5 Things We've Learned About Georgia Through Fall Camp so Far
The first week of fall camp is in the books and the Georgia Bulldogs are inching closer to August 30, which is when they host the Clemson Tigers in the season opener.
After the first week, there have been a lot of good things when it comes to players executing, and there are some areas where the Bulldogs still need more work.
Regardless, the Bulldogs still have a long ways to go to get to where they want to be, and this week will be another long one, as they will continue two-a-days to get physically and mentally ready.
Here are five things we learned from the Bulldogs through fall camp so far.
Gurley and Marshall Aren't the Only Duo in Town
We know how good Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley are when they are both healthy. The two running backs were on fire in 2012 and the first part of 2013, and they are poised to have a 2014 season that could be the best in UGA history.
However, the combination of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb will make fans not miss Gurley and Marshall as much when they both leave.
Both Chubb and Michel took part in the Saturday scrimmage, and they had a combined 73 yards on 12 carries. According to Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald, Chubb is more like Gurley and Michel is more like Marshall. Let’s hope both players can live up to the high expectations, because they have some big shoes to fill in the near future.
The Receiver Position Is Wearing Thin
One of the areas that has been the deepest is wide receiver. But based on the nagging injuries that have occurred during or before camp, the position is wearing thin.
According to Gentry Estes of 247Sports (subscription required), Chris Conley has been limited at practice because of minor injuries, and so has Charlie Hegedus. Jonathon Rumph missed the scrimmage for an unknown reason, and Shakenneth Williams missed practice this past Friday.
And let’s not forget about Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley, who are recovering from knee injuries.
This does help guys like Blake Tibbs, Reggie Davis and Kenneth Towns get reps. But in order for the offense to be at its best, the receivers need to be as healthy as possible throughout the entire season.
The Offensive Line Is Very Deep
One position that has gotten deeper over the past year is offensive line.
It’s almost certain John Theus, Greg Pyke and David Andrews will have a spot on the line. As for the other two spots, five guys are capable of playing the positions.
Kolton Houston gained a lot of experience, as did Brandon Kublanow. Watts Dantzler is also an experienced lineman, and true freshman Isaiah Wynn has impressed many.
Then there’s Mark Beard, who is capable of playing guard and tackle.
Hutson Mason will only be as good as his offensive line. Having eight guys who are a reliable part of the rotation is a huge plus.
Damian Swann Is the Leader of the Secondary
Damian Swann is not a very emotional guy and has never been the outspoken leader of the secondary. But when defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said that he’s the only defensive back playing “winning football," per Seth Emerson of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, it’s clear he’s the leader of the secondary.
Swann is the defensive back that has the most experience, and he’s starting to practice like it. It was not the best year for the senior cornerback, so it looks like he’s doing whatever it takes to finish his career at Georgia on a high note on an individual and team level.
The Bulldogs May Have a Playmaker for Special Teams
One of the things the Bulldogs need on special teams is a playmaker, and they may have that in Isaiah McKenzie.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that McKenzie is creating buzz as a kick returner, which is something he was known for at the high school level.
Last season, the Bulldogs only averaged 2.9 yards per punt return, and it’s an area where they normally do well. There are other players who will get a chance to win the spot, such as Swann, J.J. Green and Tramel Terry, but based on what the veteran players told Towers, McKenzie looks like he will be the guy that makes the biggest impact on special teams.