"I like the rule. I like it a lot," Coach Mark Richt said. "They're definitely more ready today than they would have been if they hadn't been in summer school. I'm really pleased with all the true freshman. It's very early, but as I've watched the film, you can see the potential. I don't know if there's one I would count out right now."
Richt specifically mentioned defensive ends Kade Weston and Jeff Owens, wide receivers Michael Moore and Mohamed Massaquoi and linebacker Marcus Washington as "guys who look like they're physically ready to compete."
"A good bit of them will have a chance," Richt said. "They're really a good-looking bunch of guys."
"He's a little farther along," Garner said. "It might have something to do with the fact he's been here all summer and Kade came in July. Kade was affected by the heat (Friday)."
If weight room numbers are any indication, Owens also is physically stronger. He topped Weston in all three of the team's three major lifts: bench press (485 to 370), squat (530 to 405) and power clean (309 to 242).
Wide receiver is the other position where Georgia desperately needs help. Massaquoi and Moore are even in terms of progress there, wide receivers John Eason.
The Bulldogs also lack depth at linebacker, but linebackers coach John Jancek said he doesn't think any of his newcomers "have" to play.
Still, Richt said Saturday that he expects Tavares Kearney to play right away.
"From what I've seen, he'll play this year," he said when asked if Kearney's one-game suspension would hold until next year if Kearney were to redshirt this year.
In addition to making a difference on the field, the academic hours players accumulate during the first summer will make it easier for players to keep up with the NCAA's heightened degree-progress requirements, Richt said.
The new rule drew mostly praise from coaches at least week's SEC Media Days.
"I think it's a great change," Kentucky coach Rick Brooks said. "Interestingly, basketball has been able to do it for several years."