April 12 is when the 2014 Georgia Bulldogs will take the field for the first time in their annual G-Day game, which also marks the end of spring practice.
With the scrimmage less than two months away, the Bulldogs will soon be hitting the practice field to get prepared for the game, as well as the 2014 season.
And with the new season come excitement and concerns. There are some players that fans are looking forward to seeing in 2013, such as Todd Gurley and Ray Drew. Then there are other players that can’t wait to get back on the field after suffering season-ending injuries like Keith Marshall and Justin-Scott Wesley.
Then there are players that need to have a good spring season in order to have the coaches, players and fans believe they will be ready to succeed in the fall.
Here are four players that have the most to gain during spring practices.
The one player that will garner the most attention during spring practice is Aaron Murray’s successor, Hutson Mason.
After Murray suffered a season-ending injury in the Kentucky game last year, Mason got to start in the last two games and put up solid numbers.
Now that he will have a chance to play a full season, he will need to show the coaches that he is ready to carry the offense and the rest of the team. He has shown that he can do everything that is asked of him, but now it’s time to show everyone that he is ready to take the next step before he leaves Athens.
Jon Theus has been a solid piece in Georgia's offensive line for the last two seasons. But with Dallas Lee, Kenarious Gates and Chris Burnette departing, Theus will have to be more than solid in 2014.
In order for the offense to have success, there has to be a leader on the offensive line, and Theus needs to be that guy.
It’s unknown if he will start at right or left tackle, but wherever he plays he needs to be the dominant force that the Bulldogs expected him to be when he was recruited out of Jacksonville, Florida.
So when spring practice starts, expect Theus to see a lot of action on the offensive line.
After two years working under Arthur Lynch, Jay Rome finally gets a shot at being the starting tight end.
Rome is as talented as any offensive player on the roster, but he never had the opportunity to make a name for himself due to the other weapons on offense.
Now that he is the No. 1 tight end on the roster (via Seth Emmerson of Macon.com) and working with a new quarterback in Mason, there’s a chance that Rome could have a breakout year in 2014.
But it starts at spring practice, and Rome needs to have a solid spring season so it can carry over in the fall.
The loss of Josh Harvey-Clemons means that all eyes will be on Corey Moore, as he will be the No. 1 guy at strong safety, according to Seth Emmerson.
Moore has experience but has not lived up to expectations. So he will have to have a big spring in order to give the fans faith that the loss of Harvey-Clemons will not be huge.
But even if Moore does have a successful spring, the depth is just not there. Quincy Mauger can play strong safety, but after that it's slim pickings.
So there will be a lot of pressure on Moore to play well this spring and when fall practice comes around later this year.
These four players have the most to gain during spring for different reasons. They will need to succeed in order for the Bulldogs to have a great 2014 season.
There will be quite a few returning starters, so the nucleus is there for the Bulldogs to improve from last year. But Mason, Theus, Rome and Moore are X-factors based on the positions they play and what will be expected of them.
It will be another interesting spring season, especially with the Bulldogs having a new defensive coordinator in Jeremy Pruitt. But it will be a very exciting spring season as well.