Sixty-one days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Sept. 1. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.
61. Zach DeBell
Redshirt freshman, Offensive line
6-foot-6, 273 pounds
Fall forecast: Much like fellow redshirt freshman offensive tackle Xzavier Ward, DeBell is a complete unknown entering preseason camp. Both players contended with injuries last fall, after arriving in June as raw prospects who were obvious redshirt candidates because they needed to add weight to their oversized frames.
Neither player has participated in enough practice as a legitimate contender for playing time to predict whether they will contribute much in 2012. They are both listed as third-team tackles -- Ward at left tackle and DeBell behind Kolton Houston and Watts Dantzler at right tackle -- on the post-spring depth chart.
Possible career impact: Like so many offensive linemen in Georgia’s recent history, injuries have made predicting DeBell’s future somewhat difficult. He came to Athens as a bit of a raw project, but has the ability to be a big mauler on the edge. His staying healthy for preseason camp would help offensive line coach Will Friend get a better idea of whether DeBell can help the Bulldogs this fall and where he ranks moving forward.