Class of 2005: Who will play this fall?

ATHENS – With four players that signed in February out for the fall, and in some cases beyond, will Georgia's 2005 class make an impact on the field this fall?

Athlete Jamar Bryant became the fourth academic casualty of the Bulldogs' class of 2005 today when he was not allowed admission into Georgia; he will play college football at East Carolina. Another signee that will never play for Georgia is linebacker Jamar Chaney. His SAT score was flagged, and he was subsequently denied admission into Georgia. Chaney has yet to enroll in college. Linebacker Darius Dewberry and defensive lineman Brandon Sesay failed to academically qualify to get into Georgia; They will not enroll this fall, but could return in the future after prep school and junior college. The fate of defensive tackle Corey Moon was not what the Dawgs had hoped: He did not qualify and will enroll at Hargrave this fall. That leaves the 14 other signees – what will their impact be this fall, if any?

Redshirt Candidates:

Joe Cox may or may not be the future quarterback at Georgia, but one thing seems likely for the fall – he won't play unless there is a catastrophic collapse at quarterback. D.J. Shockley, Joe Tereshinski and Blake Barnes are all in front on Cox on the depth chart.

Tripp Chandler walks into a depth chart that has one of the best tight ends in the country as well as a senior in the back-up spot. Trahern Holden and Coleman Watson seem to be in line to challenge for the starting tight end spot in 2006 if Leonard Pope decides to turn pro, so it only makes sense to redshirt Chandler this fall.

Antavious Coates is not likely to be redshirted – he will be. Coates has struggled with his knee since he tore his ACL last fall. He will have surgery on his knee, and Georgia has already put out a statement saying he will take a redshirt season this fall.

The depth of the offensive line might be the reason offensive lineman Ian Smith sits out this fall. There is so much depth along the Bulldogs' offensive front that unless a lineman shows immediate understanding and physical tools early in the fall, playing won't make sense. Smith will likely sit this fall out and develop under Neil Callaway.

Marcus Washington is a little bigger than most of the other linebackers on the team, and that's something he's working on during summer conditioning. Considering he might not get tons of playing time this fall, he too is a candidate for redshirting. However, middle linebacker is not nearly as settled as it once was with the departure of former back-up linebacker Josh Johnson to Georgia Military. Washington could play this fall, but that would likely come in an emergency. Tavares Kearney is also likely on the outside looking in regarding playing this fall. He's got a shot to play some if he performs on special teams and if he can fit into a talented, but shallow outside linebacker rotation.

Will likely play:

Donovan Baldwin and Bryan Evans will have to play well on special teams, but it appears that both will see at least some time on the field this fall. If summer workouts are any indication of conditioning and strength, both seem ready to take snaps. Demario Minter and Tim Jennings are the starters, but after those two the level of experience drops off significantly. If Baldwin and Evans look good on special teams and in drills this August they will play.

Jeff Owens and Kade Weston both come into situations on the defensive line that are good in terms of freshmen playing this fall. Weston and Owens will without a doubt play – not because of their skill necessarily – but out of need. Georgia's defensive line is solid, but thin. After Gerald Anderson and Kedric Golston, both All-SEC candidates, the Dawgs' depth is limited. On the outside Roderick Battle will get his chance, too. But he might be a candidate for a redshirt if he can't leapfrog one spot on the depth chart. Still he might get some playing time in order to get him ready for 2006.

The three most likely to play at skill positions are C.J. Byrd, Mohamed Massaquoi and Michael Moore. Moore and Massaquoi might or might not both play this fall, but they both are physically ready. The question for both is: can they overtake older players on the receiver depth chart? None of the returning receivers have a ton of experience, but they have been at Georgia longer than the freshman duo. Getting enough practice time in a very crowded depth chart will be the key to both finding their way onto the field as will special teams.

Byrd will get his chance to play right away due to his skill and the lack of depth at safety. Tra Battle has dealt with injuries in the past, and Antonio Sims redshirted last fall. Expect a Kelin Johnson-type freshman season from Byrd – he should excel in special teams and that will get him on the field enough to avoid a redshirt.


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