Numerically speaking, Georgia Bulldogs set for season

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

ATHENS — The Georgia Bulldogs completed their fourth practice of the spring Tuesday, and it appears that they’ve finally solidified all the jersey numbers for the many newcomers on the squad.

Georgia welcomed 21 early-enrollee signees and midyear transfers for the spring semester. All of them are participating in spring practice.

The jersey-number distribution always is a highly anticipated exercise, both for the wearer and for fans seeking to follow their favorite players. None of the transfers were able to retain numbers from their previous stops. Mississippi State transfer receiver Rara Thomas is actually on his third numeral in three seasons. He’ll wear the No. 5 jersey previously donned by wideout A.D. Mitchell for Georgia last season. Thomas wore 84 his freshman season in Starkville and 0 (zero) last year.

Dominic Lovett goes from No. 7, which he wore against the Bulldogs last year at Missouri, to 6 this year. Smoke Bouie went from 3 at Texas A&M to 31 with Georgia.

The zero jersey occupied by Georgia’s 6-foot-7, 270-pound tight end Darnell Washington last year will look markedly different on the 6-foot, 235-pound frame of freshman running back Roderick Robinson II. Meanwhile, fifth-year senior linebacker Rian “Trouble” Davis will wear it again on defense.

Robinson, by the way, wore Nos. 1 and 2 while playing at Lincoln High in Imperial, California. But both of those numbers are occupied by Georgia upperclassmen. Wideout Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (1) and running back Kendall Milton (2) both are seniors for the Bulldogs. The good news, Robinson might be able to negotiate a switch to one or the other after this season.

Sorting out the jersey-number distribution is a complicated endeavor for equipment managers and coaches. Often top-notch recruiting prospects want a certain number when they come to college. Many times, however, that number might be already occupied or, in the case of Georgia, could be retired. The Bulldogs have four retired jerseys: Nos. 21, 34, 40 and 62.

Taking into account there are 125 players, including walk-ons, it can be a numerical challenge. Hence, the modern-day miracle of number duplication. Today, every roster has defensive players and offensive players wearing the same number. In the Bulldogs’ case, they have 38 duplicate numbers on the roster.

The only stipulation is rules prevent any two players wearing the same number to be on the field at the same time. Special teams further complicate the matter. But then the rules allow for one player to temporarily change their number on a specific play. Hence, you have what Georgia did last season, with defensive tackle Zion Logue, a member of the kick-protection team, having to shed his No. 96 for every placement try by the 96-wearing kicker Jack Podlesny.

Going 15-0 with no blocked kicks, the Bulldogs can say it was worth the trouble.

While most hate to see J-Pod go, Logue probably won’t miss having to yank on that No. 44 jersey Georgia kept on the sideline for him every point-after kick.

Numerically speaking

0 – RB Roderick Robinson II, freshman, Imperial, Calif.

4 – DB A.J. Harris, freshman, Phenix City, Ala.

5 – WR Rara Thomas, junior, Eufala, Ala. (Miss. State)

5 – LB Raylen Wilson, freshman, Tallahassee, Fla.

6 – WR Dominic Lovett, junior, Belleville, Ill. (Missouri)

7 – TE Lawson Luckie, freshman, Norcross

8 – DB Joenel Aguero, freshman, Lynn, Mass.

9 – DB Justyn Rhett, freshman, Las Vegas

10 – WR Tyler Williams, freshman, Lakeland, Fla.

13 – WR Zeed Haynes, freshman, Philadelphia

17 – WR Anthony Evans III, freshman, Converse, Texas

26 – OLB Sam M’Pemba, freshman, Olivette, Mo.

29 – OLB Gabe Harris Jr., freshman, Thomasville

31 – DB Deyon “Smoke” Bouie, sophomore, Bainbridge (Texas A&M)

33 – LB C.J. Allen, freshman, Barnesville

35 – OLB Damon Wilson II, freshman, Nokomis, Fla.

44 – DL Jordan Hall, freshman, Jacksonville, Fla.

55 – DL Jamaal Jarrett, freshman, Greensboro, N.C.

57 – OL Monroe Freeling, freshman, Isle of Palms, S.C.

70 – OL Joshua Miller, freshman, Chesterfield, Va.

88 – TE Pearce Spurlin, Rosemary Beach, Fla.

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