Friday, August 26, 2016

Around the Tailgate - Who's your breakout player for 2016?

Originally posted at BullDawg Illustrated

Michael Barnett
Michael Barnett

So we've discussed the issue at quarterback, and then yesterday we talked about the game we'd most like to win. Today we're going to see who the guys think will be 2016's breakout player.
Give me one player you think we need to watch for that could be this year's very pleasant surprise. And his last name can't have two consecutive B's in it.
Namaman: I am hoping the player(s) to watch this year will be the entire TE corps.  Still the most under-utilized position in offenses - especially UGA offenses - in recent history. Let's get back to where we have proven, NFL caliber TE's like McMichael and Watson that can help Lambert, Eason and Chubb open up things for the WR's as well.  That is one of my fondest wishes... GO DAWGS!
Robert: I want to go with Jackson Harris, but you have to assume that a lot of the tight ends are going to see playing time.  How about Michael Chigbu? Then again, Kirby said the receivers would most likely be by committee.  I still like the Chigbu pick.  He should get significantly more targets, and I expect him to have a breakout year and be the pleasant surprise.
The Wrangler: I am going on the defensive side of the ball and picking #7 Lorenzo Carter.  The defensive intensity Coach Smart has brought to UGA will motivate Carter to be the best he can be.  After a great 2014 season, he was very quiet last year.  You know he has been waiting all summer to prove that he can be the man.  Since we are breaking in a new offense, the defense will have to be solid to take some pressure off the offense.  I predict 10 sacks for Carter this year.
Smokewagon: Wow….another tough question!  Mecole Hardman is a name that I haven’t heard much in pre-season coverage.  I hope I didn’t miss a story on him being injured or otherwise not available. I admit that I have not been clicking on the blogs all summer!  Perhaps the new stealthy coaching staff is holding his explosiveness under wraps and away from the media.  If not Mecole, I would go with Charlie Woerner.  I think Nauta and Holyfield will have serious impact, but I don’t think that will be a surprise.

I agree with the Wrangler and that it will be a defensive player, and we're going to need a big man to step up on the defensive front early. So I going with a guy that I think started to come on strong there last season in Michael Barnett. I have it on very good authority that 94, although he's a nice young man, has a real mean streak on the football field. Plus he's coachable. And we have one of the best d-line coaches around in Rocker.
Thanks for joining us for this preseason primer around the tailgate. Hope you've enjoyed it, and Go Dawgs y'all!