Georgia’s annual intra-squad game of the spring — known as G-Day — won’t quite feel like a real game, but it will be a barometer for how some players could look come the regular season.
Fourteen members of Georgia’s 2019 signing class will make their Sanford Stadium debut Saturday while returning veterans such as Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift and Rodrigo Blankenship will also participate in the spring finale. But here are five players fans should keep an eye on during Saturday’s game:
Brian Herrien, running back
Herrien is going to have a big chance to impress on Saturday. After carving out a name for himself in the past on limited carries, there’s a very good chance Herrien will be the leading rusher on G-Day. Zamir White, another fan favorite, won’t play in the game as Georgia is being cautious with his return. James Cook hasn’t been 100 percent either as he recovers from ankle surgery.
Herrien will get a chance to show that he can absorb the role vacated by Elijah Holyfield. And if Herrien runs as he did in the Sugar Bowl or against Tennessee last year, he’ll have likely earned himself a good chunk of carries for Georgia come the fall.
Trey Hill, center
Georgia has one vacancy to fill on the offensive line this spring, and it looks like Hill is going to be the man to step in at center. Kirby Smart said he had the inside track on the position in his first press conference this spring, and he’s said nothing to make it seem like Hill has lost ground.
“Trey is the guy that’s kind of been walking through and taking the most reps, and he’s got some experience already, which is valuable,” Smart said.
Hill impressed when he filled in last year against Kentucky. And he’s played with Fromm before, as Hill also played for Houston County in high school. Georgia’s offensive line might be the best in the entire country, and a strong spring performance from Hill should only further validate that claim.
Demetris Robertson, wide receiver
Some Georgia wide receiver is going to have a monster performance. It could be junior Matt Landers, who Smart has spoken about a number of times this year. There’s also Tyler Simmons and Kearis Jackson as well. And of course Jeremiah Holloman, who is the only returning wide receiver who caught more than 10 passes last season.
But from a fan perspective, there’s no wide receiver with more intrigue than Robertson. The former 5-star wide receiver came in with huge expectations last year but still hasn’t recorded a catch in a Georgia uniform. That should change on Saturday. And a big performance on G-Day could be the start of a big season for Robertson.
“I think he’s more comfortable with the offense,” Smart said. “He’s played the F, which puts him in the slot He plays outside, he understands our offense better and he’s also getting more opportunities.”
Tyson Campbell, defensive back
Saturday will give us a sneak peek at what Georgia’s secondary will look like without Deandre Baker. Georgia has a lot of guys who have experience in the secondary, but only Campbell can claim he was a 5-star cornerback according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Campbell struggled early in his Georgia career and was ultimately benched in favor of Eric Stokes during the Auburn game. But Campbell bounced back when he filled in for Baker during the Sugar Bowl. A strong performance on Saturday would bode well for Campbell’s chances of starting alongside Stokes come the season opener against Vanderbilt.
Nolan Smith, outside linebacker
We could’ve gone with a number of newcomers for Georgia. Nakobe Dean seems to have impressed at inside linebacker. DJ Daniel has done the same at the cornerback position. But the one early enrollee that really seems to have stood out this spring is Smith.
“Nolan plays hard all the time,” Smart said. “He doesn’t always play smart but he plays with great effort and does a good job.”
This makes sense given that Smith was the No. 1 overall recruit in the country. But Smith was entering a loaded position group this spring at outside linebacker. And the fact that Smith has made such a strong impression already should have fans looking forward to what he can do on Saturday.
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