Allen Iverson famously said in a press conference, “Practice. We talkin’ about practice. Not a game. Not a game. Practice!”
As a gentlemen I interact with from time to time on Twitter pointed out yesterday in reaction to the G-Day game, yesterday was a glorified practice. Was it great to have a sense of normalcy with a live G-Day? Absolutely! Were there performances that gave an indication of who Georgia will be able to count on to make plays in the fall? No doubt! However, I would caution you from listening to any one person telling you that any particular battle has been won, other than a man named Kirby Smart.
Truthfully, there are 5 positions set in stone heading into the summer training for the Georgia Football program. JT Daniels is of course QB1, Jordan Davis is the nose and the anchor of the defensive line, Jake Camarda is the punter, Lewis Cine is the glue of the defensive backfield and will start at one of the safety positions, and Nakobe Dean is going to man the middle and make the calls for the Georgia from 7 on defense. Other than that folks, everything is up for grabs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s certain that James Cook, Zamir White, and Kendall Milton are going to get plenty of touches and opportunity at running back, but the pecking order is far from settled. Also, what happens when Kenny McIntosh returns and Daijun Edwards is progressing nicely as well.
At the receiver position, Georgia found out that Adonai “AD” Mitchell is going to be a reliable target. How much is that altered with Jermaine Burton, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, and Dominic Blaylock in the mix? Also, if Georgia is on a tear and seems headed for a SEC Championship and CFP birth, does George Pickens decide to return if his knee rehab and timeline allow? There are so many moving pieces that are yet to be nailed down. There is plenty of reason to be excited though for the Dawg faithful with many of the 2020 and 2021 class showing they’re going to be ready for prime time this fall.
At tight end, Georgia has a 3 headed monster. There is no much doubt that it’s the most talented tight end room in the country. Darnell Washington and Brock Bowers are just physical freaks, and John FitzPatrick is a coaches dream in terms of the intangibles and is a key member of this squad as both a blocker and a chain mover in the intermediate passing game. Speaking of blocking, we know that Jamaree Salyer is going to be one of the 5 lineman, but that’s about it. Lots of competitive reps in an extended scrimmage period for Matt Luke, Todd Monken, and Kirby Smart to review and dissect, but it’s highly unlikely that anybody did anything other than position themselves for more or less reps when the summer rolls around.
Backup quarterback and the defensive backfield are still up in the air as well. Carson Beck did some good things and showed growth, but several overthrows also negated would be big plays for Beck’s squad. Stetson Bennett IV is steady and Georgia knows what they have in The Mailman. Brock Vandagriff flashed arm talent and that he can make defenses have to honor his legs. The battle for number 2 behind JT Daniels will wage on deep into fall camp and even throughout the season I would suspect.
Ultimately, G-Day served it’s purpose. Coaches got to see players compete, there were no serious injuries, plenty of good and bad film to learned from, and players and coaches got a taste of that Sanford Stadium atmosphere that will, Lord willing, be full capacity this fall. A success for sure, but don’t be fooled by those driving the hype train, the hay is far from in the barn at this point.