the SEC, though. Especially if he moves to guard, where I think he can truly shine. Hopefully, the redshirt year helped him grow accustomed to facing these big dudes and he’ll come out in the spring guns blazing.
Solomon Kindley — Kindley is the redshirt who almost wasn’t. It wasn’t clear if the NCAA would grant him redshirt status after he played a single snap against Missouri, but it was announced in the last month that he’ll get the extra year. It’s hard to understate how important this could be for Kindley and Georgia. As meaningless as that single snap was, it still happened. And he got that snap over any other freshman offensive lineman, so the staff probably thinks higher of him than any other guy in the group. That has to give you hope that Kindley will end up a good one.
Chris Barnes — Barnes is the most unheralded of this three-man group, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a guy who can contribute. Although he doesn’t have the massive size of some of his fellow linemen — not that he’s a little dude by any stretch — he makes up for it with footwork, quickness and athleticism, which are always at a premium for linemen. In my mind, he’s the least likely of three to earn a lot of minutes next season, but I’ve been wrong before and wouldn’t be shocked if he worked his way onto the two-deep. Barnes has tons of upside and could be major contributor soon.
Another Georgia win, another step toward March Madness
Georgia hoops continued its quest to rally from what once looked like a lost season and make the NCAA Tournament on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs made a move in the right direction, beating Auburn, 79-78, on senior night at Stegeman Coliseum. The Dawgs moved to 18-12 on the season with the win.
As expected, the star of the night was J.J. Frazier. In what could be the senior’s final game ever in Athens, Frazier continued his ridiculous hot streak, scoring 31 points. In the last six games, Frazier has averaged 29.5 points per game, leading Georgia to a 5-1 record during that stretch. In the three games without Yante Maten, he’s averaged 29.3 points, and UGA has gone 3-0.
After the win, Frazier went to half-court to kiss the “G.”
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) March 2, 2017
I don’t think it needs to be said, but I’ll say it anyway: Damn good Dawg.
It’s officially March.
Northwestern's March Madness prayers may just have been answered pic.twitter.com/hUYILmq5yq
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 2, 2017
Lady Dogs begin SEC Tournament
Speaking of which, the Lady Dogs tip off in the SEC Tournament Thursday in Greenville, S.C. The game begins at noon and will be broadcast one the SEC Network. If you have some time during lunch, check in on the game to see if Georgia can make a surprising SEC tourney run.
The @SEC Tournament bracket is set!
— Georgia Basketball (@UGA_WBB) February 27, 2017
A quick reminder that Mo Smith was dirty
It upsets me to no end that Maurice Smith only got one season in Athens. He was so much fun to watch last year. To relive all the good times, here’s a reminder from Smith himself of just how filthy he was via a little highlight package. He didn’t receive an invite to the NFL combine, but hopefully he can prove any doubters wrong and star in the league just the way he did for ‘Bama and UGA. I know I’m rooting for him.
God's Plans ? Just A Snippet ✂️ pic.twitter.com/gHmJV161pf
— Maurice(Mo) Smith II (@Moreece300) March 1, 2017
- Georgia, led by J.J. Frazier, is changing the narrative of its season (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Nation’s No. 5 DE Stephon Wynn has UGA among his favorites (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Be careful about group text messages, Georgia coach discovers (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- Package deal? Another pair of the state’s best says bank on it (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Georgia shifting focus to recruiting dual-threat quarterbacks (Brandon Sudge, Macon Telegraph)
- Tracking UGA offers from February (Kipp Adams, Dawgs247)
Square up. Come and catch these hands.
— Emilee (@emmmmmiee) February 28, 2017