Everyone in the Bulldog Nation knows that the Georgia football team has had a lot of attrition since the end of last season, and the last thing anyone needs is for someone to go over all of the incidents that have transpired to leave Georgia a little bit short handed going into it’s first game versus a top 20 Clemson Tigers team.
But it is important to talk about the guys that are still on the team who are suspended for the first game on both sides of the field. Actually, I’ll bring up the one player that is suspended that is still a member of the team. The other member of the team that will serve a suspension is not healthy enough to be active for the game, and that’s WR Justin Scott-Wesley who will serve a one-game suspension when he is ready to return.
Of course, this is mid-August, and there is technically time for other infractions to happen before the start of the season.
The one player that is suspended for the opener is outside linebacker Davin Bellamy, who was listed on the post spring depth chart as second string behind Jordan Jenkins. Bellamy was suspended for two games following an arrest for DUI last month.
What many Georgia fans don’t seem to recall is that Clemson also has some players suspended for the first game for the vague “Violation of Team Rules”. This isn’t a Steve Spurrier-esque vague and toothless “indefinite suspension”, which is pretty much code for “won’t miss any games”. No, Dabo Swinney – a frequent whipping boy of the Head Ball Coach – apparently believes in actually making guys miss what they really love (football games) as punishment for indiscretions.
The players Clemson will be missing aren’t just a bunch of anonymous special teams players, or guys that are buried on the Tigers’ depth chart either. There are two starters and two upper-class second team players that the Tigers would like to have available for depth. Also, it’s interesting to mention that three of the four players went to high school in the state of Georgia.
Defensive back Garry Peters out of Heritage HS in Conyers has played 781 snaps of football for the Tigers. After taking many of those snaps in 2012, an injury caused him to lose three games in the middle of the 2013 slate. Even with a redshirt freshman Mackensie Alexander listed as the starter at one corner position, the Tigers would probably prefer to have the fifth year senior available for experience and depth.
Shaq Anthony out of Wren HS in South Carolina is listed as the backup left tackle and a co-starter (ie; it has yet to be determined who will start) at tight tackle for Chad Morris’ offense. The fourth year junior has taken 603 snaps and started five games in his career. That’s either a starter or first guy off the bench for Clemson.
The second Georgia HS product on the list of Clemson players suspended for the Georgia game is David Beasley, out of state power Carver (Columbus) HS. After a redshirt year, Beasley has been started in games in all three years of his career. He’s played in 30 games and started 19 of those. In all he’s played for 1227 snaps in his career. In last year’s win over Georgia, Beasley played all 79 offensive snaps for Clemson.
The last player for Clemson that will be suspended for the game in Sanford Stadium in less than 2 weeks is Corey Crawford, also a product of Carver (Columbus) HS. Crawford has had 25 starts played almost 1400 snaps for the Orange Paws. He accounted for 10.5 tackles for loss last year, and was picked 3rd team preseason All-ACC by Phil Steele and Athlons. The saving grace for Clemson is that they have 3 other players in the front seven that are first team All-ACC.
The upshot of all of this is just a gentle reminder that UGA has sustained some losses on their football team and even has a healthy player in the two deep that will be suspended. In the particular case of Clemson, Dabo Swinney is also giving some tough love that will affect the opposing team coming between the hedges a week from Saturday.
[Reference for this analysis was the Depth Chart on the official website of The Clemson Tigers.]