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Carson Beck has played well this spring.

Georgia football 2021 spring practice updates, injuries and news

Georgia football is moving into the final parts of spring practice, as the Bulldogs hold their 14th practice on Thursday.

The 15th and final practice will take place on April 17 as Georgia will hold its G-Day. The scrimmage will start at 2 p.m. ET and air on SEC Network+. Georgia will be allowing in fans, at a reduced capacity, to take in the game.

Below you can find the latest updates and news as to how things are going for Georgia, as well as where things stand from an injury standpoint

Georgia football 2021 spring practice updates, news

1:30 p.m., Thursday, April 15: The Bulldogs will have a light walkthrough this afternoon as their 14th practice of the spring. With the practice portion of spring over, we can safely declare some of the standouts from spring practice. How these guys play on Saturday’s G-Day scrimmage will go a long way in determining the narrative around these players, but it’s worth remembering one that one practice should not outweigh the other 14.

Quarterback Carson Beck: By all accounts, Beck has played very well in the first two scrimmages. He’s clearly made a case for the back-up quarterback job. There is perhaps no more interesting player to watch for on G-Day than Beck.

Running back Kendall Milton: Milton entered the spring as one of the most hyped Georgia players and if anything, his performance this spring has only enhanced that.

Wide receiver, Justin Robinson: Injuries have really hampered this position this spring, but Robinson has emerged as a bright spot. While only George Pickens figures to be a long-term injury, Robinson has the potential to fill in.

Tight end, Brock Bowers: Of the 16 early enrollees, Bowers has had the best spring to date. He figures to be a versatile piece of the Georgia offense going forward.

Offensive line, Xavier Truss: We were tempted to go with Tate Ratledge here, but. it seems like Truss has separated enough to be the first team left tackle on G-Day. It will be interesting to see if he can do the same in the fall.

Defensive line, Travon Walker: It’s clear Georgia has high expectations for Walker this season. He may not get to shine on G-Day as quarterbacks won’t be hit, but Walker will be a massive piece of the defense for Georgia in 2021.

Outside linebacker, Adam Anderson: Anderson may not spend all of his time at outside linebacker, as Kirby Smart stated he will see time at the Star position. But the senior should go a long way in replacing Azeez Ojulari’s production.

Inside linebacker, Nakobe Dean: It’s rare to go with a player who wasn’t able to fully go due to an injury, but Smart and other players could not stop talking about Dean and what he brought from a leadership standpoint.

Defensive back, Chris Smith: Even with Tykee Smith coming into the program, Chris Smith has impressed this spring. He’s put on weight and become a physical presence. Between him and Cine, Goergia’s safety play should be up to its usual standard.

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 13: We’re set to hear from Nakobe Dean, Kendall Milton and Warren Ericson tonight. Injured players usually do not meet with the media, making Dean’s appearance a little surprising. Smart and others though have raved about his leadership this spring. Milton is also the first 2020 high school signee to speak with the media.

Below we’ll have live updates based on what the players have to say:

Georgia football players recap spring practice

  • Kendall Milton says the running back room pushes itself to get better this spring.
  • Milton adds he really wanted to improve in pass protection this spring. “A lot of the weaknesses I have, I feel like we turned those to strengths.”
  • Milton says he’s up to 220 pounds
  • “I just watch a lot of film from last season and try to take care of the weaknesses. Just make those weaknesses strengths and then have fun.” — Kendall Milton on what he needs to do to become a breakout player.
  • “I feel like the run game is always going to be a part of what we do at Georgia.”
  • “I feel like I’m a great leader. I’ve never been super vocal but I try to lead by example.” Says he wants to be a leader for other young players.
  • Adds that he wants to continue to improve in not just pass protection but the run game as well.
  • Warren Ericson on Kendall Milton: “Kendall is a really talented guy. Powerful, smart, agile. Just brings all the traits in a great running back.”
  • “This spring I wanted to come in and be a leader.” Says he worked some right guard, left guard and center.
  • Says the offense has made progress every day and got better and better.
  • “JT Daniels is an amazing quarterback and we have to keep him up-right.”
  • Ericson mentions talking with David Andrews and says it was cool to talk with him. Mentions former Georgia center Ben Jones as someone he likes to watch on film.
  • “He’s powerful, quick. I don’t know man. I’m very glad he’s on our team for sure. Going against him every day, I notice myself getting better.”
  • Ericson says there isn’t a set depth chart this spring, which helps everyone focus on improving.
  • “The guys we have in our room are great guys and great character. Looking forward to seeing them get better.”
  • Nakobe Dean rocking a buzz cut. Shaved it but says he’s going to start growing it out.
  • Dean says he’s been out there getting mental reps and coaching. He believes the players should be the leaders on the team.
  • “Our running back room is crazy. That collection of guys with that much talent is crazy.”
  • Dean says it will be a battle at the cornerback position.
  • Dean was very glad to see Jordan Davis return and said he’s continued to be dominant this spring.
  • Dean says he wants to see strong tackling on Saturday.
  • “Every linebacker that has played this spring has gotten substantially better.”

1:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 13: Few defenders know what it takes to play the Star position at a high level in the Georgia defense. Mark Webb is one of those exceptions though.

Webb started at the position in each of the past two seasons for Georgia. After arriving at Georgia as a wide receiver, he’s molded himself into a player that is likely to be taken in this month’s NFL draft.

