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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – We learned Tuesday night that Peach County’s Tyrique McGhee will miss four to six weeks of his season with the Georgia Bulldogs.
I hate that, since McGhee did so well last year and was poised to really help this team. Look, players get hurt in the preseason. McGhee hurt his foot in the scrimmage last Saturday. But here’s yet another example to show how the Georgia football program has changed under head coach Kirby Smart. It’s not like the loss of McGhee is going to cripple the defense.
Instead, someone else has a chance to step up and get significant playing time, and this is the bad part for our local kid, possibly edge out the incumbent who may miss time because of the injury. Tyson Campbell was a five-star cornerback out of Florida, and he might now get more of a chance with McGee being out. And while this is not knock on McGhee, Campbell might be even better.
We’ve heard for years about how players aren’t really replaced at Alabama once they move on to the NFL, they’re just followed up with another talented player. Well, that may be what we’re seeing happen at Georgia. There are some spots that would be a huge blow if an injury knocked the starter out, but for the most part Georgia’s depth is so impressive that it would not be the end of the world.
Think about the offensive line. A decade ago the offensive line of scrimmage had only nine players on scholarship. Remember when Trinton Sturdivant got hurt? Well, the offensive line was decimated when that happened because the drop-off from Sturdivant to his replacement was significant. If that happened now, it would not be that big of an issue. You don’t want to lose a starter on the offensive line, but it would literally be “next man up.”
The depth all over this team, especially on offense, is ridiculous. We all know they have a capable backup to starter Jake Fromm at Quarterback. If needed, Justin Fields will be fine. There are five really good running backs. The tight ends are loaded. The Receivers got deeper last week with the official addition of Demetris Robertson. And the offensive line has never been stronger, at least on paper.
The defense may not be as deep as Georgia’s offense, but it’s still pretty strong. Remember, along with having the number one recruiting class in the country, with several of the true freshmen like Campbell possibly ready to make a difference, Georgia got two free agents – if you will – in graduate transfers Robertson and Jay Hayes, who was a starting defensive lineman for Notre Dame last season.
If Georgia is to get back to where it was last January – on the cusp of a championship – the depth will be a key. We hope to see McGhee back soon in the Georgia secondary, but this team has progressed to where if he’s out for even longer than expected, they’ll be okay.