Monday’s motto was ‘hustle’, and Tuesday’s motto was ‘attack.’ Head Coach Kirby Smart floated around practice where he used the word ‘attack’ throughout the media viewing period. It didn’t matter if the players were in the process of carrying out a drill, standing in line to run a drill, or going to the next drill, he told them to attack and push their limits.
Today’s areas of focus were the secondary, defensive line, linebackers and tight ends. Here are my takeaways from day eight of Georgia’s 2017 Fall Camp.
I spent most of the media period with the secondary and Coach Mel Tucker. The group worked on a drill for interceptions. Tucker required them to peddle back and cut, then, attempt to catch a ball. Ameer Speed, Malkom Parrish, Dominick Sanders, and William Poole stood out during the drill, and all received praise. Senior D. Sanders showed his leadership qualities throughout the drill. He helped the freshmen with advice to stick their feet harder in the ground.
Speed stood out with his stature and held every bit of the 6-3 listed in the media guide. His ability to go up and grab the ball and to be as big as he is, his athleticism and speed impressed me. Some more names that received high praise and seemed to hold their own were Tray Bishop and Latavious Brini. The three received praise a few times from Tucker before the head ball coach showed up and threw them off their game.
Smart appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the drill to observe and caused havoc. After a good start, Bishop, Brini and Poole III struggled to hold onto the ball. He yelled and charged at the corners as he tried to make them drop the pass. Tucker fed off Smart’s actions as he hollered and got into the drill.
After an impressive practice on Monday, I had to go back and see what Coach Trey Scott had in store for the D-line on Tuesday. When the media period started he had them chopping their feet at an angle; then they would cut and explode into a bag. The drill seemed to work on their fundamentals along with their explosiveness. Scott told the guys, “act like yall are old school garbage trucks and rip it up.”
Trent Thompson stood out again today during a push-off-drill Scott had them run. “I want y’all pressing the hell out of this block,” Scott told Thompson and the rest of the D-line during the drill. The push-off-drill included the players chopping their feet with their hands on the dummy. Scott had them move their feet so if the offensive linemen shifts he can go with him. After a few seconds of chopping their feet, Scott said release and the player would throw the dummy to the right or left to penetrate the inside.
While Thompson ran the drill, he was lazy the first time, and Scott made him go back and do it over. Scott told him to keep the pressure tight and for Thompson to strike it with force from his legs, butt, and hips versus just his arms. After told to rerun it, Scott seemed pleased with Thompson’s second and successive efforts.
Thompson and Jonathan Ledbetter received praise during the drill and Scott made them show the younger guys what to do. Freshman Malik Herring and sophomore Julian Rochester struggled a bit, but once Scott found the problem he helped them adjust and improve by the end of the drill.
Coach Glenn Schumann’s inside linebackers ran a drill where they paired up and hit. Nate McBride went up against another teammate and knocked him so hard that I heard the pads hit from across the field. After the hit, Schumann praised McBride and that seemed to spark the whole group, ramping up the intensity to another level. His excitement fed off onto the players and then they all started to hit a little harder. Schumann told them a few times attack each other, attack, and those linebackers did.
The veteran linebackers, seniors Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy, took charge and helped motivate the others in drills. Lo Carter seems to be keeping his weight at around 250 lbs and just looks massive. Bellamy looked to be stronger too.
Finally, before the open media periods ended, I got my eyes on the tight end group. Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner looked close and like they’ve bonded in camp. They did a handshake and ran drills simultaneously. Both seemed to put some muscle on this summer and neither one dropped the balls thrown to them. Nauta and Woerner worked with the offensive line today, too, as they blocked and lined up with Isaiah Wilson.
QUICK PRACTICE NOTES:
I got to briefly watch the wide receivers and quarterbacks before period three ended. Jacob Eason’s throws were tight and his release fast. There were a couple throws that were slightly off but those were rare. He just exudes confidence at this point, and it shows in his throws. As for Jake Fromm and Brice Ramsey, the two struggled with being consistently accurate but also made some nice throws throughout the two periods.
Freshman wide receiver Matt Lander’s athletic ability excites me. He had incredible body control when he caught a couple of balls that made him stop and force himself to stay in bounds.
Day eight was about attacking the moment, and the team did that. Each unit seemed focused on each task at hand. There wasn’t much down time, and when players waited in line for the drill, they motivated and encouraged their teammates. With just a few more days of camp to go, the team looks to be on track and excited for the season to start.
Check out the full day eight gallery:
Recent Articles by Savannah Leigh Richardson