There was plenty of interesting things to see at practice but the main thing that caught my eye was the work that the Bulldogs offensive line was putting in today. However as mentioned before there were many things that caught my eye at practice today.
As I always do, I would like to start off by giving a brief injury report concerning the Bulldogs. On the offensive side of the ball, offensive lineman Sam Madden and running back Sony Michel were both in black non-contact jerseys. Michel is no surprise and Madden was actually in the same jersey during the Bulldogs most recent scrimmage last Saturday. It should be no surprise to see Michel remain in a black jersey for the time being and Madden’s injury is unknown but seems to not be serious.
Elijah Holyfield was on a bike for most of the practice as he is still nursing his ankle injury. Charlie Woerner was also a normal participant in practice today and he was not in a black non-contact jersey.
On the defensive side of the ball, the injury news should be much more pleasing for the coaching staff and fan base. This is because two probable defensive starters shed their black non contact jerseys and were in jerseys that signified they were normal practice participants. Those two players are cornerback Juwuan Briscoe and defensive tackle John Atkins. Each player should have a pivotal role this season and I am sure the coaching staff is welcoming them back with open arms.
The offensive line seems to be really shaping up and players are beginning to become planted in their singular positions more. Based on what I have seen as of right now, I would have to believe that the starting offensive line would look like this (from left to right): Tyler Catalina, Isaiah Wynn, Brandon Kublanow, Lamont Gaillard, and Greg Pyke.
Pyke and Kublanow are the two definite players on the offensive line, which means that anything is possible at the two guard positions and the left tackle spot. The four players that will be vying for these spots are Isaiah Wynn, Dyshon Sims, Lamont Gaillard, and Tyler Catalina. Catalina seems to have put himself in the starting left tackle spot which has moved Wynn over to the left guard position.
This in turn leaves one final spot at right guard for Gaillard and Sims and these two players are locked in a heated battle that could go until the opener. Gaillard seemed to be taking first team reps today but we’ll see if that continues in the next few weeks. Today Sims took a lot of left guard reps with the second team and I saw freshmen Ben Cleveland and Solomon Kindley working on drills with the second team at the right guard position.
Finally, I got my eyes on some special teams play and punting and kickoffs seemed to both be a focus today. I did not spot Marshall Long during practice today and that is not saying he was not there, but after practice Coach Smart said he had done the best job in the punting game and it sounds as if he has locked that position down. How special teams develops over the next week or so will be an interesting storyline going into game one.