Tuesday marked day 13 of spring practice and Georgia’s keeping the intensity up for the final week of spring ball. Both the defense and the offense coaches pushed the team to get to that next level. Georgia had perfect weather for practice. Steve Conyers and I split up practice to get as much coverage as possible. Conyers took the defense and I had he offense. Here are our take-a-ways from day 13.
Savannah Richardson’s Offense Report:
Sam Pittman likes to move players around and make linemen versatile. Kendall Baker appears to be that guy this spring. He started all 15 games at the guard position for Georgia last season and opened spring at that spot. However, since then Baker’s worked at the back up left tackle spot, and on Tuesday at the first-team right tackle spot. As for the rest of the first team lineup, it was the same as Saturday besides Baker at RT. That’s what we as media members saw. I’m not saying that Baker won’t be the starting left guard when the season starts, but its obvious Pittman wants to make sure he gets enough time at the other positions. I think this is just in case an injury happens or some other kind of emergency. This move by Pittman reminds me of what he did with Dyshon Sims last fall.
I spent a good bit of my time watching the receivers today. Coach Cortez Hankton had the guys run an interesting drill down the sideline. The drill had two tackling bags and he would make a guy run behind them and catch it right after his entire body came past the bags. Thought this was an interesting drill to test their reactions. Riley Ridley dropped it the first time and the rest caught it. Hankton made him go back and Ridley made the grab the second time. This was the only drill I saw Terry Godwin run through on Tuesday. He had some kind of knee wrap on his left knee and didn’t participate in a lot of the drills. I’m not sure how severe the injury is, but he wasn’t limping when he ran.
During the drills with the quarterbacks, there were quite a few missed balls. Granted not all of them were receivers fault, but Hankton and other assistants yelled at them like it was their fault. Mecole Hardman attempted to catch an overthrown ball from Jake Fromm but only could get one hand on it. An assistant yelled at him and said, “Could have got two hands on that Mecole!” That same assistant yelled at Jayson Stanley next. “Great catch Jayson! Keep doing that!” then Stanley caught the ball, but didn’t try to stay in bounds, that same coach said, “Jayson you don’t like touchdowns? Didn’t know if that went out of style or not.”
Finally some quick notes on the overall look of the wideouts. Kearis Jackson will be a playmaker this season. I’m predicting it now. He’s so thick bodied and sure-handed. Jackson caught everything thrown towards him and looks like the strength staffs latest success story.
For Fromm and Justin Fields, it wasn’t a good day. As for John Seter and Sam Vaughn, it was a good day. Fromm and Fields both made terrible throws during the two media periods. They also made good throws. Fields overthrew Ahkil Crumpton so bad it hit one of the assistant coaches. Fromm overthrew Hardman but just seemed to have an off day. Vaughn and Seter zipped in throws to the wideouts and neither of them had an off throw. A final thing to note here is Stetson Bennett was off to the side throwing balls with an assistant coach. I’m not sure if he’s hurt or not.
I spent the last few minutes of period four watching the running backs. Coach Dell McGee had them work through an agility course with two balls, one in each hand. The course looked like it worked on agility and reaction fundamentals. Holyfield looked like a monster with the two balls in his hands. He went first and Prather Hudson followed him.
Both D’Andre Swift and Zamir White participated in non-contact drills. Swift did some other things, but you could tell he wasn’t going full force. I noticed something about White on Tuesday, he looks hungry. White would bounce back and forth almost pacing when he couldn’t go through a drill. He looks hungry and ready to take on any challenge given to him. White’s disposition says it all and shows just how ready he is to be out on the field competing for playing time. He won’t play at G-Day and Swift may not either, but these two should be ready for fall and will be the two hungriest guys on the team.
Steve Conyer’s Defense Report:
Tray Scott was vocal today like always and had the defensive lineman working on owning the gap. Seems to be the big emphasis today and the lack of depth from this position group is going to be something to see. The team will need players like DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle and early enrollee Devontee Wyatt to fill the attrition in the interior of the defensive line, but as an overall group is making a steady stride.
Dan Lanning had the OLB working on gap control much like the defensive line. He worked one on one with Keyon Brown who is starting to get some love and attention as well as Brenton Cox who continues to get reps and looks the farthest thing from a freshman. He is massive and has long arms that almost hang down to his knees. Will not be surprised to see him make several plays this season especially in the pass rush. The inside linebackers were working with Glen Schumann and the rotation was the same. Natrez Patrick, Juwan Taylor, and Monty Rice are the players that should be getting tons of playing time this upcoming season.
As I mentioned in the quick notes, Tray Bishop and Ameer Speed are absolutely huge its almost ridiculous. They tower over the others and are a true physical specimen. The secondary today mainly worked on just being physical and Mel Tucker keeps this group working hard. The talent is there with this group without a doubt, but it just might take a few games for them to get comfortable.
Nothing serious to report as both were active and participating in drills, but I saw Ameer Speed with a club on his right hand and Deandre Baker was also wearing a brace on his left elbow. After the media left practice, reports of Mark Webb suffering an injury emerged. There isn’t much to say here besides it appeared to be a knee injury and he had to be carted off the field. We will keep you updated on the status of him and the other banged-up Bulldogs.