The 2017 season finally kicks off on Saturday so without further adieu here is your trusted Bulldawg Illustrated intern’s projected depth chart.
The offensive line is a crucial area for Georgia to be successful this season and coach Sam Pittman seems to have the starting five ready, in my opinion. Freshman Andrew Thomas worked his way up to become the starting right tackle while Isaiah Wynn compliments him at left tackle. Defensive end turned offensive lineman, Lamont Gillard will be starting at center. And two guys who I wasn’t sure would stand out, Solomon Kindley and Pat Allen I project will be Georgia’s starting guards.
This fall camp, I watched Jacob Eason grow from reserved to a confident quarterback that embraces his leadership role. Nick Chubb got faster and stronger. Ahkil Crumpton proved himself early on and is one of the fastest guys I’ve seen. Terry Godwin and Javon Wims took their spots at the leaders of the wideouts and pushed the young guys all camp long. However, I project tight end Isaac Nauta jumps senior Jeb Blazevich for the starting spot. Nauta has already taken a leadership role and helps motivate the team daily; I think he will be one of Eason’s favorite targets again in 2017.
As for the defense, Trenton Thompson’s return has reignited the defensive line. Thompson and Jonathan Ledbetter counter each other on the ends and are the leaders on the line. Big Jonathan Atkins will stick to nose tackle and will plug up the line this season with his massiveness. Outside linebackers, senior leaders, Davin Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter, had impressive camps, and both should have tremendous seasons. They will be the heart of this defense helping the young guys and keeping the defense sharp. Georgia’s go to inside linebackers are Roquan Smith and Natrez Patrick. Smith, despite missing spring ball, was another player who emerged as a leader.
The secondary will look a tad different this season, as I project freshman Richard LeCounte taking the right safety spot. After enrolling early in January, LeCounte came in and learned the playbook and has raw talent. Aaron Davis and Dominick Sanders are the two veterans with Davis at the left corner and Sanders at the left safety. Deandre Baker takes the right corner spot after knocking a few heads this camp and proving himself even more. The STAR spot should be occupied by J.R. Reed after he impressed coaches this fall camp with his effort and maturity.
These are my projected starters for the 2017 campaign. However, success comes from the depth that each position possesses. Georgia is deep at various posts, and there are some key names to keep an eye out for on the offense and defense.
QB: #10 So. JACOB EASON | 6-5 | 235 lbs
RB: #27 Sr. NICK CHUBB | 5-10 | 225 lbs
FB: #47 Sr. CHRISTIAN PAYNE | 6-1 | 242 lbs
WR X: #5 Jr. TERRY GODWIN | 5-11 | 185 lbs
WR Z: #6 Sr. JAVON WIMS | 6-4 | 215 lbs
SLOT: #1 Sr. SONY MICHEL | 5-11 | 215 lbs
LT: #77 Sr. ISAIAH WYNN | 6-2 | 305 lbs
LG: #58 RSo. PAT ALLEN | 6-4 | 295 lbs
C: #53 Jr. LAMONT GAILLARD | 6-2 | 288 lbs
RG: #66 RFr. SOLOMON KINDLEY | 6-4 | 335 lbs
RT: #71 Fr. ANDREW THOMAS | 6-5 320 lbs
TE: #18 SO. ISAAC NAUTA | 6-4 | 246 lbs
Georgia has plenty of running backs on the roster that can help Nick Chubb out when he needs it. I think that Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift are two guys that are going to see the ball a lot this fall. Whether it’s in the slot position or taking it out of the backfield, these two have too much talent to be left off the field.
Another area that I see Georgia taking advantage of with its deep roster is at wide receiver. After the addition of five wide outs in the 2017 class, the Bulldogs finally have some big targets for Eason to throw to. I think that Mark Webb will get to see the field a lot this season and will shock some people with his raw talent. Jeremiah Holloman is another true freshman that can be a major target for Jacob Eason. However, it’s Tyler Simmons and Jayson Stanley that stepped up this camp and showed growth. Riley Ridley will see the field plenty this season, and it wouldn’t surprise me for him to take a starting spot eventually. And to help Nauta at the tight end position, I think Charlie Woerner will have a stand out season and will be a huge target for Eason.
The offensive line will have plenty to rotate, and I think this excites me the most. Kendall Baker and Dyshon Sims both will see the field a lot more this season as both made positive strides this off-season. Sims will play left tackle while Baker will play right guard. However, what’s most impressive is Isaiah Wilson and how far he grew in such a little time.
LDE: #78 Jr. TRENTON THOMPSON | 6-4 | 295 lbs
RDE: #13 Jr. JONATHAN LEDBETTER | 6-4 277 lbs
NT: #97 Sr. JOHN ATKINS | 6-4 | 305 lbs
OLB: #7 Sr. LORENZO CARTER | 6-6 | 250 lbs
OLB: #17 Sr. DAVIN BELLAMY | 6-5 | 250 lbs
ILB: #6 Jr. NATREZ PATRICK | 6-3 | 238 lbs
ILB: #3 Jr. ROQUAN SMITH | 6-1 | 225 lbs
LCB: #35 Sr. AARON DAVIS | 6-1 | 195 lbs
RCB: #18 Jr. DEANDRE BAKER | 5-11 | 180 lbs
LS: #24 Sr. DOMINICK SANDERS | 6-0 | 200 lbs
RS: #2 Fr. RICHARD LECOUNTE | 5-11 | 180 lbs
STAR: #20 RSo. J.R. REED | 6-1 | 194 lbs
As for the defense, Julian Rochester and David Marshall will be two to watch on the defensive front. D’Andre Walker will shock some people with his growth this offseason, and he will be another weapon for the defense. However, it’s the secondary where some players are going to play more as the season progresses. Ameer Speed, Eric Stokes, and Deangelo Gibbs are three big freshmen that will make an impact once they see the field. All of them have great size and speed, and with the veterans teaching them, they will be the next great secondary.
P: #92, Grad. CAMERON NIZIALEK | 6-2 | 200 lbs
PK: #98, RSo. RODRIGO BLANKENSHIP | 6-1 | 191 lbs
KR: # 4, So. MECOLE HARDMAN, JR. | 5-11 | 183 lbs
PR: #16, Jr. AHKIL CRUMPTON | 5-9 | 175 lbs
Recent Articles by Savannah Leigh Richardson