Between the high praise of the coaches, the gushing of the upperclassmen and their cool-headed demeanor in their debut in front of 13,000-plus, the secret that Utah's freshmen class could be a special group really is no longer a secret.
The five rookies, all of whom have cracked the Utes' lineup in at least one event thus far, represent one of Utah's top classes in recent years.
But as good as they are as a group, one, Georgia Dabritz, already seems to be rising above the rest. Like Corrie Lothrop, Ashley Postell and others whose names are scattered through Utah's record books, Dabritz has shown signs of being one of those special impact freshmen who can deliver big scores for the Utes.
Already she has earned the nation's top ranking on the floor with a 9.938 average and rebounded with a poor uneven bars routine in the season opener by scoring a 9.95 on the event in the Utes' home opener against Utah State.
Her work on floor and her uneven bars performance against the Aggies are indicative of the regular scores the Utes believe she can produce this season.
"There are a lot of things about Georgia that indicate she is going to be great in the future," Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden said. "The few weaknesses she has, we are strong with and can help her improve. But she is a freak of nature, her athletic ability puts her among the most talented athletes we've had."
Dabritz isn't a stranger to success by any means. The Newburyport, Mass., native brings to Utah a long list of accomplishments, including winning the 2011 Junior Olympic all-around title and a seventh-place finish in the 2009 USA Visa Championships.
Her talents made her one of the most sought-after recruits in the country with the Utes winning the final battle over Alabama because she liked the atmosphere at Utah better.
"I loved the campus, and the coaching staff and team seemed really close," she said. "It was more like a family, and that is what I wanted."
It hasn't taken the 5-foot-1 Dabritz long to assimilate herself with her teammates. She might have brought talent and high expectations with her to Utah, but she left any semblance of an ego at home.
"She is a lot of fun to be with," senior Stephanie McAllister said. "She is so talented. We keep saying how unbelievably talented the freshman class is, but it's true, and she's unbelievably good. There is a lot in store for her, but she is goofy and fun to be with, too."
A common theme among the freshmen is they helped fill the team's need for more powerful gymnasts to bolster the Utes' lineups on vault and floor.
Dabritz exemplifies that power, but she also is one of the team's most technically sound gymnasts, which helps set her apart.
"She is light and effortless but technically sound," Marsden said. "Her tumbling technique is right on the spot, and her execution is flawless. She doesn't look labored when she is doing gymnastics."
Utah's coaches aren't the only ones enamored with her; the judges have taken to her as well. Dabritz won the floor event in Utah's opener at UCLA with a 9.9 and scored a 9.875 on the vault. She had a break and scored just 9.35 on the uneven bars, but she attributed that poor effort to nervousness.
She wasn't nearly as nervous against USU, nailing a 9.95 on the event in front of 13,000-plus at the Huntsman Center.
"I forced it too much the first time," she acknowledged. "This time I was much more relaxed about everything, and that helped a lot."
As seasoned a competitor as she is, Dabritz still struggles with the mental aspect of gymnastics. Like some elites, she can get down on herself quickly. Working on that aspect of gymnastics is where the Utah coaches believe they can help the freshman the most.
Often elite freshmen come in with a critical view of themselves because one small mistake can ruin a competition in which they've often trained six months or longer. But mistakes, and the chances to make up for them, are more common at the collegiate level with competitions scheduled virtually every week.
Marsden said she sees many of the same traits she had as a gymnast in Dabritz and believes it won't take the coaches long to help her.
"Sometimes her mind can go to the wrong place and gets busy with negative thoughts," she said. "We're trying to teach her how to turn her brain off. Sometimes it takes time for that, and it does remind me of the things I went through. Once she has taken care of that, I think she'll have great days ahead."
Fab five freshmen
Georgia Dabritz is one of five freshmen expected to make an impact for the Utes this year. Here is a short look at the others:
Kailah Delaney • Has mono but still contributes on vault where she has a 9.9 and 9.925
Kassandra Lopez • Earned a 9.8 in her debut on the balance beam at UCLA
Becky Tutka • An elite gymnast in 2006, Tutka scored 9.8.75 on the floor against USU
Tory Wilson • Is Utah's leadoff on vault, earning a 9.875 against USU
Georgia Dabritz file
Height • 5-foot-1
Class • Freshman
From • Newburyport, Mass.
Of note • 2011 Junior Olympic all-around champion. â¦ Competed in the 2009 and 2010 USA Visa Championships, placing seventh on the bars in 2009... Already ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor.