THE TEN AT 10:
1. It’s tough for any recruit to live up to a 5-star billing but, so far at least, Terry Godwin seems to be doing a good job of keeping up with his reputation.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound freshman receiver from Hogansville has been drawing praise from his teammates for his performances in preseason camp. And offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was very complimentary of him on Monday.
“Terry obviously is a very good player, a very good playmaker,” Schottenheimer said after Monday’s full-contact practice. “I think he’s a guy who has picked up the system very well, has picked it up very fast. We’re asking him to do quite a bit, moving him around to different spots which is a compliment to him. We have him attacking the playbook in the classroom and then being able to put it on the field.”
Godwin’s smooth transition is a pleasant surprise for the Bulldogs. Though he came to Georgia as a highly-rated receiver, he spent most of his career at Callaway High operating as a quarterback.
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound Michael Chigbu is another freshman who has impressed at wide receiver. (UGA / JOHN KELLEY)
2. Godwin is one of four wideouts Georgia signed in February in search of a talent infusion at the position. Freshman Michael Chigbu has also drawn early praise.
“The thing about Michael obviously is he’s a big, powerful guy,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s the body type that you like. He can win matchups because he’s strong and has a very good catching radius. He’s done a good job, but so have Jayson Stanley and Shaquery Wilson. They’ve all had their moments.”
The Bulldogs appear to have a solid top three in Malcolm Mitchell, Reggie Davis and Isaiah McKenzie but are still looking for at least six to utilize in a game rotation.
“We do know there are some young guys that we need to count on and pick up what we’re doing,” Schottenheimer said. “Guys have done that. But in terms of numbers, luckily for us we’ve got tight ends that we can use. We want to keep people off balance with multiple personnel groupings with tight ends, running backs, receivers, whatever it is. We’re going to make people prepare for a lot of different looks.”
Justin Scott-Wesley is helped off Woodruff Practice Fields by a trainer after injuring his right knee in Monday’s practice. (AJC / CAITLYN STROH)
3. Of course, one of the receivers the Bulldogs were hoping to get a lot out of this season is senior Justin Scott-Wesley. But Scott-Wesley went down early in Monday’s practice when he made a cut to the outside during a pass skeleton drill and the seriousness of the injury remains unknown.
Georgia could not – or would not — provide an update after practice Monday or on Tuesday morning. The injury occurred during the last of three media viewing periods and appeared to be his right knee. That’s the same knee that buckled on Scott-Wesley against Tennessee in 2013 and kept him out the rest of that season and affected him in 2014.
If Scott-Wesley can get back up to speed, he can provide the Bulldogs with another deep threat. He has averaged 19.9 yards on 25 catches during his career.
4. One of the receivers from last year’s team that the Bulldogs surely are going to miss is Michael Bennett. Not only was the 6-3 athlete from Alpharetta Georgia’s leading receiver over the last two seasons with 78 catches for 942 yards and eight touchdowns, but he was also one of the most formidable downfield blockers in college football. That contributed significantly to all the long touchdown runs logged last year by Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley.
Unfortunately, Bennett suffered an ACL injury midway through the Bulldogs’ Belk Bowl game against Louisville Dec. 30. That left him on the outside looking in with regard to his NFL hopes.
But as you’ll see from the video below, Bennett hasn’t given up on his dreams. He has been training at Chip Smith Performance Systems in Norcross and has pronounced himself 100 percent fit less than eight months after the surgery.
5. Schottenheimer confirmed on Monday what coach Mark Richt had hinted at earlier in the preseason: He will be calling plays this fall from the sideline.
First-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said he’d be calling plays from the sideline rather than the coaches’ box. (UGA / STEVEN COLQUITT)
That’s a departure from what Georgia did the last few years under Mike Bobo. Though he changed it up over the years, the last four seasons Bobo called plays from the coaches’ box. But Schottenheimer said he operated from the sidelines for eight of the nine years he was a coordinator in the NFL, and he sees no reason to change now that he’s in college.
“It’s just what I’m used to,” he said. “It’s kind of what I know. .. It was a pretty easy decision for me. I like to be able to talk to the players and communicate with the quarterbacks and sometimes it just makes it a little easier.”
Of course, in the NFL Schottenheimer was able to talk to his quarterbacks on the field via radio.
“No, I don’t have the cool little walkie-talkie,” he said. “But the quarterbacks probably like it because I can’t yell at them.”
6. Fullback is a position at which there has to be a growing level of concern for the Bulldogs. On Monday, Turner Fortin, a freshman walkon from Johns Creek, was running with the No. 1 offense.
That’s because Georgia was missing its top two fullbacks. The starter, sophomore Christian Payne, suffered a fractured fibula (calf bone) during Friday’s scrimmage and is expected to be out several weeks. Meanwhile, senior Quayvon Hicks did not participate in Monday’s practice. Schottenheimer would not say why but intimated it was due to injury and referred questions to Richt, who was not available.
The Bulldogs are obviously concerned about depth as they moved freshman Nick Moore from linebacker to fullback. The 22-year-old walk-on from Snellville is a former professional baseball player in the Boston Red Sox organization.
“I think he’s excited about the possible opportunity,” Schottenheimer said. “He wouldn’t be the first linebacker that’s come over to become a pretty good fullback. Those fullbacks are a different breed. The things you ask them to do, not everybody gets excited about doing that.”
7. Georgia freshman Bailey Tardy began classes Monday after a busy summer that saw her become ranked No. 22 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Russell Henley shot 10-under at the PGA Championship to finish in a tie for 12th this past weekend. (AP)
Tardy, who comes to UGA from Peachtree Corners and attended Norcross High, dropped a 2-and-1 decision to Anna Newell in the round of 16 of the U.S. Women’s Amateur this past week. She had defeated Hannah Green in 19 holes earlier in the day at the Portland Golf Club.
The Bulldogs will open their fall season in Louisville’s Cardinal Kickoff at the Atlanta Athletic Club on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
8. Russell Henley was low Bulldog in the PGA Championship this past weekend at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc. Henley shot 69 on Sunday to finish at 10-under-par and in a tie for 12th. That was best among six UGA alums in the field.
Bubba Watson finished in a tie for 21st at 7-under and Harris English came in 48th at 1-under. Kevin Kisner, Brendon Todd and Brian Harman all missed the cut.
9. Georgia’s women’s soccer team scored three goals in the second-half to overwhelm Furman 4-0 in its first exhibition game under new coach Billy Lesesne Friday night at the Turner Soccer Complex.
Kelsey Killean, Clara Gastaldi, Lauren Tanner and Andie Fontanetta all scored goals for the Bulldogs, who out-shot the Paladins 30-3.
“I thought we played well,” Lesesne said. “The first 10 minutes of each half it took us a while to settle into our rhythm. Once we started to figure out our spacing and our movement off of the ball things got better. In the first half we struggled with the decisions in the final third. In the second half I really thought we started to attack the flag space well that created two really nice team goals. I thought we did a really nice job of getting our players in good spaces and finishing opportunities.”
Georgia opens the season Friday on the road at High Point in North Carolina. The Bulldogs play at Wake Forest on Sunday.
10. Georgia has yet to make any sort of announcement, but it appears that Kennar Daniels-Johnson’s career is over. The senior from Miami hasn’t been participating in practice for a week and was not among the Bulldogs signing autographs at Fans’ Picture Day this past Saturday. The 6-2, 192-pound defensive back has appeared in just two games at Georgia. He began his career at Reedley College in California and came to UGA from Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College in 2013.