Dawgs Preseason: Important Storylines
Photo: Casey Sykes
By: Joshua Grosh
The long cold (and hot) offseason is finally coming to a close and football is right around the corner. With the new season comes new big names, new memorable plays, new stadium upgrades, and more excitement to be had. So, we’ll cover a few major storylines worth covering leading up to kickoff.
West End Zone Project
While not a major on the field storyline, this one is important nevertheless. The project included a long needed revamping of the Georgia locker rooms as well as an upgraded recruiting lounge that overlooks the Dawg Walk entrance. The major reason this story needs publicity is the effect it could/has had on recruiting. We saw at the reveal of the locker rooms how much it amped up recruits and players alike but the game day experience will now be far greater than it was before. Before, the recruits and their families were hosted in the East End Zone near much of the average fans. Now, in the west end zone, they are smack dab in the middle of the always rowdy and loud student section. With student sections being notorious for body painters, chants, and all-around loudest areas of all stadiums in college football, it is bound to have an effect on the recruits’ visit. Will this help UGA recruiting even further – is that even possible?
Wide Receivers: Who Takes Over?
With the departure of Javon Wims, who is going to step up and become the go to receiver for UGA? Will Terry Godwin become the dominant force he was projected to be coming out of high school and seemingly set to become with his development or will the newcomer Demetris Robertson become the go to with his lethal speed? What about Mecole Hardman or Ahkil Crumpton at slot receiver? Will one of the younger players step up, i.e., the impressive JJ Holloman, Trey Blount, Matt Landers, or Kearis Jackson? Further still, could it come to another position group like tight ends or running backs – especially with all the hype around James Cook during the preseason? There are many questions coming into this year about who will become the dominant receiver, and with Georgia’s offense likely to include more passing plays than last year, it is a necessary question to ask.
Dominant Linebacker or Committee?
Probably one of the most asked questions of the offseason is who will step up to replace Roquan Smith? This is a valid question because Roquan was a generational talent – able to completely disrupt an offense and become a heat seeking, sure tackler that helped UGA stamp out any hopes for opposing offenses. Will Monty Rice – a very talented run stopper from the reports – be able to step up in the role? Will Natrez Patrick become even more of a feared linebacker – if he does start despite off-field issues that have plagued his career? There is some positive talk of Tae Crowder as well – the one time running back prospect that helped set up the momentum setting squib kick recovery at the Rose Bowl – so could he contribute or break through to being a starter? With the amount of talent present at the position, it will be a storyline worth watching as everything plays out.
Will Georgia Have a Second Lock Down Corner?
Deandre Baker is an All-SEC selection and a possible All-American selection in the making. His ability to shut down a receiver is incredible – so the question is who will step up to help lock down the secondary? If Georgia could have second lockdown corner emerge, the defense will be just that more deadly and its’ biggest on paper weakness currently will be cleared – the secondary. So, who will step up? Will the 5-star freshman Tyson Campbell step in and flash his remarkable talent or will one of the other new freshmen (Nadab Joseph or Chris Smith) step up? There are also talents like D’Angelo Gibbs, Ameer Speed, Mark Webb, and Eric Stokes who could see an increased role. If one of these many talents can step forward, Georgia’s secondary will become one to be feared with the likes of Baker and Reed a part of it.
Miscellaneous Other Stories
- How will Georgia hold up against pass happy offenses like Missouri?
- How much play time will Justin Fields see?
- How will the Georgia offense look? Will there be more open sets?
- Will this Georgia team be as defined by offense as they were by defense last season?
- Which running back will become the co-starter with Swift?
As Dawg Nation says, Go Dawgs Sic’Em!! Woof Woof Woof!!
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