Kirby Smart updates injury status of several Georgia football freshmen

Then of course there is Malachi Starks, who might be the best freshman in the country.

As we’re past the halfway point of the 2022 season, Georgia feels very good about what it has in its freshman class. But for some, they’ll have to wait until next season to emerge for the Bulldogs.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart announced on Tuesday that two freshmen offensive linemen have undergone surgery, as Drew Bobo had a labrum repair, while Earnest Greene had back surgery.

Smart was slightly more optimistic about Greene possibly returning for the bowl practices. Exiting spring practice, Greene had solidified himself as the second-string left tackle. Georgia still feels strongly about its depth at tackle with Broderick Jones, Warren McClendon and Amarius Mims all being playable options.

“We got to the point where the doctors advised us, ‘Look, at this point we got to take care of it and get it fixed so that he can come back and be healthy,’” Smart said of Greene. “We’re expecting him to come back for the bowl practice or at the end in January and be able to lift and go full speed and get into spring. But it was at the point we couldn’t do anything else but have surgery.”

Earlier this season, Georgia saw running back Andrew Paul go down with an ACL injury. Smart also provided insight into how the young running back is recovering. His injury occurred in August.

Related: Kirby Smart on Jalen Carter, AD Mitchell injury status entering Florida: ‘I don’t feel great about either of them’

“He’s doing good. I get to visit with him once or twice a week in the Bones Dining Hall area, and he’s quiet kid,” Smart said. “So, you always worry about a guy when he’s not with the team as much when he’s injured. But he’s rehabbing. He couldn’t be with a better athletic training staff. I know Ron has got a great history with the ACL recoveries and expecting him to come back stronger than ever.”

It wasn’t all injury-related when discussing members of the 2022 signing class on Tuesday night. Linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson had some strong praise for inside linebacker Jalon Walker.

While Walker might be behind Dumas-Johnson and others right now on the depth chart, the freshman linebacker is still contributing on Georgia’s special teams units.

“He’s got a big role coming in the future. Jalon is pretty different,” Dumas-Johnson said. “His speed off the ball is crazy. I tell y’all all the time, Jalon is big and fast. He’s pretty fast. His get-off is crazy. He’s got a big future ahead of him.”

The Bulldogs signed the No. 3 ranked classes in the 2022 cycle. So far, that group has certainly lived up to that lofty billing.

Kirby Smart provides updates on several injured freshmen

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