Breakout newcomers, physical practices and injuries dominated headlines this week as the Georgia Bulldogs opened up fall camp. If you missed any of the flurry of activities, here is what you need to know to get up to speed.
New Bulldogs Making Impressions
A number of new Bulldogs are already making impressions. Shattle Fenteng (a cornerback JUCO transfer) has acquitted himself nicely (when healthy and fully participating) and already is climbing the depth chart. Fellow defensive back J.J. Green told Seth Emerson of Macon's Telegraph that Fenteng's length presents a unique challenge for receivers. Georgia certainly could use a viable cornerback opposite senior Damian Swann.
Meanwhile, one of the less-heralded newcomers on campus, Isaiah McKenzie, is establishing himself as one of the team's smaller (in stature) stars at just 5'8". Green (who's quickly becoming one of Georgia's best sound bite generators) told Chip Towers of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "That guy's gonna make somebody some money someday."
And of course Lorenzo Carter (the Dawgs' top commitment in this year's class per 247Sports) is also holding his own. Carter, who was highly coveted coming out of high school thanks to his size, strength and athleticism is looking every bit the future star that many have anticipated. While the Dawgs may be blessed with a plethora of talented pass-rushers, Carter will be too good to ignore.
And, his aggressive disposition has already been noticed—in more ways than one. According to Emerson (for the the Ledger-Enquirer), Carter participated in a little extracurricular jostling with offensive tackle John Theus this week. Linebacker Jordan Jenkins explained that the situation didn't get too out of hand, but he said he wouldn't be surprised to see Carter "get into it with somebody again real soon."
Those types of altercations are a byproduct of the intensity with which Georgia is practicing.
Earlier this week, freshman running back Nick Chubb became a viral celebrity after toppling fullback Merritt Hall during a blocking drill.
But as this footage (captured by Emerson) shows, it's not just the newcomers who are going hard this fall.
Injuries Piling Up...Again
The heightened intensity of fall camp is already taking a physical toll on Georgia's roster. Mark Richt is no longer offering full injury reports to the media (per Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald), but a number of Bulldogs have missed time or been limited in participation so far this fall:
- Malcolm Mitchell, Wide Receiver
- Chris Conley, Wide Receiver
- Justin Scott-Wesley, Wide Receiver
- Ramik Wilson, Linebacker
- Leonard Floyd, Linebacker
- Shattle Fenteng, Cornerback
- Jay Rome, Tight End
- Jordan Davis, Tight End
- Ryne Rankin, Linebacker
Week 2 Storylines
Georgia will get its first scrimmage out of the way this week, and that could present big opportunities for players to climb the depth chart—especially with so many banged-up starters. Look for strong performances from proven playmakers like Reggie Davis and Quayvon Hicks on the offensive side of the ball as they seek to work up a crowded list of offensive options. On defense, expect sophomore Reggie Carter to continue asserting himself as a viable substitute for either Ramik Wilson or Amarlo Herrera at the inside linebacker spot.
After the scrimmage, expect new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt's defense to look different as far as personnel is concerned. Pruitt has placed an emphasis on getting opportunities for players and ensuring that the best 11 men are on the field. Pruitt will find ways—even through position changes—to showcase his most talented players. He's already been doing this frequently within the secondary, moving cornerbacks to safety and vice versa. But, time is running out for such impactful position changes. Moves will need to be made sooner rather than later.
Hopefully this is a week of mending for some of Georgia's best players. Outside of the injury to Mitchell and the prolonged recovery of Scott-Wesley, no ailments appear likely to sideline Georgia stars for long. But the team needs players like Rome, Floyd, Wilson and Conley at full speed in order to take strides forward.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.