On Wednesday at Dawgs Daily, we talked about the importance of players that have been around the program for a while to make a leap into stardom. Players like Travon Walker, Chris Smith and Kearis Jackson.
But what about players that could be Year-2 standouts? There are a handful of players vying for serious playing time at critical positions on the roster.
Kelee Ringo, CB
Ringo was the talk of Athens when he entered the program as a true freshman. From the moment he stepped on campus, he was immediately one of the most physically impressive athletes in the program. That anticipation was delayed until the fall of 2021 thanks to a shoulder surgery that left Ringo on the sidelines for his true freshman season.
Now, entering his redshirt freshman season, Ringo is looking to join a list of corners that have seen national success in their first college season. Cornerbacks like Derek Stingley and Elias Ricks played at an All-America level, and neither was as highly-rated as Ringo entering college.
What Ringo doesn’t have in experience he more than makes up for in intangibles. He stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 205 pounds. He was clocked running at a max speed of 22.3 miles per hour this year, absurd for a prospect of his size. He's had a good spring so far according to sources, and he's as close to being a full participant as he can be. He's practicing in a black jersey, but a participant in most of practice.
Justin Robinson, WR
Heading into spring practice, most expected Robinson to play a limited role in 2021. With George Pickens being the primary X-Receiver and Jermaine Burton expected to man down the Z-Receiver, there wasn't much room for Robinson. Now, with Pickens out for the foreseeable future, Robinson is being called upon a bit earlier than expected.
Robinson is a redshirt freshman that is 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, making him a game-changing player down the field. He can work underneath, but is at his best when he gets down the field for jump balls.
With Pickens, Burton, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dominick Blaylock all out or limited participants in spring practice, it's Robinson that's getting the bulk of the opportunities as well as building a rapport with quarterback JT Daniels.
Tate Ratledge, OL
Ratledge was one of the more highly-touted offensive lineman in his recruiting class but like most freshman lineman in the SEC, he saw very limited playing time.
Recruited out of high school as a tackle, Ratledge quickly moved inside to guard and during the 14-plus months since arriving on campus as a freshman in 2020 has grown to 6-foot-6, 320 pounds and possesses the strength to compete in the SEC.
According to sources, Ratledge has seen reps with the first-team unit throughout the spring at right guard, partially in place of Jamaree Salyer who has been limited at times due to precautionary measures being taken with his knee.
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