Georgia football offensive players to watch vs. Arkansas
The 2020 Georgia football season is finally here, and with it comes our first look at the Bulldogs' new offense.
Todd Monken is the new offensive coordinator and he brings his signature spread offense to Athens. He's joined on campus by former USC quarterback JT Daniels and likely the most talented group of freshman receivers in school history.
But there's more to watch on offense than Daniels and the new receivers. Here are a few players you need to keep a close eye on this Saturday when the Georgia Bulldogs meet the Arkansas Razorbacks.
JT Daniels and/or D'Wan Mathis - QB
Head coach Kirby Smart says he likely won't announce a starter until game time, and he answered "probably" when asked if he would rotate quarterbacks against Arkansas. But that's if JT Daniels can play. The former USC starter hasn't been cleared yet from an ACL tear he suffered over a year ago. If Daniels isn't cleared, Mathis will be the starter by default.
If Daniels is cleared, then the quarterback battle, that has only been waged through drills and scrimmages, will spill over into Saturday's trip to Arkansas. The starting job for the following week is basically on the line so both passers will need to be on their A-game. We believe Mathis will get the first crack at things, and depending on how he plays, he may never release the reins of this offense.
Jermaine Burton - WR
A true freshman receiver at Georgia hasn't entered the season with this much hype since, well, last year with George Pickens. Fitting since the rising sophomore recently said Jermaine Burton "reminds [him] a lot of [himself]."
Pickens is not the only person praising Burton. Coaches and media alike have raved about his potential. Dawgs Daily's own Brooks Austin is outspoken in his praise of Burton, saying he's never seen a receiver like him.
This Saturday, viewers will finally see what all the hype is about. At first, it might be hard to find Burton because he is going to play all over Monken's offense. Burton will line up out wide just as often as he'll line up in the slot. With the best defensive backs covering Pickens, Burton is going to be on the good side of a lot of mismatches.
Zamir White - RB
With D'Andre Swift gone, the spotlight in Georgia's running backs corps switches to redshirt sophomore Zamir White. The former five-star ended 2019 on a high note by earning his first start in the Sugar Bowl and rushing for 92 yards with one score.
However, it wasn't a perfect game for White. He struggled to find holes that the line opened up for him which left a lot of yards on the table. White has had months to reflect and improve as a ball carrier and we'll see the fruits of his efforts this Saturday as White becomes the top Dawg in Georgia's backfield.
James Cook - RB
Perhaps no returning player on the offense benefits more from having a new offensive coordinator than James Cook. Despite Kirby Smart raving about him before the 2019 season and expressing an interest to get him more involved during the year, former offensive coordinator James Coley never found a way to make Cook a factor on offense. This resulted in Cook only gaining 320 yards of total offense last year.
Monken's proficiency for spreading the wealth on offense will ensure Cook's production increases in 2020. That ought to be apparent this Saturday. Watch for Cook to be used in a myriad of ways at Arkansas. However, his biggest impact will likely come on third down either on quick passes or sweeps where he can show off his elusiveness.
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