When a season looks like it may be slipping away, there’s always next year to look towards.
Maybe those young players heading for redshirt seasons will emerge and make an impact in 2014.
That may happen still for Georgia, but the Bulldogs are already relying on plenty of young pups that are making their mistakes and showing growth on Saturdays (instead of the scout team) for all to see.
Georgia has played 14 true freshmen this season and has started seven of them: tailback J.J. Green, cornerbacks Shaq Wiggins and Brendan Langley, linebacker Reggie Carter, safeties Quincy Mauger and Tray Matthews and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.
Still, there may be some hidden gems still on the horizon.
Coach Mark Richt last week mentioned that linebacker Shaun McGee knocked out a ball in practice Monday. Georgia’s defense has had trouble forcing fumbles and producing turnovers before getting two interceptions against Vanderbilt.
I asked offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham last week about which young players have stood out when Georgia’s scrimmaged with players deep down the depth chart on Mondays.
Bobo mentioned redshirt freshman offensive lineman Greg Pyke as having a good scrimmage last week. “A really good day. Showed some stuff. He’s a guy we think is really athletic. He’s just a really raw football player. … Extremely athletic, huge and can move. He showed some things.”
Freshman quarterback Brice Ramsey “did some nice things,” and wide receiver Uriah LeMay “caught a couple of passes,” Bobo said. Tailback A.J. Turman “ran hard. …He’s more of a straight-line bruiser, but he broke some tackles and ran hard.”
Grantham said linebackers Tim Kimbrough and Davin Bellamy and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor “have shown that they’ve got a chance to be pretty physical. We’ve just got to work and develop them.”
Offensive line coach Will Friend talked about freshman Brandon Kublanow, who got in the second offensive series at left guard against Vanderbilt: “He’s a guy that’s going to be a good player. He’s really doing better in practice. He’s just got to keep coming on. …We’re happy with what he’s doing.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer