Actually, once the outcome was essentially decided by the end of the first quarter, coaches on both sides of the ball took advantage of the chance to get some of the younger players some game reps, which hopefully will help the team later in the year in SEC play.
Although it’s tough to judge much against an opponent as outmanned as Troy was in Sanford Stadium, we still got a glimpse into the future and saw some of the players who will make a big impact for the Dawgs over the next few seasons.
Some of them even appear to be ready to make significant contributions this season.
Based on what we saw Saturday, as well as the other two games this season, here are five future stars of the UGA offense.
Michel has already proven himself to be an impact player for the Dawgs. He caught a touchdown pass against South Carolina and was the leading rusher for the team against Troy, totaling 155 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries. I expected Michel to have speed, which he’s shown, but I’ve also been impressed by his vision and ability to find holes between the tackles. It’s going to be awesome to watch him develop over the next couple years.
I’ve tried not to get too excited about Nick Chubb because I didn’t want the recruiting hype to count against him, but I can’t resist it after seeing him play a few games in a Georgia uniform. His size and power remind me of former Tennessee running back Travis Henry, who knocked around SEC defenses like a bowling ball back when the Vols had a dominant running game. Chubb is the type of physical back you love to give the ball in the 4th quarter when he can wear down a defense.
It’s already clear why McKenzie has the nickname “The Human Joystick.” He appears to be the most explosive player on the team, and when he touches the ball, you get that sense of anticipation that he just needs to make one man miss before he takes it to the end zone. I see McKenzie being the type of guy who creates major problems for defensive coordinators because Mike Bobo can line him up all over the field to create chaos.
UGA has created a pipeline over the years when it comes to sending tight ends to the NFL, and it looks like Blazevich might be the latest in a line of guys who’ve had great success at the position. He’s already shown an impressive set of hands, and at 6’5”, 235 pounds, he’s got that great combination of size and speed that will make him a very valuable and dangerous weapon in the UGA offense. In a recruiting class full of talent, Blazevich could end up being the biggest steal of the 2014 class for Mark Richt and his staff.
We finally got to see Brice Ramsey against a real opponent on Saturday, and while there were certainly some first game jitters, he showed why he was so highly recruited coming out of high school. Ramsey showed off his strong arm on a couple very nice out-route passes to the sideline, and I love the possibility of Georgia being able to capitalize on his arm strength in the play-action passing game when it’s combined with the running abilities of Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. Hopefully we’ll see more of Ramsey this season in situations similar to what Georgia had against Troy.
Which Georgia freshman are you most excited about for the future? Let me know in the comments section!