Commentary

Final 'exam' for redshirt freshmen

Upperclassmen and coaches evaluate young Bulldogs' progress

Updated: December 28, 2011, 10:45 AM ET
By David Ching | DawgNation
ATHENS, Ga. -- As the 2011 season winds to a close, Georgia fans soon will turn their attention to the next crop of players who will sign with the Bulldogs in February.

The upcoming signing class already has star power, but it will be a tall order for the newcomers to match the first-year production of the bunch that preceded them -- a ballyhooed group dubbed "The Dream Team" by coach Mark Richt.

Georgia's 2011 signing class produced the SEC Freshman of the Year, running back Isaiah Crowell, while several additional signees -- namely receiver Malcolm Mitchell, nose guard John Jenkins and linebacker Amarlo Herrera -- made considerable contributions.
[+] EnlargeNathan Theus
Radi Nabulsi/ESPN.comKicker Blair Walsh praises long snapper Nathan Theus (above) for the ability to stay cool in a game and remain unfazed when things go wrong.
Fourteen of Georgia's 23 signees who qualified academically played as true freshmen, leaving only nine to redshirt.

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