The Georgia football team was in full game-week mode as they prepared for Vanderbilt on Monday afternoon. During then 8-minute media viewing period, Bob Miller watched the defense while I evaluated the offense and Greg Poole shot photos… make sure to check out the practice photo gallery. At the start of the period, as we walked down to the practice field, the team was practicing fielding punts, and Kirby Smart was over the loudspeaker getting Tyler Simmons (87) on the field to return punts. After the team broke into position groups. Here are our notes from practice:
On the offensive line Cade Mays (77) was working as the first-string right guard, and Ben Cleveland (74) was at second-string right guard. Mays seems to be fitting into that position really well. Jamaree Salyer who has been out with an ankle sprain was not seen during the media viewing period.
At first, the quarterbacks and running backs were working on handoffs. Jake Fromm (11) and Stetson Bennett IV (13) were rotating at quarterback. The running backs group, it was D’Andre Swift (7) with the ones, and Zamir White (3) was second. Brian Herrien (35) and James Cook (4) were rotating in after Swift and White. Herrien and Cook looked really good, and you can tell that Cook’s speed has improved.
The tight ends were working on catching passes, and then focusing on ball security. Charlie Woerner (89) was first followed by Eli Wolf (17). Wolf continues to improve. He caught all of his passes today. Ryland Goede (88) still had a club on his hand and had trouble catching passes today, including fumbling one ball.
The receivers then moved to work on routes. Tyler Simmons (87) was the first wideout, and he made some great catches from Fromm. Demetris Robinson (16) couldn’t seem to haul in any passes today, even though they were thrown his way.
Stetson Bennett connected on a long post route to Matt Landers (5) but overthrew George Pickens (1) by a long shot. Bennett has been very inconsistent lately which could be a cause for concern. D’Wan Mathis (2) looked sharp today. He had passes that connected with a couple on walk-on players. Mathis threw an incredible over-the-shoulder pass to Jaylen Johnson (81).
Freshman Nakobe Dean (17) who has been battling an injury he sustained during Fall Camp was practicing with the inside linebackers, and he looked to be running full speed with no limitations.
Defensive Coordinator Dan Lanning along with student assistant Jarvis Jones were working with his outside linebackers Nolan Smith (4), Jermaine Johnson (11), Azeez Ojulari (13), Adam Anderson (19), Robert Beal Jr. (33), and Walter Grant (84) near the sideline. Coach Lanning had the OLBs running a drill where they had to work around a blocker and then strike the ball carrier, driving through the tackling dummy and wrapping up.
Freshman Nolan Smith went through the drill, Coach Lanning asked the OLBs if that was the correct way to do it, and Grant and Beal said “No” with Lanning echoing: “That’s right. That’s not the way we do it.” As always, Lanning was bringing his signature energy and enthusiasm to practice.
On the defensive line, senior Julian Rochester (5) was practicing with a right knee brace with no limitations. The senior is coming back from a knee injury and surgery from earlier in the year. During Fall Camp, Kirby Smart said he has been practicing 50% of the time and with a trainer the remaining 50% of the time.