This feature, which will updated during the two-week period that is fall camp, will cover the top players in silver britches as well as the top freshman at the time. The rankings, quite frankly, will be made on what is seen, what is said, what is heard and insiders’ opinion on which players are making the move towards the top of the charts.
12. Kenarious Gates – Georgia top returning offensive lineman, Gates will be getting a face full of Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Cornelius Washington all fall camp. Fun times. Gates will have to continue to play well if Georgia’s offensive line is going to have a good season. While it certainly appears he will be the starting left tackle, if for some reason he’s moved from that spot by John Theus (which, at this time, is a reach) Georgia will be ahead of the curve on the offensive line. That’s asking a lot of Theus, however, coming right into camp. Gates will need to be the solid force on the outside to help the offensive line go. If he can do that he will have done his part this fall camp and this fall.
11. Cornelius Washington – Now back at defensive end, Washington has long been one of the most athletically gifted players on the roster. Now is the time for him to turn it on and get paid good NFL money with a good senior season. Washington could be difficult to manage for those dealing with Grantham’s 3-4 scheme. He was a good linebacker, but Jones and Ogletree passed him in the playmaking department. So the move was made to defensive line where he will be faster than everyone he plays. He will have to defend the run effectively, but that’s every pass rusher’s “weakness”.
10. John Jenkins – Everyone’s favorite 300-plus pound Dawg, Jenkins got into shape last year during fall camp and was a steady peg in the 3-4 cog as the season progressed. Expect big things from Jenkins this fall, but perhaps not right off the start. Jenkins and fellow nose Kwame Geathers tip the scales at over 350 pounds… and 350 pounds + August don’t do well together. Jenkins will stay in the top ten if he doesn’t nearly die on the first day as happened last year.
9. Sanders Commings – A very solid NFL prospect, Commings will have to give way to some of those who will be playing in the first two games of the season while he sits out due to a two-game suspension. That doesn’t limit how good he will be on the practice field. He’s a star. He just won’t be able to show that before the Florida Atlantic game.
8. Kolton Houston – A little odd to see him this high? Word is that he’s Georgia’s top offensive lineman. Problem is he’s never played a game for some unknown reason. That unknown reason is supposed to be handled sometime soon. If Houston is cleared and good to go shortly Georgia’s offensive line should be fine this fall – with eight players available to heavily contribute. Without him Georgia could have a much more difficult time. Houston is playing right tackle right now; Georgia needs it to stay that way for a slew of reasons.
7. Tavarres King – King certainly ramped up his production as the winter arrived. He was nearly uncoverable in Georgia’s bowl game loss to Michigan State. King will have to pick up where he left off as it appears he is the number one target on this team. What’s still up in the air is if King is a true SEC number one receiver. He’s got the potential to do so and the money is on the table in terms of the NFL. But will King rise up to be the receiver he was at the end of the year this entire fall? If so watch out.
6. Shawn Williams – Georgia’s best available safety is Williams, who seems to be forgotten a lot in the discussion of very good Bulldog defenders. But Williams has developed into a heck of a player for Georgia – and is steady. He doesn’t make the same in-air plays his compadres in the back do, but he still makes tons of plays with his physical, bruising style. He’s like a smaller, less big-hitting version of Greg Blue.
5. Bacarri Rambo – No, no one knows what type of suspension Rambo will get to start the season, but he’s still one of the top players on the team. Missing a couple of games at the start of the campaign doesn’t take away from his spot near the top of this list. However, he may creep down as time goes on. Why? Because he may have to shuffle backwards in the safety rotation if he’s not going to play in the first few games of the year so others who will play can practice with the first unit.
4. Malcolm Mitchell – The top cornerback on the team? So says Scott Lakatos, according to the Athens Banner-Herald’s Marc Weiszer. Lakatos may or may not have been joking. Nonetheless if Mitchell can be just as good as the guy he’s replacing – Sanders Commings – Georgia should have a lot less to worry about going into the Missouri game. Mitchell is a prime candidate to move up and down this list because he’s not as well known a commodity at this time. Being this high is a pretty high projection because there are a couple of players who are below him because they will miss a couple of games to start the season.
3. Aaron Murray – Murray drops in these rankings the first whiff of interception talk. Why? Not because he’s not going to throw them this season. Because the football is Murray’s best friend this season, and when they are talking about INTs that means the quarterbacks have had a poor day. When Murray is judicious – or in Richtbot terms “respecting the football” – he is a heck of a signal caller. When he lets go of the ball he’s a real liability for the Bulldogs. Still, he’s the top offensive performer on the team and is high on this list because of his overall skill and importance.
2. Alec Ogletree – The junior will likely miss at least the first two games of the season serving a suspension, but the rest of the season the Bulldogs will need the fumble-causing linebacker to have a steady, healthy season. Ogletree, for one reason or another, has missed a fair amount of games in his career. He was out much of last year with an injury suffered in the first game of the season. Jarvis Jones may be the top NFL prospect on this team, but Ogletree is not too far behind. He, in fact, will likely be a steal for the team who selects him because so many teams will be worried about Ogletree’s durability. Straight up: Ogletree is a stud.
1. Jarvis Jones – Probably won’t lose this spot any time soon. Jones is the best overall professional prospect on the team and is the team’s overall top playmaker coming into fall camp. Those two things combined give him the top spot. They are also going to make it difficult for him to fall backwards.
Jones is also the level-headed core of the team. He’s going to lead – with his brains – as well as with his play. No one on the roster understands more what its like to be without football. Perhaps the reason, along with talent, that Jones is the player on the team most likely to take full advantage of his current opportunity.
Top Freshman: John Theus
Theus may not start right out of the gates – much of that depends on the status of Kolton Houston – but he’s going to get heavy playing time either at tackle or guard. He could wind up the starting right tackle this fall if Houston is not given the clear to play. Theus is said to be working, which is almost always said about players, but those who are saying it mean it.
The tricky part for Theus will be picking up every nuance needed to make an impact this fall. Clint Boling was outstanding as a true freshman, but he played guard. Trinton Sturdivant was a killer tackle, but he was a once-in-a-decade player that year, and he enrolled early – giving him an advantage Boling didn’t have and Theus doesn’t have, either. Can Theus give Georgia what it needs at tackle?