Webb is also one of the few current or former Bulldogs who knows a good bit about his likely replacement in Tykee Smith. The two both come from the Philadelphia area and have a relationship pre-dating Smith’s transfer to Georgia.

Webb appeared on Tuesday’s episode of DawgNation Daily and spoke about what Georgia is getting in Smith and how he can step in at the Star position.

“That’s my guy,” Webb said of Smith. “I  wouldn’t be surprised if no one else but him comes to Georgia because he’s a great fit. He’s a great kid. He holds himself accountable. I know he’s going to be ready day one. I feel like he’s a better me.”

Last season, Webb had 21 tackles, two pass breakups and an interception for the Bulldogs. At West Virginia, Smith had 61 tackles, two interceptions and eight tackles for loss while earning Third Team All-American honors.

Smith is set to arrive at Georgia after finishing up at West Virginia in May. While he could potentially play safety, Georgia will most likely use him in the very same Star role that Webb occupied.

Webb provided more detail on what that looks like within the confines of the Georgia defense.

“It’s a lot of different things for the nickel to take on. It’s a multi-faceted thing,” Webb said. “You can’t just have one perfect body at nickel. You can’t be scared when you’re at nickel. It really helps the whole team if you can be effective at nickel.”

Latavious Brini did start the Peach Bowl win over Cincinnati at the position, so it will be interesting to see how he plays during Saturday’s G-Day scrimmage. Georgia coach Kirby Smart had previously mentioned Adam Anderson would get some work at the position as well.

The event is set for a 2 p.m. ET start on SEC Network+.

1:45 p.m., Saturday, April 10: Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is set to meet with the media shortly to recap the second scrimmage.

We’ll have live updates as they roll in:

  • “I was pleased with the effort and enthusiasm at the scrimmage. Probably wasn’t the best execution we had in terms of offense and defense.”
  • Says Georgia has to get better at tackling but points out there is a fine line between playing it safe.
  • Smart says Georgia is a little dinged up at the running back spot this spring. Smart praises the physical runs Kendall Milton had. Emphasized pass protection from running backs.
  • “Jordan has done a good job.” Smart on Jordan Davis. Stresses the importance of him controlling his weight and conditioning for him to be on the field when the game speeds up. Says it’s critical “Jordan be in the best shape of his life.”
  • “I’m not even sure I’m able to comment on the addition of Tykee Smith.” Smart says the defensive backs are coming along. Says he hasn’t seen any regress. Wants to see the group become more consistent.
  • “Blessed.” Kirby Smart on playing Augusta National. Says getting to experience it with his dad calls it one of the highlights.
  • Xavier Truss has played there the most in regards to left tackle. “Very pleased with what he’s doing and competing.”
  • Smart says Jermaine was able to come back and do some things though not scrimmage. Adds Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint is getting close.
  • Smart adds JT Daniels has continued to take a vocal and leadership role in leading the offense.
  • “He’s growing up need lots of reps. We think he’s powerful intelligent, inexperienced. Experience is the greatest attribute you can get from the SEC.” — Smart on Tate Ratledge.
  • Smart says he wants Georgia to be a vertical passing team.
  • “Been very leased with Rian’s growth.” Smart on linebacker Rian Davis.  Says he’s been an impact player on special teams.

Kirby Smart shares thoughts on Georgia’s second scrimmage

12:15 p.m., Saturday, April 10: Georgia has its second scrimmage and 12th practice of the spring session. The Bulldogs are a week out from G-Day and will get after it on Saturday in what should be a very competitive practice.

Among some of the storylines DawgNation will be watching for:

  • Can Carson Beck continue to build off a strong spring and earn the No. 2 quarterback role?
  • How do the young wide receivers —Justin Robinson, Adonai Mitchell, Arian Smith — improve given all the injuries the position has sustained.
  • What does the offensive line shuffle look like and will anyone emerge at the left tackle spot?
  • How will the young cornerbacks hold up against JT Daniels in coverage?

Related: 3 Georgia football questions: Scrimmage Two auditions critical at receiver, secondary and O-Line

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart will speak with the media this afternoon to recap the scrimmage.

11 a.m., Friday, April 9: We’ve started to get our first idea of how 5-star freshman Brock Vandagriff is doing in his first handful of spring practices.

Head coach Kirby Smart offered his initial assessment of Vandgriff following Saturday’s scrimmage.

“Brock (Vandagriff) has the least amount of reps and, I guess, familiarity with the offense, so his learning curve is greater but he’s also picking it up quick, especially for a mid-year freshman,” Smart said.

Vandagriff is Georgia’s first 5-star quarterback signee since Justin Fields in the 2018 recruiting cycle. Vandagriff was the No. 16 rated player in the 2021 recruiting class and the second-highest rated recruit in Georgia’s class.

Fellow quarterback JT Daniels, who was a 5-star quarterback when he signed with USC, helped provide a deeper picture of Vandagriff. And the Bogart, Ga., native seems to be doing all he can to make up the knowledge gap between him and the other quarterbacks.

“He asks a lot of questions. He asks to go over stuff with me,” Daniels said. “He wants to learn, and it’s great to see, just overall for the quarterbacks. It’s just a great room.”

Vandagriff is still a bit behind the more established Carson Beck and Stetson Bennett. The former has really impressed this spring, including in last Saturday’s scrimmage. Bennett also has a wealth of experience as he started five games for Georgia last season.

