ATHENS, Ga. — We are less than two weeks away from kickoff to Georgia’s season at Vanderbilt, and after the team’s second preseason scrimmage on Saturday, Kirby Smart was asked about the challenge of deciding on a 70-man travel roster. It’s a task that only three Power Five teams in the country have to deal with prior to their opener (Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Virginia Tech), and something that Smart said is always difficult regardless of the final number that make the bus.
“It’s tough 70, it’s tough 85. It’s tough when you travel 100 because whoever the 101st, 71st, 86th, it’s tough,” Smart said. “It’s going to be even tougher, but we know what we decide there’s not final. It changes week to week. There’s not a week that I think our roster was exactly the same last year, No. 1, because of injuries, No. 2 because of effort in practice … It can come full circle. We’re going to have some tough decisions to make. We’re not going to make them right now. We’ve got two weeks to finalize those choices and decisions.”
Last season with the Bulldogs opening at home against a non-conference opponent, Austin Peay, Georgia was able to dress up to 125 players. For conference home games, the host team is able to dress 95 players, but only 80 of those are eligible to participate. The number shrinks even more to 70 for a conference road game like Georgia is faced with to open the season.
With that in mind, we took some time to consider who we believe will make the 70-man travel roster. Below we go position by position and explain the thinking.