How do the Freshmen fit into this team? Who will play, who will sit? Let's get the automatic red shirter out of the way:
Fauton Bauta - Recruited as a QB, but could play WR or a hybrid TE type. The only way the red shirt gets taken off is if we have serious attrition at WR or QB and he is pressed into service.
When you take Morgan and Barber out (both of whom I think will be good contributors this season), the rest of the freshmen fall into two general groups, those that will absolutely get playing time and those that probably will, but it remains to be seen. The scholarship numbers horse has been beaten plenty, but the reality is that Georgia doesn't have the luxury of red shirting 15 guys, therefore I'd be pleasantly surprised if more than three of the remaining new players get red shirted.
John Theus (OL)- When you are 18 years old and having knowledgeable people talk about you being almost NFL ready, as an offensive lineman, you are getting playing time at a school that needs all the help they can get at O-line. Probably a first week starter.
Mark Beard (OL) - He'll see playing time. Plenty. Probably be a first week starter.
Keith Marshall (RB) - Quick, bigger and stronger than he was in spring. Presumptive starter out of the way. He'll play plenty. If his knee injury from spring doesn't hinder him in camp, he could start the first week. For my money, he'll not start for a few weeks, but will be getting plenty of reps from week one.
Jordan Jenkins (OLB) - Jenkins will play. That is all you need to know. He's fast, has done well learning Grantham's system and is the heir apparent to Jarvis Jones when Jarvis goes gets paid next year. Adding to his playing liklihood is his ability to move up to DE and keep interior linemen busy (he's 6-3 and pushing 255). He'll be starting by mid-season.
Josh Dawson (OLB) - His stock went up with the announcement of Chase Vasser's suspension. He has added some muscle to his frame and will get plenty of reps. May or may not start this season, but he'll be on the field a bunch.
Josh Harvey-Clemons (S...for now) - His ability and versatility will keep him in contention for playing time. He's been working at safety, which actually is a nice fit for his abilities, since he loves going all over the field. Speaking of being all over the field, look for him on offense as WR or slot guy when we need someone to go up above everyone else and catch a pass.
Quayvon Hicks (FB) - His playing time is dependent on his ability to learn blocking schemes and how much Richard Samuel plays tailback. Either way, he'll get plenty of reps, especially as the season wears on. It is possible he'll earn a start by the end of the season.
James Deloach (OLB/DE) - Another young guy that coaches are excited about...and benefiting from Chase Vasser's decisions. He'll get playing time, but starting this season might not happen.
Sheldon Dawson (CB) - Even before our current Dbacks were
Blake Tibbs (WR) - On one hand, we have eight guys back (including Malcolm, but not Branden) who have catches. On the other, no one jobs are safe, save Tavarres King and Marlon Brown's. If he continues to impress and can demonstrate the ability to make plays, he'll see the field. Think Chris Conley last year. If he doesn't develop that knowledge of the playbook, he'll stay on the sideline. My bet is he'll be on the field some.
Greg Pyke (OL) - Depends on how well he picks up the offense. If he picks up the playbook well, he'll see some playing time. If he doesn't, he won't. He has some growing to do, but the offensive line situation is in flux, so if others aren't getting it done, he could be given a look.
Ty Flournoy-Smith (TE) - Definitely could use some growing. Hard to say. If we don't see him by the end of Florida Atlantic, we probably won't get on the field absent some injuries, unless he really stands out. The one caveat is if the offensive utilizes some two TE sets, then we might see him get more playing time than I am projecting.
Jonathan Taylor (NG) - He is still adding strength to his young body. He is a natural NG, so that will keep him from seeing reps during normal situations, but in stacked line situations, it is possible to see him on the field with Jenkins or Geathers. His ability to occupy offensive linemen will give him playing time to allow mismatches for the linebackers on speed rush, but NG is pretty deep for us.
One last one that I just cannot figure out....
Todd Gurley (RB) - It is impossible to say what will happen with Gurley. I had him in the absolutely going to play list. I had him on the absolutely red shirt list. The latest reports out of camp are that he has done a great job mastering the play book. He got the best vote of confidence Bobo knows how to give when he was said to be 'picking up blocking schemes' well. If pressed on it, I'd say he plays, but it really is wholely dependent on how Boo/Richard does, how well Marshall does, and how well the other two FBs (Hicks and Merritt Hall) do, and how strongly Gurley comes on in camp.