The back-up quarterback competition will be one of the more interesting battles to watch come G-Day. Daniels is clearly entrenched as the starter, with Smart outright naming him as such. How Bennett, Beck and Vandagriff play in the big scrimmage could go a long way in determining not only who is the No. 2 quarterback but also who might one day become his replacement.

“We really have a great quarterback room where everyone’s really good friends, and really genuinely helps each other,” Daniels said. “Every time after a series in practice, a series in the game, I go to Stetson and Carson, ask them what they saw. It was the same thing when Stet was in. It’s the same thing that Carson has done when he comes and asks me stuff.”

G-Day is set for April 17 with a 2 p.m. start time on SEC Network+.

12 p.m., Thursday, April 8: The addition of Tykee Smith is certainly an interesting one for the Bulldogs. Smith is undoubtedly a talented player for Georgia but he doesn’t address the biggest concern for Georgia in its secondary.

With his size and past playing experience, Smith will most likely line up at either the Star or safety position for Georgia.

Teammate Chris Smith is still excited though about Tykee Smith joining the team and what he’ll bring to the team. The senior safety was asked about the West Virginia transfer and Chris Smith shared his honest thoughts on the addition.

“The little bit of film I have seen on him, he’s a spectacular player,” Smith said. “Real physical, real great in coverage. He can definitely help our team. He’s a great player.”

Related: Georgia safety Christopher Smith gaining stature, adding weight

At West Virginia last season, Tykee Smith finished with 61 tackles, two interceptions, eight tackles for loss and five pass breakups as he earned Third Team All-American honors. It’s worth noting that Smith has more career interceptions, four, than the rest of the Georgia defense combined, two.

Smith is set to arrive in May and will begin working with the Bulldogs this summer. As for Chris Smith, he’s looking to build off a strong finish to the 2020 season. He was able to start Georgia’s final five games of the year and he feels that has really helped propel him forward this offseason.

“I was definitely learning as I go and I feel like I definitely got better with each game,” Smith said. “Those five games were an extremely important experience for me and I’m looking to roll that into next year.”

In other Georgia news, the Georgia football Twitter account shared a video of former Georgia linebacker Monty Rice discussing his favorite play from his time in Athens.

Rice recalled in detail the time he stripped Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, scooped up the fumble and ran it into the endzone.

Because of plays like that one, Rice will be taken in this month’s NFL draft. The first round is set for April 29.

6:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 6: JT Daniels, Kearis Jackson and Chris Smith are all set to speak with reporters tonight following the 10th practice of the spring. Below will be a running live blog of what they have to say.

  • Chris Smith says he’s put on about 10 pounds since the season ended. Wants to get up to 195 pounds so he can help more with run support.
  • Smith says he’s excited about the addition of Tykee Smith and said the two talked before the West Virginia DB committed.
  • Smith says he’s been impressed with Brock Bowers and that the freshman tight end did break his ankles one time.
  • Smith says Nyland Green, David Daniel and Javon Bullard are farther ahead than where he was as a freshman.
  • “It was extremely important for me to get back into the speed of the game.” — Smith on the playing experience he gained at the end of the 2020 season.
  • Kearis Jackson says Georgia still has a talented room even without George Pickens. “I’m glad we got this spring to see what everybody is able to do.”
  • Says he’s trying to work on his chemistry with quarterback JT Daniels. Says it has been fun and that he’s excited for this season.
  • Jackson says JT has done a great job of managing the offense this spring. Says chemistry and confidence have improved.
  • Jackson says he’s hoping Pickens can come back stronger than he did last season.
  • Jackson says he’s trying to be a vocal leader for a young wide receiver room.
  • JT Daniels speaking now. Says it is a confidence booster to be named a starting quarterback.
  • Daniels says he has not been back home to California.
  • ” You have to be there for George the person more than George the player.” Says he’s familiar with what Pickens is going through after his own injury.
  • Says Justin Robinson, Jermaine Burton, Demetris Robertson and Kearis Jackson have stepped up.
  • “There’s a lot of good things going for the team.”
  • “I’m definitely a fan of AD [Adonai Mitchell]. He’s got great twitch. We’re just going to let him learn his time and become a good football player.”
  • “I really like Brock [Vandagriff]. We really have a great quarterback room. Everyone has generally helped each other.”
  • “The game is definitely slowing down. Decision-making and not making bad plays worse. That’s always been a constant area of improvement for me.”
  • Says there are a lot of guys who know about the potential the Georgia team has which is why so many guys came back.
  • The tight ends have been really exceptional as well. Daniels praises John FitzPatrick.

Georgia football players recap spring practice

2:45 p.m. Saturday, April 3: Georgia just wrapped up its first spring scrimmage and head coach Kirby Smart is set to speak to reporters shortly. We will have live updates as Smart provides them from the scrimmage.

