Georgia conducted it’s first scrimmage of the 2020 preseason on Saturday and it’s the first of at least two before the team plays at Arkansas on Sept 26.
The unfortunate part is that the program will be doing so without sophomore wide receiver Dominick Blaylock, who suffered an ACL injury against LSU in the 2019 SEC Championship game, and re-injured that same ligament this past week.
Head coach Kirby Smart met with the media following the scrimmage and commented on Blaylock’s condition.
“We released a statement, but it’s just very unfortunate. Dom worked as hard as anybody I have ever seen,” Smart said. “Ron [Courson] has probably had over 50 ACL’s in his time here, and he’s never seen somebody work as hard as he did. He likened it to what Nick Chubb went through, who did so much work and prepared so hard. Dom has such a great family at home, and it just hurts for a kid like that.”
Smart said Blaylock was practicing with no one around him when the incident occurred.
“He was on a rep count when he went back out there— on his third or fourth rep,” Smart said. “There was no one even around him. It was a weird deal. He just caught the ball and planted and turned. It was a non-contact ACL, and it’s very unfortunate.”
Smart continued saying that Blaylock assured him that he was going to be alright.
“That’s what’s so special about Dom,” said Smart. I reached out to him right away, and he said, ‘Coach, I’m going to be back. I’m going to be fine. I’m going to get through this and i’m going to push through it.'”
Smart then gave an update on the rest of wide receiving corps, and shared some insight on how the freshman are doing.
“As far as the rest of the guys, we hit a wall a little bit with some of the younger guys,” Smart said. “I think they didn’t show us much today. We didn’t have a lot of great vertical passing game, but Kearis [Jackson], Demetris [Robertson] and George [Pickens] are pretty consistent.
“After that, we’re trying to build a depth chart among those guys, the freshmen and the other guys competing like Justin [Robinson], Marcus [Rosemy] and Jermaine [Burton] are all competing in there along with Trey Blount and some of the other guys. Nobody really stood out today. It wasn’t like anybody was head and shoulders above the rest.”
Smart assured the media that Blaylock’s head is in the right mindset.
“His head’s in a great space because he’s got the right mindset. We’ve had some players who have been injured a lot. Thomas Davis— I think Ron [Courson] said he had been through three ACL injuries throughout his career, so he had him reach out, and also Malcom Mitchell, who’s had some experience with that as well. You know it’s always good to hear somebody who has had success after these experiences.
Last season, he appeared in 12 games with starts against Florida, Texas A&M and Georgia Tech. He finished fourth on the team in receiving yards and second behind George Pickens in receiving touchdowns. He hauled in 18 passes for 310 yards and five scores. His longest reception came against Arkansas State for 60 yards, which was the team’s longest catch in 2019. Blaylock had also become Georgia’s primary punt returner last season as well.
“We all know Zamir [White] had gone through it from high school to a year in college,” Smart said. “Dom’s great, he’s resilient, he’s going to fight, he’s a competitor, he’s a great kid to be around and we want to keep him around the team. In terms of the other guys, Dom had not been out there much prior to so it wasn’t like the reps increased. So the rest of the guys have taken the load and have done a good job of it.”