Among the reasons Georgia enters the season as a consensus No. 1 is the number of veterans it returns from last season's Sugar Bowl winners. That, however, doesn't mean there won't be plenty of youth on the field in 2008.
Richt said he met with assistants Monday to determine which true freshmen would play in the Bulldogs' opener against Georgia Southern on Saturday, and while he won't release any names, he said plenty would see the field.
"A very large number of true freshmen should play," Richt said. "I would say eight to 12 will probably play."
That group will definitely include right guard Cordy Glenn, who is scheduled to start, as well as wide receiver A.J. Green, running back Richard Samuel and center Ben Jones, all of whom Richt has said would see the field.
STARTERS FOR NOW:
The revised Georgia depth chart had more than a few changes, but Richt downplayed the significance of the moves.
Defensive end Jarius Wynn was listed as the starter over Roderick Battle, Darryl Gamble was listed as the starting weak-side linebacker over Akeem Dent, and Bryan Evans appears to have won the starting cornerback job over Prince Miller, among other changes from the final spring depth chart. The roles, however, don't mean much, Richt said, as each position will rotate often.
"These guys, they're going to play, they're all going to play," Richt said. "And every week, they might change."
KICKING THE NERVES:
Richt said freshman Blair Walsh realizes he has a lot of pressure on his shoulders as the Bulldogs' primary field-goal and extra-point kicker, and it will be tough to shake the early season nerves until that first kick sails through the uprights.
Walsh takes over for Brandon Coutu, one of the most reliable kickers in Georgia's history, and although Walsh hasn't been perfect in practice, Richt said he has earned the starting job.
"He's just trying to get to the point where he can function well without the nerve factor, the first-time-doing-it factor," Richt said. "Once he gets through that, I think he'll be fine."
Richt said Walsh's range for the first game of the season is likely about 52 yards, though weather conditions could extend that number.
"If the ball's on the 35-yard line, I think we're well within his range," Richt said, "and given wind factors that particular day, I'm sure we could move back from there, too."