The Georgia Bulldogs have a roster loaded with talent, as star players like quarterback Aaron Murray and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall come back, but some key contributors fly under the radar. These players are important to the success of the team, but some fans may not even know their names.
Here are five Georgia Bulldogs who deserve more appreciation.
Chris Conley has been underrated since he was deemed a 3-star recruit during high school. He finally got a chance to show his value when he started the last five games of the 2012 season and broke out with a two-touchdown performance against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
Conley has deceptive speed, runs crisp routes, and his length and fluidity remind some of former Bulldog A.J. Green. In addition, he might have the best hands of the Bulldogs' receiving corps. Look for Chris Conley to demand a lot more attention, from both fans and opposing defenses in 2013.
Arthur Lynch is another Bulldog pass catcher who deserves more credit. Lynch started 13 games last season and further established himself as one of Aaron Murray's favorite targets. He has great size (6'5" 254 lbs) and adequate speed, and his stiff arm may be second-best on the team only to Todd Gurley.
Lynch is also a great blocking tight end; when he's not catching passes, he's opening up holes for Gurley and Marshall to run through.
Casual Georgia fans may not even know the name David Andrews. After playing in 10 games as a freshman in 2011, Andrews started all 14 games at center for the Bulldogs in 2012. Not only is Andrews responsible for the line calls, he is tasked with blocking some of the SEC's best interior defensive lineman.
According to this article by Seth Emerson, Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is happy with Andrew's progress:
"Bobo named just one player who is “entrenched” as a starter: Junior center David Andrews."
David Andrews should be the anchor to the Bulldogs' offensive line in 2013.
Garrison Smith has shown he has all the skills needed to succeed as a defensive end in Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense, all he needs now is for people to notice. Smith has good size, uses good technique and he always seems to be shedding off blocks. His production backs that up; when given the opportunity last year, he posted 57 tackles over eight starts.
With the departures along the Bulldogs' defensive line, Smith will be a key veteran presence and likely full-time starter in 2013.
Look for number 56 to become a force on the defensive line next year.
Fans who follow recruiting may be familiar with Josh Harvey-Clemons because of his status as a 5-star recruit when he stepped foot on campus, but casual fans have yet to see what he can do. In 2012, Harvey-Clemons was buried on the depth chart under entrenched starters Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams, but he now has the chance to secure a starting spot in the Bulldogs' young secondary.
Harvey-Clemons brings a great combination of length, speed, and ball skills to the safety position, and his pass rush abilities suggest some time at outside linebacker is also a possibility. Harvey-Clemons' diverse skill set will allow defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to get creative while matching up against opposing offenses, which will only help the Bulldog defense.
- Offensive Guard, Chris Burnette
- Defensive Tackle, Mike Thornton
- Outside Linebacker, James DeLoach
- Wide Receiver, Michael Bennett
- Cornerback, Damian Swann