  • “We’re a long way from being ready in the secondary.” — Kirby Smart says Georgia needs experience in the secondary.
  • “Jermaine Burton is fine, no structural damage.” Hyperextended his knee. Arian Smith suffered a sprained wrist.
  • Smart says the Georgia defense gave up some big plays.
  • “All three of those guys are getting reps and all three of them are good players.” Smart not offering much on the backup quarterback position. Does say Brock Vandagriff has the steepest learning curve but is picking it up quickly.
  • Smart says there have been some incentives to getting the vaccine for players. Says they will do it following the conclusion of spring.
  • Kirby Smart says he was pleased with the energy displayed at practice today.
  • Smart says midyear players are coming along but still have a ways to go, especially in terms of emerging as a starter or major contributor.
  • Smart says he thinks the skull sessions have helped in terms of players being able to voice their thoughts on what is going in the world — IE the All-Star game being moved —but says he thinks they still aren’t doing enough.
  • Smart says Kelee Ringo is still learning trying to live up to his recruiting reputation. Says the biggest thing with Jalen Kimber is continuing to work with the nutrition plan to gain and sustain weight.
  • Smart says Nolan Smitha and Travon Walker showed good energy in practice on Saturday.
  • Smart continues to praise Nakobe Dean. Says he’s never had an injured player that has been more engaged in terms of mental reps.
  • “JT has always been about his business. He’s very into it. He has growth he can go through. For him continuity is important. I think he’s asserted himself more.”
  • Says Jack Podlesny could be a little more consistent in terms of kicking field goals.

Kirby Smart recaps first spring scrimmage for Georgia

11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 3: The Bulldogs take the practice fields today for their ninth total practice but also their first scrimmage of the spring. This will be an opportunity to go good-on-good and really offer a chance to show who has made strides this spring.

A couple of position groups that I’ll be interested in learning about include the back-up quarterback battle, the offensive line and most obviously the cornerback position.

With the quarterback position, JT Daniels is the starter. Behind him though, what Georgia ends up doing will be mighty interesting. Stetson Bennett has the edge experience-wise. But Carson Beck and Brock Vandagriff both have higher upsides. Beck in particular will be one of the most interesting players to watch develop this spring.

On the offensive line, it’s really how Xavier Truss and Broderick Jones battle at the left tackle position. Jones is the superior pass blocker, while Truss has the edge when it comes to run blocking. Can either one of them separate from the other and convince Matt Luke and Kirby Smart that they can move Jamaree Salyer to guard?

At cornerback, the question will be if anyone emerges at the position. Georgia is starting over at the position this spring and outside of Ameer Speed, it’s an incredibly young position, with top-ranked recruits Kelee Ringo, Jalen Kimber and Nyland Green all going through their first spring practice. The cornerbacks won’t have as tough a task this spring as originally hoped with George Pickens and Jermaine Burton being sidelined with injuries but Smart still expects a lot of of this group.

Smart is set to speak to reporters later this afternoon where he will provide some updates on how things went, along with some likely clarity on Burton’s injury.

3:45 p.m. Friday, April 2: Two major Georgia recruiting targets trimmed their respective lists on Friday and Georgia made the cut for both of the talented prospects.

Top running back target Branson Robinson cut his list to Alabama, Tennessee, Clemson and LSU. He is the No. 7 running back according to the 247Sports Composite rankings through Rivals ranks him as the No. 1 overall running back in the 2022 class.

He is from Germantown, Miss. and has already set a date for his official visit to Georgia from June 4 to 6.. That is expected to be the first weekend visitors will be back on college campuses, which the NCAA is expected to announce formally next week. Other major Georgia targets visiting that weekend include 4-star wide receiver Kojo Antwi, 4-star tight end Oscar Delp and 4-star offensive tackle Addison Nichols.

RelatedBranson Robinson: Nation’s No. 1 RB breaks down his deep connection to UGA

Earlier this week Georgia did land a commitment from 4-star running back Jordan James. The Bulldogs though will likely take two running backs in this cycle, as Zamir White and James Cook are entering their fourth respective years in the program.

The other prospect to trim his list was 5-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen. The No. 2 overall prospect in the country dropped his top eight, with Georgia making the cut. Interestingly Georgia had not been on Nolen’s previous top 10 but it’s clear the Bulldogs have made an impact on Nolen.

Nolen, from Cordova, Tenn., said in March that Georgia was going to get an official visit but he did not give a specific date.

Georgia already has commitments from 4-star prospects Tyre West and Bear Alexander in the 2022 recruiting cycle. Mykel Williams and Travis Shaw are other big names to know along the defensive line in this recruiting cycle.

The Bulldogs have the No. 2 recruiting class in the country at this point, narrowly trailing the Ohio State Buckeyes for the No. 1 spot.

1:00 p.m. Friday, April 2: Ahead of Saturday’s scrimmage there was a mini-reunion of sorts with some former Georgia greats at practice. Kirby Smart and new analyst Will Muschamp are obviously at every practice. But two of the best skill players in program history stopped by as Robert and Terrence Edwards were able to get a peek at Georgia’s seventh spring practice.

Robert became a star for Georgia after moving to the running back position. He played at Georgia from 1993-97, where his time overlapped with both Muschamp and Smart’s playing careers at Georgia. He eclipsed the 2,000 yard rushing mark as a Bulldog before being taken in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.

Terrence — who is also a regular guest on the DawgNation platforms — was a wide receiver at Georgia from 1999 to 2002. He is still the school’s only 1,000-yard receiver, a feat he accomplished during the 2002 season.

We also learned a little bit more about this week Warren McClendon. The redshirt sophomore is still working mostly at right tackle, though he has taken the occasional rep at left tackle. From what we’re hearing he seems pretty entrenched as the right tackle for Georgia at this point in time. McClendon earned Freshman All-American honors last fall as he started the final nine games of the season at right tackle.

