Kirby Smart will have some decisions to make with regard to his roster this week. Per SEC rules, Georgia is only able to bring 70 players with them to South Carolina as the Bulldogs have their first road SEC contest of the season.
All the obvious names will be making the trip to Columbia, S.C., but this road trip will give us a better idea of where things stand for those young players trying to make an impact. If a freshman who isn’t earning regular playing time makes this trip, that should be seen as a good sign for their development.
Georgia and South Carolina get things started at Williams-Brice Stadium at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. ESPN will broadcast the game.
*Disclaimer: Adonai Mitchell, Arian Smith, Andrew Paul, William Poole and Nyland Green would all travel if they were healthy. Since they are not expected to play in the game, we do not think they will be making the trip to South Carolina
Quarterback: Stetson Bennett, Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff, Gunner Stockton (4)
The why: Georgia is going to bring at least the first three quarterbacks. Stockton will be one worth watching in terms of whether he makes the trip or not but we’ve heard positive things about him coming out of practice and think this could be a good learning experience for the young quarterback.
Running back: Kenny McIntosh, Kendall Milton, Daijun Edwards, Branson Robinson, Sevaughn Clark (5)
The why: Georgia will bring its four scholarship running backs. Clark is a key special teamer for the Bulldogs and will also be making the trip for Georgia.
Wide receiver: Kearis Jackson, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Ladd McConkey, Dominick Blaylock, Jackson Meeks, Dillon Bell, De’Nylon Morrissette, Mekhi Mews (8)
The why: Injuries here really shrink this room. Mitchell and Smith would travel under normal circumstances. Georgia could very well bring freshman CJ Smith if they feel really stretched for numbers but he’s played only three snaps this season and Georgia has been cautious with him as he recovers from a knee injury.
Tight end: Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, Arik Gilbert, Oscar Delp, Ryland Goede, Brett Seither (6)
The why: The top four are locks for the Bulldogs. Goede is ahead of Seither at the moment and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either one of them left at home. But with Georgia so thin at wide receiver at the moment, we think that plus their veteran status gets them on the bus against South Carolina.
Offensive line: Broderick Jones, Xavier Truss, Sedrick Van Pran, Tate Ratledge, Warren McClendon, Amarius Mims, Devin Willock, Warren Ericson, Jared Wilson, Austin Blaske (10)
The why: The Bulldogs have played so many offensive line combinations this one was pretty easy to figure out. We could potentially see them bring redshirt freshman Micah Morris to give Georgia 11 offensive linemen, but that would break from what it has traditionally done. We expect these to be the 10 that make the trip.
Defensive line: Jalen Carter, Nazir Stackhouse, Mykel Williams, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Zion Logue, Warren Brinson, Bill Norton, Tramel Walthour, Bear Alexander, Christen Miller (10)
The why: Georgia will have some tough decisions to make here. The first eight are locks for the Bulldogs as they are all regular rotation members. Alexander, Miller, Jonathan Jefferson and Shone Washington are all battling for those last two spots. Alexander has really impressed as of late and Miller played more snaps against Samford than Jefferson and Washington combined.
Outside linebacker: Nolan Smith, Robert Beal, Chaz Chambliss, MJ Sherman, Marvin Jones Jr. (5)
The why: These five will make the trip to South Carolina, given what they bring to the defense and special teams. It would not come as a surprise to see Darris Smith make the trip as well, given he is a back-up on multiple special teams units.
Inside linebacker: Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Smael Mondon, Trezmen Marshall, Xavian Sorey, Jalon Walker, Rian Davis (6)
The why: Only freshman EJ Lightsey gets left home from this position group. Georgia loves to use its linebacker on special teams, in addition to Dumas-Johnson, Mondon, Marshall and Sorey forming the regular rotation.
Cornerback: Kelee Ringo, Kamari Lassiter, Daylen Everette, Jaheim Singletary, Julian Humphrey (5)
The why: No Green illustrates just how thin this group is, with Ringo and Lassiter being the only two non-freshmen in the group. This will be the first time anyone in this position group plays in Columbia, S.C., as Ringo did not make the trip when Georgia visited in 2020.
Safety/Star: Christopher Smith, Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard, Dan Jackson, David Daniel-Sisvanah, Tykee Smith (6)
The why: We’ll be watching to see if freshmen Marcus Washington Jr. or JaCorey Thomas make the trip, with the door being opened by Poole’s potential absence. Smith seems to be fully healthy, which should lead to an increase in playing time.
Special teams: Jack Podlesny, Brett Thorson, Jared Zirkel, Payne Walker, William Mote (5)
The why: Walker and Mote are your long snappers. Podlesny and Thorson will handle kicking and punting duties. Zirkel is the backup for both. We could see Zirkel being left in favor of another position player, but Smart places far too much of an emphasis on special teams to leave something like that up to chance.
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