Tuesday, July 5, 2011

UGA Froshes Getting Early Love (Not Just Crowell)

Ray Drew for web.jpg
Courtesy of The Thomasville Times-Enterprise
(Clint Thompson)

If you happen to have a file on your desktop for articles concerning breakout freshmen this year in the SEC, add THIS ONE to the "Crowell" sub-folder. I'd estimate this is article #367895969 that proclaims Crowell to be an automatic impact player. I swear, if this kid doesn't feel any pressure he obviously has Valium running through his veins. I sure hope he can handle it, because I REALLY don't feel comfortable about the tailback situation if he can't.

No pressure, though kiddo.

Here's the touted back's little blurb:

RB Isaiah Crowell, Georgia — Crowell is considered the jewel of Georgia's 2011 "dream team" class that coach Mark Richt signed in February. With the departure of Washaun Ealey, Crowell could get immediate carries if he arrives in camp in shape and with the right attitude.

Crowell is pretty much the only Dawg that I've heard mentioned throughout the summer. I don't think he's the only deserving member of being in that group, however. Another of the five mentioned players is one of the newest pups on campus:

DE Ray Drew, Georgia — Drew is the top defensive player in Georgia's dream team class. Look for Drew to get plenty of opportunities to get to the quarterback in Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme.

I think Drew is going to have ample opportunity to pillage the opposing backfield, but will he actually make a huge impact? (And for that matter, Jadeveon Clowney)

If history is any indication, defensive end is one of the very few positions in which players don't seem to have a huge impact in their first season on campus. In fact, the only really player that I can find that had a huge impact in their freshman campaign over the last five years was Missouri's Aldon Smith in 2009.

If anyone is going to break that trend, it will likely be one of these two. Which one... well, I sure hope it's one of the good guys.


  1. Can't wait to see what Nick Marshall can do. I know he is projected as a DB, but would like to see what he could do with the ball in his hands.

  2. I agree that freshman DE/OLB's tend not to make an immediate impact. Drew and/or Clowney could be the exception. The issue at the weak side/rush end is that these guys are able to overpower left tackles in high school. They are typically just better athletes than the guys they line up against. I don't see either of those guys overpowering an SEC-caliber left tackle like a Cordy Glenn. I think the impact players will be the skilled players because they don't necessarily have to play in the scheme. They can use their athleticism to make plays in space (see Green, AJ in Tempe). As a result, I think Malcolm Mitchell is likely to be the guy. I also agree with Anon 8:26 that Nick Marshall could be a guy to make a impact in the return game or in some Wild Dawg type of formation as a spot player. Crowell is going to get his chance, but questions on the offensive line make me hesitant to consider him the 2nd coming of Hearst or Moreno as a freshman.

  3. Nick is one of the guys I'm most excited to see. He's probably the best athlete we've had on the field in the last 10 years.

    I'm actually hoping he doesn't just get thrown in with a gimmick offensive package like the "Wild Dawg" or whatever people want to call it. Put the ball in his hands and give him some room to work once in a while. After all, he can chunk it 75 yards as well.

  4. Martin, what I mean by a Wild Dawg is not what we've seen over the past couple of years with some combination of Gray and Ealey. I absolutely hated that.

    I mean more of what we did with DJ Shockley as a combined run/pass threat and maybe some work in short yardage. I just don't want us to see complete series where Murray is off the field just to get a change of pace QB on the field.