ATLANTA, Ga. — What did the UGA contingent have to say on the second day of SEC Media Days in Atlanta? What caught the ear after everything was said by Kirby Smart and seniors Terry Godwin, Jonathan Ledbetter and redshirt junior J.R. Reed?
Check out the DawgNation team coverage from Mike Griffin and Chip Towers:
- Georgia freshman Justin Fields has Kirby Smart excited to see what he can do
- Smart weighs in on the availability of DeAngelo Gibbs and Natrez Patrick
- The Daily D-Rob: Waiver is still very much in question and will be in the NCAA’s hands
- Get a slice: Chip Towers on Jonathan Ledbetter’s growth at UGA
What was the scene like? The Bulldogs did try to out-do one another in the wardrobe department. Reed had a pair of very expensive sunglasses on. Ledbetter sported some very stylish Gucci shoes. Godwin was quick to point out the bow ties, including the specific hues.
“We helped each other a little bit but they kind of went with the light blue and the pink bow tie,” Godwin said. “JR went with his green-and-black bow tie and his suspenders [along with] Led. It was something that we three all kind of did. We wanted to be the best-dressed team here to show the kind of style we have and not be old-fashioned Georgia. We kind of bring a little swag back.”
Godwin called Ledbetter the fashion guy among the trio.
“We kind of laughed at it,” Godwin said. “We said ‘Led you are going to be the only guy with Gucci shoes’ but that’s Led. That’s his mentality. That’s who he is. He’s the big guy on the team that has the swag.”
Let’s cover 10 topics of note that the Bulldogs offered up on Tuesday.
Will Fields play this year?
Of course, he will. That’s pretty silly to think that he would do anything but play this year given the new redshirt rule plus the fact the Bulldogs only have two scholarship quarterbacks on the team.
Good coachspeak on the “expectations” question
Every year and every team is different. Smart says that all the time and does not entertain comparisons.
“We look at it as potential versus effectiveness,” Smart said. “What is our potential which is the dormant ability [of the team] or our effectiveness which is what we get out of our players. We’re constantly trying to get the most out of them. This year will be measured by how effective we are [at that] tactically, mentally and physically. We’ve got to do the best job we have ever done preparing this group for that.”
New redshirt rule?
Smart said that fans and the media overanalyze what the staff might be thinking there. It is a simple matter to the staff about what they will start looking for when fall camp begins on Aug. 3. “I don’t even have a philosophy,” Smart said. “A guy can either play or he can’t.”
Smart liked the bow ties
He didn’t get the memo from the guys about that so he did not join in. That said, he felt he would not likely ever show up at SEC Media Days wearing a bow tie. He liked seeing his players wear them and wear them well, but those are not his thing.
Kirby the dictionary?
Ledbetter shared the opinion that Smart really enjoys his lectures with the team. But he did strike the right balance with his words to make sure he didn’t say that Smart likes to talk. He did note the team will have to run after their media tour when they made it back to Athens.
The former Tucker star said that Smart gives the team definitions all the time. He rattled off a word-for-word description of what the term “hard” actually means. The exact definition. It was more impressive than his Gucci shoes.
Ledbetter will do very well when his college career is up and he starts meeting with NFL teams next spring. He is a polished communicator.
The Bulldogs heard some variant of “how much did the title game loss to Alabama sting?” question at every media dais they stepped on. It is a tired storyline, but the players did their best each time with that question.
At least that question wasn’t as bad as the one offered up by a media member about how Smart felt about having Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm and Justin Fields on his quarterback depth chart. Ouch.
An interesting comparison
Who fills the Javon Wims role as that big “go get it” receiver? Redshirt freshman Matt Landers is a candidate. True freshman Tommy Bush is another name to consider there.
Those guys have the size (6-foot-4 and up) and ball skills to garner a strong look for that role. But Godwin felt that the two were more different than they were alike.
“To me, they are two totally different players,” Godwin said. “I can’t compare them because they have two different total playing styles. But they are both tall and long and can do things that other people cannot. I feel that they have realized that a little bit and are using it to their best ability.”
Not supposed to talk about the freshmen but…..
Ledbetter didn’t want to single out any specific freshman that was looking good so far in the weight room and during conditioning this summer. “I don’t want to say any standouts because honestly everyone is scratching and clawing to see the field whether that is on offense, defense or special teams,” he said.
But then he pointed to a way how almost all of the freshman class could make an impact this fall.
“I think all our freshmen and guys that are just coming in that aren’t really injured or banged up will play on special teams,” Ledbetter said. “Without a question or a doubt. They are all fast and physical and we have some big guys.”
But he had to mention Jordan Davis
Ledbetter didn’t want to bring up any of those big-name freshmen recruits. But then he did mention one of them. Ironically, it wasn’t one of those 5-star guys. He spoke of a fellow defensive lineman.
That was Jordan Davis. The guy who will definitely drop jaws walking around campus.
“He’s just a huge like big body coming in but he’s still a little boy,” Ledbetter said. “It is crazy. He squats like he is a senior. I watched him do five plates (490 pounds) the other day when we were squatting and he’s lifting it up like he has got marshmallows on his back. It is just crazy.”
Year II for Richard LeCounte III
Will Reed line up early and often with former 5-star safety Richard LeCounte III this year? He shared his view on the sophomore’s growth so far.
“The thing for Richard is just learning the playbook. You have to really learn that thing. It has almost got to be like the Bible. You have to know it like the back of your hand. When he does that, the sky is the limit for that kid.”
It wasn’t really the avoidance of the bad play or the bust. It is simply knowing what to do within each play call.
“It is just making as many big play as you can and pairing that up with a small number of busts,” Reed said. “I will have busts. The key is to make the plays you can and avoid those busts and play smart out there.”