The preseason is a good time to discuss freshmen, considering it may be the only time of the year many of them are spoken or written about.
A college program never wants to rely on a lot of freshmen for a season. But for fans, it can be exciting to learn more about how certain newcomers are doing.
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, however, believes this can reach an overkill level. Asked about which freshmen he and his staff have spoken highly of among themselves, Smart said he would rather not “sensationalize” how good a first-year player is doing in practice during a media gathering.
“When I say it and turn around – y’all got Ameer Speed as the next Deion Sanders,” Smart said. “It’s a long way from that. There are some guys doing some good things. I’m really proud of those guys working.”
Georgia has had several freshman standouts thus far.
Smart has even said offensive players such as running back D’Andre Swift and receiver Mark Webb should find contributing roles this fall. Offensive lineman Andrew Thomas has worked in with the first team, signaling his development has come along at a strong pace.
As a whole, however, Smart said there is still plenty for this freshman class, which ranked No. 3 in the 247Sports.com team composite rankings, to learn.
“It’s hard to single any one guy out, if you know I mean, in the freshman class,” Smart said. “As a unit, I want them to respond better to the challenges the leaders are giving them. I’m not pleased with how they respond to that. They’re good kids, they’re competing hard. I think they’re going to give us some depth on special teams. But it’s not like you can say one of those guys is a starter.”