As for the left tackle spot, and specifically, how Broderick Jones and Amarius Mims are progressing, McClendon did not offer much. We likely won’t know a whole lot about the Georgia offensive line until G-Day and even then not much will be settled by that point as the left tackle position battle figures to go well into the fall.

1:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 31: Been a very busy and newsy past 24 hours for the Georgia football program.

It looks like the Bulldogs got some good news with regards to Jermaine Burton as his knee injury seems to just be a hyperextended knee. DawgNation’s Mike Griffith has the latest on what the injury means for Burton.

Georgia receiver Jermaine Burton suffered a hyperextended knee in Tuesday’s practice, but sources close to the situation say the injury is not expected to require surgery.

Burton, who has undergone an MRI, is expected to be held out of contact drills the remainder of spring.

The Bulldogs have just seven scholarship wide receivers now that are able to go through spring practice as George Pickens, Dominick Blaylock and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint are dealing with injuries of their own. Outside of Kearis Jackson and Demetris Robertson, the Bulldogs do not have a ton of in-game experience.

Georgia will get longer looks at young wide receivers like Adonai Mitchell and Justin Robinson and see how they handle a bigger target share in what should be a pass-heavy spring game. The G-Day game is set for April 17 and will start at 2 p.m.

The other big news of the morning is that Georgia now has a home-and-home with the Louisville Cardinals. The two teams will meet during the 2026 and 2027 seasons, with the first game being played in Louisville and the second in Athens.

The addition of Louisville means Georgia will have three Power 5 non-conference games every year from 2026 through 2031. The Bulldogs will still play Georgia Tech on an annual basis, as well as home and homes against Florida State, Ohio State, Clemson and home games against Oklahoma and UCLA.

That 2026 year is important as it will be the first year of a new College Football Playoff contract, which is currently set to expire following the 2025-26 season. This feels like a move you would make in order to beef up your resume as possible College Football Playoff expansion looms.

It’s also interesting that in the 2027 season Georgia will play three ACC opponents in Louisville, Georgia Tech and Florida State. It’s still a long way out but Georgia could in theory finish with more ACC wins in 2027 than rival Georgia Tech, given the current state of both programs.

The Bulldogs open with an ACC foe in Clemson this season, though that game will be played in Charlotte as a neutral site contest. Georgia and Clemson do not play a home-and-home until 2029, though the two teams will meet in Atlanta in 2024.

Georgia football full non-conference schedule

  • 2021 – Clemson opener in Charlotte, at Georgia Tech
  • 2022 – Oregon in Kickoff game in Atlanta, Georgia Tech
  • 2023 – at Oklahoma, at Georgia Tech
  • 2024 – Clemson in kickoff game in Atlanta, Georgia Tech
  • 2025 – at UCLA, at Georgia Tech
  • 2026 – UCLA in Athens; at Louisville, Georgia Tech
  • 2027 – at FSU; Louisville in Athens, at Georgia Tech
  • 2028 – FSU in Athens; at Texas,  Georgia Tech
  • 2029 –  at Clemson; Texas in Athens, at Georgia Tech
  • 2030 –  Clemson in Athens; Ohio State in Athens, Georgia Tech
  • 2031 – Oklahoma in Athens; at Ohio State, at Georgia Tech
  • 2032 – Clemson in Athens, Georgia Tech
  • 2033 –  at Clemson, at Georgia Tech

7:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 30: It would seem that Georgia cannot have nice things at the wide receiver position, as DawgNation’s Mike Griffith confirms that Jermaine Burton left practice with a knee injury on Tuesday.

The injury to Burton comes a week after George Pickens tore his ACL. Griffith reports that the injury involves a hyperextended knee, though it is not yet known if there is any structural damage to the knee. The Burton news was first reported by UGAsports.com.

Related: More on Jermaine Burton’s knee injury

DawgNation’s Connor Riley breaks down what the injury means for Georgia and where it goes from here at an increasingly thin wide receiver room. The Bulldogs have just seven healthy wide receivers on scholarship, as Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dominick Blaylock.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 update: We’re set to hear from Travon Walker, Justin Shaffer and Warren McClendon tonight. Will provide updates as they come in.

  • Travon Walker trying to get more consistent, improve his stamina and use his hands better this fall.
  • Walker says playing on second and first down last season helped him better prepare for this season. Says he doesn’t think he’ll be as hesitant this fall.
  • Says Jalen Carter is playing all over the defensive line. Justin Shaffer says he’s really improved and can be a really talented defensive lineman.
  • Justin Shaffer said he came back because he wanted to come back to improve his consistency and get closer to graduating.
  • Shaffer says the offense has gotten more comfortable with the offensive playbook and that offensive coordinator Todd Monken has done a better job of developing them this spring.
  • Shaffer and Walker both mention that the coaching staff has spoken about getting the vaccine but the players have not had a chance to sign up yet.
  • Warren McClendon says he is still playing at right tackle.
  • McClendon says both Amarius Mims and Broderick Jones are really good players. Says Matt Luke will play the best five guys and they’ll have to earn it.
  • McClendon says he wanted to get his weight up this offseason and feels like he’s done that.
  • McClendon says the biggest thing Devonte Wyatt and Justin Shaffer bring back is leadership.
  • McClendon says he’s comfortable playing right or left tackle. Also feels much better working under Monken’s system this year.
  • “It’s a battle going against him every day.” Warren McClendon talking about Jalen Carter.

