The thrilling finale to spring practice 2019 is moments away, as the 2019 G Day Game will kick off at 2:00 p.m. with television coverage on SEC Network.
This spring practice has been relatively uneventful, with so many positions in the hands of established starters, and even those spots that have been vacated seemingly in the hands of contributor/heirs apparent who we expected to step in. There should however be a few positions/players worth watching. A few things I’m keeping an eye on:
I want to see both Stetson Bennett in his return to Athens and true freshman Dwan Mathis at quarterback. Bennett we’ve seen at least a little of, but Mathis has drawn solidly positive reviews this spring for both his arm and his legs. I think fans who didn’t follow Mathis prior to his surprise commitment will be surprised at his arm strength. In a way, this is a preview of the competition big time 2020 QB commit Carson Beck will face when he arrives on campus to set up a three-way battle to replace Fromm in either 2020 or 2021.
It will also be interesting to see some of the early enrollees, especially on defense. A trio of new guys in the secondary in particular could make their case for time in the rotation when fall practice starts. JUCO transfer DJ Daniel has been impressive in practice and is pushing for time at corner. Freshmen Tyrique Stevenson and Lewis Cine are both physically impressive players, especially Stevenson, who at 6’1, 200 pounds already looks the part of a physical SEC corner.
It will also be interesting to see what the nation’s top overall 2019 prospect, Savannahian Nolan Smith shows, even though pass rushers have their hands tied a little in this format. With Robert Beal and Brenton Cox both suffering from the old sprained cerebrum/aggravated RA injury, the door is open for the true freshman at outside linebacker.
It will also be useful to see what kind of receiver rotation emerges and who can take a step forward at that position. J.J. Holloman is a known performer and a presumptive starter. Past that it gets interesting. We’ve heard good things about Demetris Robertson putting it together, and about Matt Landers stepping forward. Tyler Simmons has also drawn praise this spring. The ‘Dawgs have a lot of talented receivers. But today we may get an idea which ones will emerge from the crowd to replace Riley Ridley, Terry Godwin, and Mecole Hardman in a unit hit hard by NFL attrition.
So let’s enjoy football in Sanford Stadium for the last time until after Labor Day. IT’S SATURDAY IN ATHENS!