February 10, 2012

Redshirt impact?

While much attention has been wondering what members of Georgia's 2012 Signing Class will be making an impact for the Bulldogs this fall, don't forget about the freshmen who redshirted last year.

Below, UGASports takes a look at the players who redshirted and what fans can expect from them this fall.

• OLB Sterling Bailey : Bailey's collegiate career has certainly gotten off to an injury-plagued start, following labrum surgery almost a year ago today, followed by December's right foot surgery that's going to force him to miss spring practice.

Fortunately, barring any more setbacks, Bailey is expected to be ready for preseason drills where defensive coordinator Todd Grantham line him up at outside linebacker, either at Will or Sam.

"We're expecting good things from him," Grantham said.

• CB Devin Bowman: Bowman's role suddenly became a lot more important once Jordan Love decided to transfer to Towson State and last week's dismissal of Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders, he'll need to step up even more. Coaches are confident that he will. This spring, look for Bowman to get extensive looks at wide-, short-corner and nickel for the Bulldogs, who will also give the youngster an opportunity to show what he can do returning kicks.

• OT Zach DeBell: DeBell redshirted last year to get bigger and get stronger, which he apparently has done. DeBell is up to 295 pounds, and will be among the players getting looks at right tackle in the spring. The Florida native is coming off ankle surgery last month but is expected to be ready once practice begins on March 20.

• QB Christian LeMay: With the recent news that Hutson Mason will redshirt this fall, LeMay will become the top backup to starter Aaron Murray. "I'm looking forward to seeing this guy in the spring, after a year and understanding things better," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said recently. LeMay got off to a slow start with the Bulldogs after not playing his senior year, but coaches have since been very pleased with his progress and have great confidence in him moving forward.

• TE Jay Rome: Rome is currently a backup on Mark Fox's basketball team, but will make the transition back to football when spring practice begins on March 20. With Orson Charles and Aron White having moved on, Rome will play an integral role at tight end, along with junior Arthur Lynch and incoming freshman Ty Smith .

• WR Justin Scott-Wesley: Scott-Wesley is spending winter quarter as a member of the Bulldog track team, but is looking forward to spring practice where he hopes to improve on the strides he began to make toward the end of last year. One of the team's fastest players, Scott-Wesley has had to watch his weight, but appears to have it under control and will figure into what will be a deep receiver rotation this fall.

• LS Nathan Theus: Ty Frix is still listed as the Bulldogs' starting long-snapper, but don't be surprised if Theus assumes some of those duties this fall.

• OT Xzavier Ward: Ward redshirted so he could recover from a torn ACL and put on more weight. He's apparently done that, now up to 290 pounds, and despite a slight set-back in December is expected to be ready for spring. He is expected to get looks at both tackle positions.