3:10 p.m. Tuesday, March 30 update: Been a few days since we’ve updated this so why not fire it back up as Georgia returns to the practice field.

The Bulldogs held a practice on Saturday and will hold another Tuesday afternoon, their seventh of the spring. With Georgia using its 15th practice as G-Day, the Bulldogs will cross the halfway mark this week.

Of the videos put out by Georgia, one position group that has been consistently featured is the defensive line. It figures to be the strength of the team next season, with the likes of Jordan Davis, Travon Walker and Devonte Wyatt all leading the way.

We will get to hear from Walker on Tuesday night and he figures to be one of the more interesting players this fall.

A couple of wide receivers have begun to make plays in the absence of George Pickens. Kearis Jackson and Arian Smith both figure to pick up a significant share of targets this fall without Pickens. Meanwhile freshman Adonai Mitchell has done a good job of acclimating to Georgia.

Mitchell didn’t play last season as he focused on training after reclassifying to the 2021 recruiting class.

There is also a transfer portal defensive back name that is worth following, as Tykee Smith officially entered the transfer portal. The All-American safety from West Virginia figures to hear from a number of programs, Smith himself sharing edits of him in a Georgia, South Carolina and Penn State jersey.

We should also note that Zamir White responded to Smith’s initial tweet that he was entering the transfer portal, while safety Lewis Cine retweeted it. Georgia has a bigger need at cornerback, while Smith is most likely a safety or star for Georgia.

 

Smith played for Jahmile Addae at West Virginia so there is a connection there and Georgia has an obvious need at defensive back.

Lastly, a number of Georgia coaches were vaccinated this weekend such as Kirby Smart, Glenn Schumann and Dell McGee with the latter two sharing photos of it on social media. Will be interested to see if and what Smart has to say about this process and if he’s spoken to his players about it.

6:10 p.m. Thursday, March 25 update: Georgia coach Kirby Smart is set to meet with the media following Georgia’s fifth practice of the spring. George Pickens and the Georgia wide receiver room figure to be heavy points of discussion.

DawgNation will have live updates of that press conference, as well as coverage of Malaki Starks’ commitment announcement. He is the No. 29 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings. He is set to announce his decision at around 6:50 p.m.

  • Kirby Smart says the Pickens injury is obviously a huge loss.
  • “I don’t look at it as a receiver issue, I look at it as an opportunity for guys to step up.”
  • Says Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Dominick Blaylock are running and doing things but are not cleared for practice.
  • Smart says Georgia will have to get creative in how Georgia gets the ball to its best players. Says offensive coordinator Todd Monken does a great job of spreading the ball around.
  • Smart says Georgia has good enough pieces on offense to overcome the loss of Pickens.
  • Smart the latest to praise Darnell Washington’s mental approach this spring. A common theme this spring.
  • Smart says Pickens will embrace this adversity in terms of recovering from the injury.
  • Smart says Georgia has more ways to help George Pickens get back than anyone. Says he’s not concerned with the timeline of Pickens’ recovery right now. Says it is going to be tough but says it’s better than having it happen right before the Clemson game.
  • Says Nick Chubb and Zamir White reached out. Pickens knows what he has ahead of him.
  • “I’m hoping the growth pays off in the fall,” in regards to the young players going through practice.”
  • Smart says the Georgia defense has to keep getting better. The offense is still ahead of the defense.

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23 update: Georgia players Channing Tindall, John FitzPatrick and Ameer Speed are set to speak following Georgia’s fourth practice.

Here’s what the Bulldogs had to say to this point:

  • “Brock is a great kid. He joins a great group. He’s another great kid we’re excited to go ahead.” John FitzPatrick on Brock Vandagriff
  • “The offense is really connecting.”
  • Feels all the returning talent has really helped the offense this offseason. ” We want to use this experience to be playing in those January games.”
  • FitzPatrick says Darnell Washington has really taken ahold of the playbook and become a leader at the tight end position.
  • Channing Tindall praises Glenn Schumann in terms of getting players ready to replace Monty Rice. He was a multi-year starter for the Bulldogs.
  • Tindall said with Will Muschamp being in the building makes him feel more comfortable.
  • Tindall says Muschamp and Smart have a lot of similarities and are best friends.
  • Tindall admits he knew it was going to take him some time to see the field at inside linebacker which is why he’s always tried to do whatever he could to help the team.
  • Cornerback Ameer Speed says he wants to be a player that young players can lean on.
  • Says he brings good length, speed and experience to the team.
  • Speed on waiting his turn at Georgia: “I love my teammates, I love the University of Georgia. Just understanding my situation and knowing that God’s timing is different for everyone else.”
  • Speed praises Muschamp for the work he has done with the young players.
  • “We have some gaps to fill around the secondary so we need all the young players to step up.” Speed on the young defensive backs.

For the full comments from FitzPatrick, Tindall and Speed, see the video

7:30 p.m., Monday, March 22: Consider this a well-timed hype video coming from one of Georgia’s more promising players in Kendall Milton.

With running back Kenny McIntosh expected to miss the rest of spring practice due to an elbow injury, Milton figures to see an uptick in his duties this spring. That includes not only carries, but pass-catching and pass-blocking attempts.

