Georgia Football: 5 Recruits Most Likely to Start as Freshmen
Georgia Bulldogs running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley had to contribute as freshmen because it was a position that needed the help.
In 2013, there will be a few positions, especially on defense, that could have a few freshmen in the starting lineup.
It worked for the Bulldogs last season, because Marshall and Gurley exceeded expectations and linebacker Jordan Jenkins showed signs he can be as good as Jarvis Jones. But can the 2013 recruiting class do the same thing?
Here are five recruits that will most likely start as freshmen.
NT Chris Mayes
Chris Mayes originally signed with the Bulldogs in 2011, but he was ruled academically ineligible.
Mayes spent the last two years in junior college and signed with the Bulldogs back in December.
With John Jenkins a senior and Kwame Geathers undecided about his future, the 6'4'', 300-pound Mayes will be thrown in the mix for the starting nose tackle position along with Jonathan Taylor.
S Tray Matthews
Considered as one of the best safeties in the nation, Tray Matthews has a great chance to contribute right away with Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams leaving.
Matthews played in the U.S. Army All-American game and lead the East team in tackles with four.
At 6'0'' and nearly 200 pounds, Matthews has the physique to be an All-Star safety. And with him enrolling early, he will have a head start on the competition when summer practice begins.
CB J.J. Green
J.J. Green played both ways in high school and excelled, but he will likely play cornerback at the next level.
He will not be the biggest corner on the roster (5'9'', 170 pounds), but he has elite speed and has tremendous ball skills.
If he does not start on defense, he can always return kicks or be a package player on offense. Either way, the coaches need to get Green on the field as soon as possible.
OLB Leonard Floyd
With Jarvis Jones entering the NFL draft, there will be open competition for one outside linebacker spot.
Leonard Floyd could be a leading candidate, as he is one of the many recruits WHO are enrolling early.
However, he will enroll in May instead on January because he has more work to do in terms of high school.
Floyd has the look of an outside linebacker and is expected to be an elite pass-rusher as soon as he arrives in Athens.
ILB Ryne Rankin
Ryne Rankin jumped the gun real early.
Not only is the inside linebacker already taking classes at UGA, but he practiced with the team before they Bulldogs took on Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
With the Bulldogs losing Alec Ogletree, Michael Gilliard and Christian Robinson, Rankin is already putting himself in the mix for the starting inside linebacker spot.
Head coach Mark Richt is impressed with Rankin, calling him very physical and very tough.