Wilson, who led the conference in tackles last season, missed time in fall camp with a concussion. Sophomore Tim Kimbrough was the starter in place of Wilson when Georgia released its depth chart earlier this week.
“He played good. Look at it,” said inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera, pointing to the stats sheet.
Coach Mark Richt declined comment at the time, but told the media not to go, “too crazy,” about the depth chart.
Wilson had seven tackles. Herrera, Kimbrough and Reggie Carter saw time at the inside linebacker spots.
“After a while you get a groove and you start rolling,” Herrera said. “We got confident and we started playing together and we just gelled.”
Potential Bulldogs on campus
Trenton Thompson headlined a major recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Thompson was joined on Saturday by fellow 2015 prospects Emanuel McGirt, Dante Shipman, Micah Abernathy, Darius Slayton, Donte Jackson and Roquan Smith. It was an official visit for McGirt and Shipman.
“It is big on many levels,” Scout National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons said. “So many younger recruits with family members and coaches there is one thing, but then you have a handful of official visitors in town as well.”
Georgia has clearly been making moves on the recruiting trail. The Bulldogs have landed six commitments in the month of August alone.
“They are laying the ground work with so many while trying to close the deal with others,” Simmons said. “It is a very important weekend for UGA in terms of recruiting with just a couple big home games on the schedule this season.”
First-timers start against Clemson
Seven first-time starters lined up against the Tigers. Senior defensive lineman Mike Thornton, freshman corner Dominick Sanders, junior corner Devin Bowman and redshirt freshman safety Aaron Davis started on defense. Redshirt sophomore offensive guard Greg Pyke, sophomore offensive guard Brandon Kublanow and senior fullback Taylor Maxey got the nod on offense.
Michel off to fast start
Freshman running back Sony Michel appeared early and often in his college debut. The five-star recruit from Miami was on the field for the Bulldogs second drive of the game. He finished the first half with 20 yards receiving and two yards on two carries. He also recorded a tackle on punt coverage and another defending a kickoff.
Seven true freshmen played for the Bulldogs through two quarters. Dominick Sanders, Isaiah McKenzie, Sony Michel, Nick Chubb, Jeb Blazevich, Rico Johnson and Lorenzo Carter all took the field for the first time.
Blazevich got his first career catch as a Bulldog late in the third quarter when Hutson Mason connected with him for eight yards.
Herschel Walker attended Saturday’s game and was introduced to the crowd just prior to kickoff. The legendary Bulldogs running back and 1982 Heisman winner drew a standing ovation as he pumped his fist toward the crowd.
There was a moment of silence prior to the game for Dan Magill, who passed away last week at 93. The Battle Hymn prior to kickoff was dedicated to the man called ‘the greatest Bulldog of all.’
Georgia’s honorary captain Saturday was Scott Woerner. The former All-American defensive back was a member of the 1980 national championship team and played for more than seven years professionally. His nephew Charlie, a junior standout at Rabun County, was a recruit in attendance.
Maxey a starter
Senior Taylor Maxey started the first game of his career at fullback Saturday.
The former North Oconee standout was in on the Bulldogs’ first offensive play and later could be seen running ahead of Todd Gurley’s 100-yard kickoff return.
“I think Taylor did great,” center David Andrews said. “I think he’s been doing good things all through camp and he was ready for the opportunity. I think he did a good job.”
Maxey joined Georgia as a non-scholarship player in 2011 and was a member of the scout team the last two seasons.
Job well won
Collin Barber beat out Athens native Adam Erickson in the battle to handle punting duties.
He showed why against Clemson.
Barber had five punts with an average of 45.4.
“Collin… that’s my boy, my roommate,” kicker Marshall Morgan said. “I think he’s back on his game. He just hit them well.”
His first punt of the game helped stop the Tigers momentum and get Georgia back in the game. Trailing 7-0 with the offense stalled on its first drive of the game, Barber boomed a 60-yarder, pinning Clemson inside the 20. The play turned the field position game in the Bulldogs favor and limited the Tigers chance to increase the lead.
“It was like a friendly competition, you know,” Morgan said. “I guess he got it and Adam still does the sky punts really well. It’s a good tandem.”
Turtle takes in Georgia
Football prospects weren’t the only ones recruited during Saturday’s game. Before kickoff, Mark Fox walked down the sideline with Athens Christian’s Will “Turtle” Jackson. Jackson flipped his commitment from Connecticut to Georgia in early July.
This and That
The Red Coat Marching Band took the field in brand new uniforms on Saturday… Redshirt freshman tailback A.J. Turman didn’t dress for Saturday’s game… While Fox toured Georgia commit “Turtle” Jackson around Sanford, junior guard Kenny Gaines got set to watch the game from just beyond the Hedges… 12 NFL scouts attended the Georgia-Clemson game… Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis attended the game as well.