It’s been 728 days since I was able to say this: welcome to G Day, Bulldog fans!
Sure, the attendance is still limited due to social distancing measures. And frankly it’s not going to be as easy as usual to watch the action remotely (more on that in a moment). But the annual rite of spring renewal, the last football before the sho ‘nuff football of August, is back in the Classic City.
And there are in fact some storylines worth keeping an eye on. For one, will we learn anything about the various position battles in the UGA secondary? Fans are keen to see mega 2020 recruit Kelee Ringo, sidelined for all of 2020 following surgery, take the field for the first time in Sanford Stadium. Fellow 2020 signee Jalen Kimber has drawn favorable reviews for his work this spring. And there are a handful of veterans looking to move out of the shadows of the departed Eric Stokes, DJ Daniel, and Tyson Campbell.
Today will also be an excellent chance to see some of Georgia’s young wide receivers in action. With George Pickens our with an ACL, Jermaine Burton out with an ankle, and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dom Blaylock still recovering from last season’s injuries, Kirby Smart has called out several freshmen and sophomores for their contributions this spring. Look for he and Todd Monken to throw the ball often and deep today in a way they may not once the season starts, just to get an idea of what they’ve got at that position.
And Bulldog fans will be looking forward to seeing an unusually large crop of early enrollees in action. The ‘Dawgs signed another bumper crop of blue chippers in the last cycle, and we’re all excited to see what guys like Adonai Mitchell, Smael Mondon, Brock, Vandagriff, Amarius Mims, Xavian Sorey, and Nyland Green can do.
How can you watch all the action? Well, that’s sort of an issue. Unlike in past years the game will not be broadcast live on the ESPN family of networks. ESPN will be showing Alabama’s A-Day Game, and SEC Network will be showing baseball.
It’s possible ESPN will break away from Tuscaloosa to do some whip around coverage if something impressive happens in Athens. And I anticipate ESPN will probably have a replay of it somewhere in the next few days. But if you want to watch all the action live you’ll have to stream it through SEC Network+. That requires a subscription and login, but if you have a cable package that includes ESPN there’s a reasonable chance you can set up a free account.
You can also kick it old school and listen on the Georgia Bulldog Radio Network, which will have Eric Zeier on the play-by-play and Chuck Dowdle working the sidelines.
However you choose to engage with the day’s festivities, this thread will remain open for your commentary. Are you in Athens? We’d love to hear your impressions and observations. Watching at home? Ditto. Out running errands at the home improvement store or Costco? Don’t let that stop you either. This is the first chance to bathe in the waters of spring game optimism for a while, so feel free to dive in head first.