RB Zamir White is in Georgia’s plans for Vandy

Georgia has made no announcements about which players will be the among the 70 that will dress out for Saturday’s season opener against Vanderbilt. But evidence increasingly points toward freshman running back Zamir White being included in that number.

White was considered the No. 1 running back in the country when he came to UGA as part of the 2018 recruiting class. But he suffered his second ACL injury in a nine-month span — one in each knee — in preseason camp last August and missed all of last season.

» MORE: First look at Georgia's opponents: Vanderbilt

White’s ready to go this time around.

“Zamir’s worked really hard,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Monday. “Conditioning-wise, he’s one of the hardest workers on our team. He’s played in a lot of our special teams in roles. He’s done a good job in the scrimmages. I think he’s very confident with his knee and his health so he’s rip-roaring to go.”

A key factoid within that statement is Smart said that White is playing a lot of special teams’ roles. It should be noted that it was while blocking the gunner as a member of Georgia’s punt return team that White suffered his second knee injury in preseason camp last year. Smart didn’t specify Monday which special-team units White might be working on this season.

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Of course, it’s to run the football out of the offensive backfield that the Bulldogs brought White to Athens. And he’ll definitely do that eventually. In fact, White created quite a bit of buzz during this year’s camp for his physical running style, and he busted loose for at least one long touchdown run in Georgia’s scrimmages.

“I’m just really proud of him to come back from an injury like that and have the confidence to be out there,” senior safety J.R. Reed said. “It shows that he has confidence in himself and that he’s ready to get out there and play. That’s something that’s very difficult to do.”

Smart hasn’t declared a pecking order at running back, though logic coupled with practice observations indicate that junior D’Andre Swift will be the starter, followed by senior Brian Herrien and sophomore James Cook. Senior Prather Hudson is a special team starter for the Bulldogs, leaving White and true freshman Kenny McIntosh vying for some of the final spots for running backs on the limited travel roster for an SEC game.

The inference from Smart is that White is in Georgia’s plans for Vanderbilt. McIntosh, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound freshman from Fort Lauderdale, has been running with the scout team in practice the last week.

“I don’t have expectations for him per se,” Smart said of White Wednesday. “I can’t say, ‘you’re going to do this in the second quarter at this time and this play.’ He’s just going to go with the flow of the game and sometimes that changes and I can’t tell you how that will be for him or what that will be from him.

“But I can tell you is that he’s an unselfish kid that has worked his tail off to get back. Some of the expectations for him are probably unwarranted but for him, it’s a matter of he’s got his health and he wants to support his teammates.”