Georgia Football: 5 Players Who Have Surprised Us in 2013
The Georgia Bulldogs have played three games so far and have a 2-1 record. They fell short against Clemson in the season opener but were able to bounce back with wins against South Carolina and North Texas.
Players like Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Amarlo Herrera have played well during the early stages of the year, which is not a surprise because that was expected out of them.
But there have also been a few players who have surprised their teammates, coaches and fans with their play. With the schedule getting tougher, the Bulldogs will need more players to step up if they want to win the SEC.
Here’s a look at the five Bulldogs who have surprised us this year.
OL Kolton Houston
Kolton Houston was allowed to play this season after being ruled ineligible for the past two years. And he has made the most of his opportunity, as he is now a part of the offensive line starting rotation.
In the game against North Texas, he alternated time at right tackle with John Theus, who was the full-time starter last year.
Many people knew Houston was good enough to start, but there was no telling when or if he was going to be allowed to be back on the field. But when he was allowed to play, he hit the ground running and went from the scout team to the starting lineup in a matter of weeks before the season began.
FB Quayvon Hicks
The fullback position is somewhat of a dying breed in football because more teams are throwing the ball and using more one-back formations. But the Bulldogs still use the fullback for their pro-style offense, and they have a good one in Quayvon Hicks.
The sophomore rushed for 38 yards on three carries against Clemson and also rushed for 28 yards on four carries against South Carolina.
Hicks has also been effective when it comes to blocking, as he has opened holes for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
It’s good to see the Bulldogs have a dominant fullback, because being strong at that position makes the running game more dangerous.
DE Sterling Bailey
The defensive line has been solid so far in the first three games of this season, and surprisingly, it has not been Garrison Smith who has been the most productive.
Sterling Bailey is third on the team in tackles. He also has one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries.
His best game was against South Carolina, where he tallied 10 tackles in the win.
Bailey is a defensive lineman who can line up anywhere and make plays. For him to be third on the team in tackles is almost unheard of in a conference where there aren't really any teams that run the triple option. It will be fun to see how good of a player Bailey can be by the end of the season.
ILB Ramik Wilson
The leader in tackles for the Bulldogs is a guy who is in his first year as a starter.
Ramik Wilson is playing inside linebacker along with Amarlo Herrera, and Wilson has made plays all over the field.
Wilson has 31 tackles and two tackles for loss. He is not only the leader on the team in tackles, but he is one of the five tackling leaders in the conference.
With Alec Ogletree gone, Wilson has some big shoes to fill. And so far, he is filling those shoes with ease.
The Young Wide Receivers
The Bulldogs suffered a blow to the offense to start the season when Malcolm Mitchell tore his ACL.
But the young receivers have stepped up a big way to ease the pain.
Justin Scott-Wesley leads the team with 10 receptions for 234 yards and one touchdown. Chris Conley is right behind Scott-Wesley with 10 receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown.
And true freshman Reggie Davis had a game to remember against North Texas as he caught a 98-yard touchdown from Murray, which is now the longest pass play in school history.
Murray likes to spread the ball around, so he has a lot of trust in whoever is on the field. It’s good to see the young receivers making an impact because they will have to be even bigger contributors down the road.