Milton had 193 rushing yards on 53 carries as a freshman, with his season shortened to seven games due to a knee injury he sustained against Florida. In some of Georgia’s early 2020 games, Milton flashed an ability to finish through contact, as Tennessee and Auburn defenders seemed to bounce off of him.

Georgia is well-stocked at the running back position, so much so that Lovasea Carroll had been moved to the defensive back spot so he could help out there.

Milton will be rocking a new number this season, as the online Georgia roster indicated he has changed to the No. 2 jersey he wore in high school.

Related: Georgia football podcast: Kenny McIntosh injury creates interesting choice for UGA

9: 30 a.m., Monday, March 22: We’ve got our first batch of highlights from Georgia’s first padded practice, as the Georgia football Twitter account put out some behind-the-scenes footage from over the weekend.

Some of the players to be featured include quarterback JT Daniels, Kelee Ringo, Jermaine Burton and Quay Walker.

The other big news from over the weekend was the injury to Kenny McIntosh. The Georgia running back suffered an elbow injury that will in all likelihood keep him out for the remainder of spring practice.

Georgia is very much set at the running back position in terms of depth so it should be able to absorb the brief loss. Georgia had previously moved 2021 signee Lovasea Carroll to defensive back in part to address depth issues there.

“We’re really deep at the running back position,” Smart said. “He’s probably going to be a factor on our team on special teams. We think he’s really fast. He’s embraced the position. He’s made some good plays; he’s made some bad plays.

“He’s not played this position, so to put him out there and put him on some experienced wideouts and guys who have played a lot of football, it’s probably not fair to him.”

The Bulldogs are still led at the position by Zamir White and James Cook. With less work for McIntosh this spring, it means more touches and reps for 2020 signees Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards.

5:05 p.m.: The Bulldogs completed their first padded practice of the spring on Saturday, and the school put out a video of defensive linemen Warren Brinson and Jordan Davis discussing the first day in pads.

“First day of pads, we’re working out, working. on our mentality,” Davis said. “Trying to get harder, get stronger. We hit, got something to grab on finally. It was a good day so we’re just going to continue to build off it.”

Related: Georgia football dons pads: Kirby Smart evaluating ‘character and demeanor’

Davis has become a popular figure with Georgia media, given his infectious personality and the fact that he’s the best player on Georgia’s team. The senior could’ve gone pro following the 2020 season but he elected to return for a final season in Athens.

It’s no surprise the Georgia coach Kirby Smart has already identified Davis as one of the leaders of the Georgia team.

“On the defensive side, Nakobe [Dean] is out there leading every day,” Smart said. “He does a great job holding them accountable. Travon Walker has done that. Jordan [Davis] and Devonte [Wyatt] coming back helps tremendously.”

The Bulldogs had the No. 1 rush defense in the country last season, with Daivs being a significant reason why. As a senior, he’ll look to contributor more to the pass rush, with Davis having just a single sack last season.

Georgia is off tomorrow and is expected to return to practice on Tuesday.

6:20 p.m.: Georgia coach Kirby Smart is set to meet with reporters to recap Georgia’s second spring practice. While provide updates on what Smart said as they roll in.

  • Georgia will put pads on officially on Saturday. Calls it the Combine Olympics as everyone is in shorts and helmets. “Hard to measure football when you’re in shorts.”
  • Says Georgia’s offense is “lightyears ahead” of they were offensively compared to last year. Says Georgia is doing things now that it wasn’t doing until halfway through the season.  Says Georgia is trying to be more multiple on the offensive side, such as Jermaine Burton learning the X and Z positions. Says the defense is behind the offense so far.
  • Smart calls Lovasea Carroll playing at defensive back experimental. Says he expects Carroll to make an impact on special teams.
  • Smart remarks the outside linebacker room is quiet different without the usual depth at outside linebacker. Says Adam Anderson is playing nickel/star.
  • “I thought last year was one of best years ever in term of sack production.” Credits Dan Lanning, who schemes and designs the defense. Says Travon Walker needs to have a big year, as he’s replacing both Malik Herring and Azeez Ojulari.
  • Smart cautions about putting too much on the mid-year enrollees due to not being where they are strength-wise. “You’re not gonna come in and matchup against Justin Shaffer, Jordan Davis, etc.”
  • Smart says Jahmile Adahi has done a tremendous job of gaining the trust of the young defensive backs and learning a complex defense.
  • “He’s probably the guy I lean the most on in terms of coaching the coaches.” — Smart on new analyst Will Muschamp.
  • Smart once again praises linebacker Nakobe Dean.

You can see Smart’s full press conference below.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart says UGA offense is ‘lightyears’ ahead of Georgia offense

12:40 p.m.: Starting player interviews and first up is DJ Daniel. He mentioned that if he hadn’t gotten a round 1 through 3 grade, he would’ve come back. Also stated he had a grade-three low ankle sprain during last season. Says he is healthy now.

Mark Webb raved about Lewis Cine and Chris Smith as far as their potential going forward. Also said he was the best noseguard to ever play pop warner football.

Tyson Campbell says he came in at a 4.39 40-yard dash but hoped that it would’ve been in the 4.32 range. Says he’s confident in what he can bring to a team.

The SEC Network also posted some 40-yard dash times with their average between the two runs.

