Based on summer conversations, it hasn't been much of a surprise to see the Bulldogs use cornerback Brandon Boykin on offense, to the extent that he has thus far in the 2011 campaign.
That said, it hasn't hurt that freshman Damian Swann has put himself on the fast track for consistent playing time in Georgia's secondary.
"I think I've already accomplished more than I expected coming in," Swann said. "I came in with the mindset that I was going to play; I just didn't think I would play quite as much. But I had a good camp and I think I made a good impression on the coaches, where they think I can help us win."
For those who have been paying close attention, Swann has become a regular feature of the Bulldog secondary, including last week's game against Coastal Carolina, when the former Grady standout earned his first career start when the Bulldogs opened the contest in their nickel package.
"That was fun," Swann said. "I'm still learning; I'm learning something every single week, every single game. I really tried to pay attention during camp, and fortunately I was able to retain a lot, although there's still a lot I have to learn."
Welch relishes first career completion
Nobody was more surprised than walk-on quarterback Parker Welch to get into last week's game against Coastal Carolina, so imagine his pleasure when he actually got to complete a pass, a 20-yarder to senior Israel Troupe during the Bulldogs' 59-0 win.
"It was a dream come true, because ever since I was a little kid I wanted to play for Georgia. To put in all the hard work and get a chance to play was really neat," he said. "I just tried to stay calm and do what I was coached to do. We repeat things so much in practice it's really pretty much second-nature when you get on the field."
For those who wonder why Welch received the opportunity instead of true freshman Christian LeMay, the answer is simple - he's being redshirted.
"Right now, I'm actually No. 3 behind Aaron (Murray) and Hutson (Mason). Obviously, I knew Coastal Carolina was a smaller team, and although I didn't come in expecting to play, I knew if the score was enough I might get my opportunity, so I made sure all week I was prepared and ready to play in case my number was called."
Harrow making special teams impression
For somebody a few thought was just a pawn so the Bulldogs could sign good friend and fellow freshman Isaiah Crowell, Quintavious Harrow proving those individuals wrong.
Through three games, Harrow is becoming one of the more valuable special teams performers for the Bulldogs, with a Bulldog-best three tackles on kickoff coverage thus far.
"When the ball is kicked, I just try to go out there and do my thing," Harrow said. "I always want to try and stop the returner inside the 20 to give our defense something to work from."
Two of his tackles came in last week's win over Coastal Carolina.
"I'm just feeling really comfortable," he said. "The game is going fast, so you've got to play fast, too."
Kickoff coverage isn't his only special teams role. Harrow also plays on kickoff return and is a member of the punt-block squad.
"I love doing it all," he said. "I've always loved being on special teams and make an impact however I can."
This and that
Just a reminder, Saturday's game kicks off at 12:21 and will be televised live SEC-TV, which is Peachtree TV in Atlanta.
With 14 more kickoff return yards, Boykin (2,154) will move from eighth to sixth on the SEC's all-time list for kickoff return yards. Former Florida standout Brandon James holds the SEC mark with 2,718.
Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at [email protected]