While it’s hard to take much from a scrimmage, you can’t help but find yourself weeding through the stats from last night to see who looks to be stepping his game up and making an impact bid for the coming season.
I saw a few stats worth taking note of as the pre-season gives way to the season.
1. Todd Gurley’s receiving stats (3 receptions, 72-yards, 24.0 ypc)
With the departure of both Marlon Brown and Tavarres King, Georgia lost 71 receptions and 1,469 receiving yards; that’s nearly 20-yards per reception that walked out the Butts-Mehre door last season.
While it’s fair to assume Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley, and Michael Bennett will take a number of those lost receptions and make them their own, it’s also safe to assume that some of the passes Aaron Murray makes will be on screens, in the flats, and on check-downs to his running backs—Todd Gurley being option No. 1.
If Gurley becomes as much of a receiving threat as he is a running one, he’s going to be even harder to stop this season.
2. Brendan Douglas running well (7 carries, 50 yards)
I’ve spoken of Douglas’s value here before and after two strong performances (this one coming against the No. 1 defensive unit), it’s obvious that he’s not only challenging for contributory playing time, but potentially for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart.
With A.J. Turman sidelined due to injury, the reps Douglas will be invaluable to his development, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him making an early appearance on the football field this season.
3. Brendan Langley is the real deal (INT, pick six, PBU)
Langley is ready to make an immediate impact. He’s not scared of the bright lights and he isn’t likely to shrink in the face of competition. Tray Matthews may be the name on everybody’s tongues this fall (he’s already being pegged as a future first-round draft pick) where new faces in the secondary are concerned, but Langley’s approach to the game has me giddy; he’s going to be something else…and we won’t have to wait long to see it.
4. When Josh Harvey-Clemons comes back…OMG (7 tackles, 3 PBU)
He could have fallen off completely after the set-back that was getting caught in Mary Jane’s web, but JHC (as he’s often called) hasn’t done that at all; as a matter of fact, I’ve never seen him work this hard to prove his worth.
We all knew he was talented. We all knew he would be on the field making an impact this season. What we didn’t know is how bad he wants it; I’m here to tell you he wants it bad. And when he finally has his chance to shine, expect him to do so…brightly.
5. Christian LeMay…what’s left to say? (1-5, 5 yards)
I figured the addition of Brice Ramsey this past spring would strengthen LeMay’s resolve to work harder, get better, and compete stronger for the No. 3 spot. And while he seemed to truly home in during the spring, he appears to have quietly faded out of the spotlight since then.
Ramsey didn’t light it up against the No. 1 defense last night, but you would have thought LeMay would do better than one completion in what is now his third season at Georgia. I just don’t know anymore if he will ever live up to the promise he had when he arrived.