ATHENS — I’m over here at the Butts-Mehre football complex awaiting the start of the spring practice media day later this afternoon. We’re supposed to get an audience with “selected players” (translation: we don’t know who) followed by a news conference with coach Kirby Smart. We’ll be providing updates as soon as there’s something worthwhile to share.
Please let me know if there is something specific you’d like Seth Emerson or me to ask. In the meantime, here are a few things maybe you didn’t know heading into that session:
1. New Dogs, old Dogs
While Tuesday will be mostly about new Dogs, Wednesday will be about old ones. Georgia will host its annual Pro Day in the Butts-Mehre weight room and on the only remaining field in the Woodruff Field complex. Construction of the new Indoor Facility has wiped out the rest of the area. The event is set to start with weightlifting around 9:15 a.m.
As usual, the Bulldogs will have a large representation for the NFL scouts to pick through. As of Tuesday 20 UGA players are expected to work out. Several of them — such as Keith Marshall and Leonard Floyd — will probably pass on the measurables testing since they performed well at the NFL combine last month. Others will either be showing their stuff for the first time or trying to improve on their numbers.
This year’s participants are
- Sterling Bailey, DL
- Collin Barber, P
- Patrick Beless, PK
- Devin Bowman, DB
- Josh Dawson, DL
- James DeLoach, DL
- Leonard Floyd, LB
- Jake Ganus, LB
- Quayvon Hicks, FB/TE
- Kolton Houston, OL
- John Huff, LB
- Jordan Jenkins, LB
- Keith Marshall, TB
- Chris Mayes, DL
- Malcolm Mitchell, WR
- Marshall Morgan, PK
- Jay Rome, TE
- Ben Souther, RB/WR
- John Theus, OL
- Nathan Theus, SN
2. Greyson Lambert, record-setter
The quarterback competition will obviously be highlighted by one and all during spring practice, but there continues to be evidence that Greyson Lambert might have played better than most give him credit for last season. I didn’t realize until I read in UGA’s pre-spring notes that Lambert actually established a school record last season for lowest interception percentage. He threw just two picks in 256 attempts last year, giving him a non-interception rate of .780. That ranks second in SEC history.
That said, certainly Georgia needs a much more dynamic passing game. His 12 touchdown passes were the fewest since Matthew Stafford had just seven in 2006.
3. Carolina ahead on spring practice
Did you know that North Carolina has already been underway with its spring practice? The Tar Heels, Georgia’s season-opening opponent in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, started spring ball on March 8. They’re actually off on spring break this week and will play their spring game on the same day as the Bulldogs, April 16.
The Tar Heels, coached by Larry Fedora, are coming off an 11-3 season in which they went 8-0 in ACC play. Georgia hasn’t played North Carolina since 1971, when the Bulldogs won 7-3 in the Gator Bowl. UGA has a 16-12-2 record in a series that started in 1895.
4. First-half suspension for one Tar Heel
Speaking of North Carolina, the Tar Heels will be without one of its best players for the first half of the Georgia game. Wide receiver Mack Hollins has to sit out due to a targeting penalty he was assessed in the second half of its bowl game versus Baylor.