Georgia released its first new depth chart since before preseason practices began.
Brendan Langley is listed as a starter in a four-defensive back look along with cornerback Damian Swann, Matthews and Connor Norman at safety.
Given that Georgia should use at least five defensive backs for most of the time against Clemson, sophomore Sheldon Dawson should get plenty of playing time, if not start.
Langley and Matthews would both start as freshmen, but Georgia has six other true or redshirt freshmen that have cracked the two-deep depth chart on defense.
Richt said Langley is “a guy with ability, a guy who can learn and a guy is dependable, a guy who is focused on wanting to come in as a freshman and play like a veteran.”
Listed as backups: defensive end John Taylor, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, inside linebackers Reggie Carter and Tim Kimbrough, cornerback Shaq Wiggins and safety Quincy Mauger. Another backup is a newcomer: junior college transfer nose guard Chris Mayes.
“Some guys are playing by virtue of the lack of depth and some guys are playing because they’ve earned the right to move ahead of some veteran,” Richt said. “Any time you lose as many starters as we did, you’re going to have inexperienced guys jump in there.”
Marshall Morgan is still listed as the top kicker, but that doesn’t mean that a suspension is still not coming for him for his boating under the influence arrest.
Adam Erickson from Clarke Central is listed as his top backup and Patrick Beless is behind him.
The starting offensive line listed is the same as Georgia started for most of last season: left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews, right guard Chris Burnette and right tackle John Theus. Kolton Houston is expected to get work as well at right tackle and Theus may also play right guard.
Malcolm Mitchell is listed as the top kick and punt returner. Todd Gurley is the No. 2 kick returner and Rhett McGowan and Damian Swann the backup punt returners.
Interestingly, Georgia isn’t listing a third-team quarterback or third-team tailback.
“If the third quarterback goes in the game, you’ll see who it is,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said last week. “Claude (Felton) might give y’all a piece of paper, but that does not mean who No. 3 is, OK?”
He did offer this: “(Aaron) Murray and (Todd) Gurley will start. The other nine we’ll see what personnel group we’re in.”