DawgNation will offer this report after every game, focusing on the freshmen who played and their contributions. Check out the Georgia football edition from the 48-7 runaway SEC opener on the road at South Carolina.
The first SEC road game calls for an evolved DawgNation “Freshman Report” every season. It will go beyond that big Oscar Delp catch on Saturday.
The reasoning is simple. SEC rules mandate the road team can only travel with 70 players. That’s a stark difference for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, the home team is allowed to dress out 85. So when folks always bring up home-field advantage being a big deal in the SEC, it is not a loud crowd, an easier commute to the stadium or a similar gameday routine to overcome.
The other team just has more depth to deploy.
When an SEC team can only bring 70, then it is a good bet that it is the right 70. When a freshman makes the SEC travel roster for the first time they possibly can, that says a lot about what they have shown the staff so far in their careers.
Those are the first-year players that can really help the ‘Dawgs in 2022.
We will just start things off with a big bullseye for the talent evaluation process for the 2022 recruiting class. The Bulldogs signed 30 players (including a reclassified 2023 recruit) in the last cycle.
Georgia felt good enough about 17 of those 30 to bring them to Columbia. That’s a very high number for the freshmen making the travel roster over the years for Kirby Smart’s program. When taking into account the redshirt freshmen, that adds another four freshmen to that group of 70.
Here’s a quick inventory:
- 0 of 3 QBs: (None)
- 2 of 5 RBs: (RFr. Cash Jones (PWO); Fr. Branson Robinson)
- 3 of 8 WRs: (Fr. Dillon Bell; Fr. De’Nylon Morrissette; Fr. Cole Speer)
- 1 of 5 TEs: (Fr. Oscar Delp)
- 2 of 11 OLs: (Fr. Earnest Greene III; RFr. Jared Wilson)
- 4 of 10 DLs: (Fr. Bear Alexander: RFr. Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins; Fr. Christen Miller. Fr. Mykel Williams)
- 2 of 6 LBs: (RFr. Xavian Sorey Jr.; Fr. Jalon Walker)
- 2 of 6 EDGE: (Fr. Marvin Jones Jr.; Fr. Darris Smith, Fr.)
- 3 of 5 CBs: (Fr. Daylen Everette; Fr. Julian Humprehy; Fr. Jaheim Singletary)
- 1 of 6 Ss: (Fr. Malaki Starks)
- 1 of 5 specialists: (Fr. P Brett Thorson)
If you didn’t know any of that but are glad you do now, then the weekly DawgNation “Freshman Report” is put together with that level of reader interest in mind.
Feats like those – and the young Georgia football players behind them – is what the weekly DawgNation “Freshmen Report” is all about.
It was created for the 2018 season to move the needle forward on all the elite recruiting classes the program signs. The feature made its DawgNation debut after UGA signed the first of a series of top-ranked recruiting classes under Smart.
Do those young players that get hyped up truly measure up? Are they talented enough to make an impact during their first season on campus? Let’s hunt down those answers from Saturday’s game.
We will start with another weekly parade of firsts.
Georgia freshman LB Jalon Walker (11) made his first career tackle against South Carolina on Saturday. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
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Career firsts for the Georgia football freshmen against South Carolina
There were many bigger days and firsts in Week 2 against Samford. Last Saturday’s big win in Columbia also provided a trove of those moments in conference play.
- First career start for WR Dillon Bell
- First career catch for WR Cole Speer
- First career rush attempt for WR De’Nylon Morrissette
- First career reception and the first touchdown catch for TE Oscar Delp
- First career tackle and first QB Hurry for EDGE Marvin Jones Jr.
- First career QB Hurry for redshirt freshman LB Xavian Sorey Jr.
- First career tackles for LB Jalon Walker
- Two tackles and two QB Hurries for freshman DE Mykel Williams
- Career-best of two tackles and one TFL for redshirt freshman DL Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins
- Career-best day of three tackles and one pass breakup for CB Daylen Everette
- Career-best of six carries for 32 yards for RB Branson Robinson
That’s a lot right there. Especially for their first forays into SEC play.
True freshman safety Malaki Starks had a big early interception against the Gamecocks. He's currently tied for the SEC lead with two picks in his first three games. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
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Rapid-fire participation info from Georgia-South Carolina