ATHENS - There's one member of Georgia's freshman class who isn't very well-known, but could end up playing a key role this season.
In fact he already is, according to one veteran.
Quayvon Hicks committed to Georgia in June of 2011, and then not much else was heard from him. That's mainly because Hicks plays fullback.
The position isn't the most visible on any football team. But it still matters at Georgia, especially this year, when the offensive line is a question and the fullback could play a key blocking role.
And the Bulldogs have a vacancy at the position. Bruce Figgins, who was last year's starter, graduated. Richard Samuel, who was highly likely to switch to fullback, is due to concentrate again on tailback, following Isaiah Crowell's unscheduled departure.
That leaves junior Zander Ogletree, who got spot duty last year, and Hicks, as well as walk-on Merritt Hall. Ogletree has the experience. But Hicks has the size (6-foot-3 and 253 pounds) and the speed, according to senior defensive end Abry Jones.
“I didn’t realize he was gonna be that big coming out of high school," Jones said. "But he’s really filling into his shape. He’s running well. I think when we have our team runs on Thursdays and stuff like that he’s always leading the pack. So we’re ready to see great things from him.”
Hicks was one of three freshmen that Jones said had impressed him the most this summer. (The other two were offensive tackle John Theus and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor.)
But Hicks stood out to Jones for another reason.
“He’s really stepped up and been a leader for that freshman class,” Jones said.
Georgia begins preseason practice on Thursday. Hicks' size and athleticism may ultimately give him a leg up over Ogeltree. Don't be surprised if much of the gameplan being geared toward Samuel - similar in build to Hicks - is now shifted to Hicks.