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Which UGA Freshman Can Make the Most Impact?

Matt DeBary takes a look at the top five prospects in the class of 2016, who is most likely to make an immediate impact.

With Signing Day only a week away, the Bulldogs are looking to close strong and land some impact players for next.  Fortunately for new head Coach Kirby Smart, there are already a few commits/signess who could make an instant impact this fall.

Jacob Eason, Quarterback:  This one seems pretty easy to me.  We all saw 5-star QB Matt Stafford struggle as a freshman during the 2006 season, but that year was needed.  Joe Tereshinski and Joe Cox were not getting the job done, and the heralded freshman from Highland Park was thrown into the fire as a true freshman.  While he struggled at first, Stafford got better and better each game, which helped him gain confidence going into the 2007 season where he led the Bulldogs to the Sugar Bowl.  2016 will be very similar.  Greyson Lambert can’t lead Georgia to an SEC East title, and we still really don’t know what Brice Ramsey can do as a starter.  I expect Eason to get better and better through the spring, and be the starter in game ond.  He will struggle and throw interceptions like any normal freshman, but he has all the tools needed to be one of the best quarterbacks to come through Athens in a long time.

Javon Wims, Wide Receiver:  Wims is a guy with great size who has the playmaking ability that was not in Athens last year.  He can make the tough catch, get behind defenders, and is a guy that opposing defense have to strategize around.  Michael Chigbu, Jayson Stanley, are Shakeeneth Williams are reliable receivers, but they don’t exactly scare opposing defenses right now.  Terry Godwin is currently the best receiver on the roster, and Wims has the potential to have a big year playing opposite of him.  Look for Wims to get playing time early in the season, as well as a guy who gets plenty of touches in the red-zone.

Charlie Woerner, ATH:  Woerner is a guy who can do anything on the field, and is just too good to be on the bench.  It looks like he will start out at receiver, but could also play some tight end.  He rarely drops a pass, runs like a running back, has great instincts, and is a huge mismatch when going up against linebackers.  Expect Woerner to be a fan favorite early on in his career.

Ben Cleveland, OL:  Cleveland has been a Bulldog pledge for a year and a half now, and looks to have the chance at early playing time under new offensive line coach Sam Pittman.  With Isaiah Wynn possibly moving to tackle, Pyke’s struggles last season, and both starting tackles from last year leaving, Cleveland has all the opportunity in the world.  Pittman is looking to get bigger on the offensive line, and Cleveland has the perfect size to play earl at guard, but can also move out to tackle if needed.  Either way, expect Cleveland to play early.  He might struggle at first, but he won’t get better if he doesn’t struggle a little bit.

Elijah Holyfield, RB:  While the Bulldogs would love a healthy Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, that seems unrealistic.  I have no idea how Nick Chubb is handling his injury at the moment, but I seriously doubt he will be 100% for the opener.  There is a chance he might not even play the first few games.  Michel can carry the load, but he’s also dealt with injuries in his first two years in Athens.  Holyfield is a strong runner who can carry the ball if needed.  Georgia also has Tae Crowder, A.J Turman and Brendan Douglass on the roster, but Holyfield will absolutely push them for the third running back spot on the roster.  IF Chubb can’t go early in the season, don’t be surprised to see Holyfield carrying the ball after Michel.


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