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At least 10 UGA true freshmen likely to make trip to Stillwater.


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At least 10 UGA true freshmen likely to make trip to Stillwater

2:32 pm September 1, 2009, by Chip Towers

It’s going to be interesting to see how many of Georgia’s signees from the Class of 2009 are going to end up contributing in Saturday’s season opener at Oklahoma State.

I went to the Bulldogs’ pregame news conference Tuesday in hopes of getting some idea. Alas, head coach Mark Richt wasn’t terribly enlightening.

“I don’t want to say right now because we won’t post the travel list until [Wednesday],” he said. “But there will be numerous freshmen on there.”

Based on the Bulldogs’ depth chart, it appears there will be at least 10 true freshman that travel to Stillwater, Okla. That’s assuming Georgia takes all its quarterbacks.

Since it is not a conference game, there are no roster limits, though Richt has said he does not want to take more than 70 or 75. But I suspect offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will want to talk all his options under center. If they took Aaron Murray and not Zach Mettenberger, or vice-versa, I’d imagine that’d be a line of distinction the coaches don’t want to draw just yet.

There are the freshmen you probably suspected would be playing this weekend when they signed with the Dogs last February. Guys like Atlanta’s Branden Smith, who is listed No. 2 at wide-side cornerback, and Tampa’s Orson Charles, who’s No. 2 at tight end. Fellow tight end Arthur Lynch is listed as a third-teamer, as are both freshman wideouts, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, who almost certainly will get into the game.

There are others that probably weren’t as certain. Valdosta linebacker Michael Gilliard, who was rated a three-star recruit by Scout.com, appears to be in the playing rotation at Sam linebacker. Defensive end Montez Robinson of Indiana is third-string behind Rod Battle and Cornelius Washington, so he will likely travel. And there was no question Abry Jones of Warner Robins was a good player but, with Georgia’s depth at defensive tackle, it was questionable whether he’d see much playing time early if at all. Now D-line coach Rodney Garner says he may have played his way into the game rotation.

Probably the biggest question mark among the freshmen is tailback Washaun Ealey. For him it may come down to whether or not Caleb King (hamstring) is healthy enough to go. If King goes, Ealey probably won’t.

Richt said he’s as eager as anybody else to find out.

“I’m excited to see what all the freshmen do,” he said. “But the first-game jitters are tough. A kid may struggle this game and five weeks down the road turn out to be a great player. You can’t read too much into it.”

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