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11 UGA players poised to get first start vs Clemson

Discussion in 'Georgia Bulldogs' started by bravesfan, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. bravesfan

    bravesfan simpobissible=making the simple into impossible

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    Exactly who will start at every position for Georgia is unclear two days before its opener against Clemson on Saturday night. But based on the current depth chart and observations from preseason camp, it appears the Bulldogs will have 11 first-time starters on the field.
    Following is a quick look at each one:
    OFFENSE (2)
    RT Kolton Houston – This is a remarkable development considering Georgia didn’t even know Houston would be eligible a week before preseason camp began. Houston (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) hasn’t played in an actual game for nearly four years but he overtook 14-game starter John Theus during the four weeks of practice leading to the game.
    FB Quayvon Hicks – This is another situation where his preseason performance allowed him to overtake a returning starter. The 6-2, 265-pound sophomore has learned the subtleties of the position after playing primarily defense in high school. He and fellow sophomore Merritt Hall, who started six games last year, give Georgia a strong presence at this position.
    DEFENSE (7)
    SS Connor Norman – The senior and former walkon has actually started two games in his career but those happened for the same reason this one is – a regular starter’s suspension. He replaced Bacarri Rambo in 2011 and 2012. This time Norman is replacing sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons, who received a one-game suspension for violating UGA’s marijuana-use policy. Norman is knowledgeable and experienced and will be counted on to play snaps at both safeties positions and help the Bulldogs’ young DBs know what they’re looking at.
    NG Mike Thorton – “Big Mike” from Stone Mountain has been biding his time behind John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers the past two seasons. At 6-1, 290, he’s much smaller than his 350-pound predecessors, but he’s much quicker, too, and one of the strongest players on the team. He’ll rotate with other first-year players such as John Taylor and John Atkins.
    DE Sterling Bailey – This 6-3, 285-pound redshirt sophomore from East Hall was held back foot and shoulder injuries that required surgery his first two years in Athens. But he’s fully healthy now and actually out-played former 5-star signee Ray Drew to win the starting job. They’ll both play a lot.
    OLB James DeLoach – The buzz about this 6-3, 265-pound sophomore actually began in practice toward the end of last season. He’s big, strong and fast, all necessary attributes for seeting the edge on the strong side of the field. Broke the thumb on his left hand early in camp but will play in a brace in game. Sharing time with freshman Leonard Floyd.
    ILB Ramik Wilson – Moved inside to the “Mike” position after playing primarily outside linebacker his first two season. A lot of speed and decent size (6-2, 232) for taking on linebmen and filling the holes inside the tackles.
    CB Brendan Langley – One of the big surprises among true freshmen. The 4-star recruit was expected to get some playing time but not expected to out-perform sophomore Sheldon Dawson in camp to earn the start. Excellent size (6-1, 181) and good smarts. He and Dawson will probably be on the field together most of the time in nickel.
    FS Tray Matthews – The freshman was the star of midyear enrollees during spring practice, when he earned the starting job. But first shoulder and then hamstring injuries sidelined him for nearly three of the four weeks of preseason practice and he never was able to participate in a full-speed scrimmage. Saturday’s live action will be the first he’s had since the G-Day game.
    SPECIAL TEAMS (2)
    PK Adam Erickson – Coach Mark Richt refuses to acknowledge Marshall Morgan’s pending suspension due to an alcohol-related arrest over the summer. But Erickson emerged as the most natural replacement over the summer. The fourth-year junior from Athens has played in numerous games as a holder, “pooch punter” and occasional onside kick specialist. He made a 46-yard field goal in the G-Day Game. Walkon Patrick Beless could get a shot as well.
    SN Nathan Theus – Getting short and long snaps back to the kickers is an art often taken for granted. Ty Frix did beautifully the last four years. Theus, the younger brother of John Theus, was a rare scholarship recipient at the position and recruited to succeed Frix.
    A bevy of other Bulldogs will also be seeing their first action in backup roles, especially on defense and special teams. Georgia brought in 31 players in the last recruiting class and a large percentage will get on the field Saturday.