ATHENS - As it turns out, Tray Matthews won't be the only true freshman starting for Georgia's defense, at least if the team's updated depth chart is to be believed.
Brendan Langley has supplanted Sheldon Dawson as the first-teamer at cornerback, according to a new depth chart released on Monday evening.
That's a notable change, despite the fact Georgia is likely to employ more than two cornerbacks for much of Saturday's game at Clemson. Dawson, a sophomore, finished the spring as the clear No. 2 cornerback, opposite of Damian Swann, and the competition in the preseason was expected to be for the nickel and dime spots.
But Langley, a well-regarded prospect from Marietta, has had a strong preseason. So has fellow freshman Shaq Wiggins, who is now listed as Swann's top backup.
"(Langley is) a guy with ability and a guy who can learn," Richt said. "He's dependable and he's focused enough to come in as a freshman and play like a veteran. He's done a good job of learning what to do and gaining the trust of the coaches."
In all, 10 of the 22 spots on Georgia's defensive two-deep are occupied by players who have never played a down of Division I college football. Seven are true freshmen.
A few other tidbits from the updated depth chart:
- John Theus is listed as the first-team right tackle, ahead of Kolton Houston. Coaches have said that both will play.
- James DeLoach is ahead of Leonard Floyd at outside linebacker, so apparently DeLoach held off the impressive freshman - at least for now.
- Senior Connor Norman is the first-teamer at strong safety, while junior Corey Moore is the top backup. Norman remains healthy and likely to start, but Moore has missed the past several weeks with a sprained knee. So junior Shaquille Fluker, unlisted on the two-deep, seems likely to be the top backup right now.
- Josh Harvey-Clemons would be the first-teamer at strong safety, but he's suspended. On the other hand, Marshall Morgan is listed as the starter at place-kicker. The difference there is Harvey-Clemons' suspension has been announced, while the team remains coy on Morgan's status, though all indications are that he will not kick. Adam Erickson, a senior walk-on, is listed as the top backup place-kicker, yet another indication he will be kicking at Clemson.
- Malcolm Mitchell is the top guy listed at both kick return and punt return. Todd Gurley is his top backup at kick return, while Rhett McGowan and Damian Swann are also listed for punt return.