Eric Stokes says he likes the role of being an underdog. Hard to call yourself that when you run in the 4.2s as he did on Wednesday. Also spoke about the fastest players on Georgia’s team, and gave credit to Campbell for his speed. Said he couldn’t speak on Arian Smith’s speed but he is up there as well with being the fastest player on the team.

Malik Herring said he expects to be ready to go by early September. He tore his ACL during the Senior Bowl and was not able to workout today.

Richard LeCounte said he’s feeling pretty well after his October accident. Says he’s not too worried about his 40-time and likes what his game tape shows about him. Says rehabbing his foot was the most difficult part.

“For coach Smart to give me that last play meant the world team,” LeCounte said.

Said every team has asked about the motorcycle accident.

Azeez Ojulari says he took nutrition and everything seriously. Up to 249 pounds when he measured in at Pro Day. Adds that he feels he can bend as good as anyone and play all three downs.

“There’s going to be a whole lotta sacks coming this fall,” Ojulari said. Also praised Adam Anderson, Nolan Smith and Bill Norton as players to look out for.

Kirby Smart mentions that Georgia does rely a lot on GPS tracking but that he doesn’t like to share that information with people outside the UGA facility.

Smart identified Zamir White, James Cook, Jamaree Salyer, Justin Shaffer, Travon Walker, Nakobe Dean, Lewis Cine and Chris Smith as leaders for the 2021 Georgia team.

Ben Cleveland says there was a different type of pressure out there on for the athletes today. Says he doesn’t know why he took his shirt off. Says a squirrel diet helped him cut a little weight. Says he felt good about his performance on the bench press but got a little off-rhythm. He finished with 30 reps of 225.

Trey Hill confirms he had both knees cleaned up. Hill missed the final two games of the 2020 season and said getting back on his feet was a big part of the process.

Tre’ Mckitty says he expects Darnell Washington to be “a great player” going forward. Also added he wasn’t happy with the production he had during his time at Georgia. Says his Senior Bowl performance really helped his stock.

Monty Rice feels good about his workout after recovering from his foot injury that slowed him down during his senior season. Rice added he expects Nakobe Dean to be super successful. Compare the NFL draft process to going back through high school.

March 17, 11 p.m.: Georgia’s pro day is underway on the SEC Network with the likes of Tyson Campbell, Azeez Ojualri and Ben Cleveland all competing in drills.

Some early numbers that have come in include 28 bench press reps for Azeez Ojulari, 30 bench press reps and an unofficial 4.85 40-yard dash for Ben Cleveland and a 38.5 inch vertical for Eric Stokes.

Stokes reportedly ran well once again in the 40-yard dash, coming in with an unofficial 4.25 40-yard dash. Tyson Campbell came in with a 4.39 unofficial as well. ESPN’s Peter Burns reported Azeez Ojulari ran a 4.60 unofficial 40-yard dash while Richard LeCounte reportedly ran a 4.80.

Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy post some measurements from key players like Ojulari, Stokes and Richard LeCounte.

Nagy also gave his thoughts on who some of the big winners from today were.

A number of Georgia players will meet with reporters later on in the day as will Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
March 16, 8 p.m.:  Georgia has wrapped its first day of spring practice and the big theme was that you could tell players were glad to be back out at practice after having it taken away last spring.

Related: WATCH: Georgia highlights, photos from ‘awesome’ first practice

Punter Jake Camarda was at Disney World when he found out there would be no spring practice last year and admitted it took him some time to figure out what the next steps were for Georgia.

Reporters also got to speak with Lewis Cine and Jamaree Salyer.

Cine is the leader, and elder statesmen of the secondary for Georgia. While he’ll most likely line up at safety for Georgia in 2021, he vocalized what Kirby Smart repeated earlier in March.

Everyone will be a cornerback this spring.

“Kirby wasn’t lying,” Cine said.

The junior safety also provided an update on Kelee Ringo and Nyland Green, noting their impressive physical attributes. Those two figure to play a huge part in solving Georgia’s questions about the cornerback position.

As for Salyer, he was asked about the left tackle position and gave a very Salyer answer.

“I have no preference. I like to think of myself as a Swiss Army Knife, I can do anything, whatever the team needs to win I don’t care. I’ll go give a snap, I’ll go punt the ball, I don’t really care whatever it takes for the team to win. I want to go out there and be the best teammate I can be so that we can get the result that we want to get which is a National Championship. As far as last year, I think I did some great things, just being able to play left tackle, it is really fun actually. I was very nervous about it going into the season but just being able to be out there for a full season, I mean this is my first full season. I was very excited about it because it was just different. Tackle is something that I played in high school but playing left tackle in the SEC is like okay you must be a grown man; you have to play a certain way. Just knowing that you have to lead in that position was a different experience. It changed the way I look at football.”

Related: Jamaree Salyer shares his thought on left tackle position, early impressions of Amarius Mims, Broderick Jones

Georgia will hold its pro day on Wednesday and then resume practice on Thursday.

March 16, 4 p.m.: The first day of spring practice is here, with the Bulldogs taking the field for the start of practice today.

The Bulldogs will take a few practices before ramping up into full pads but based on social media you can tell there’s real excitement in the air for Georgia to practice. Especially after Georgia’s spring practices were wiped out a year ago due to the beginning of the pandemic.

Quarterback JT Daniels may have summed it up best, but he certainly was not the only one ready to go on Wednesday.

Among some of the bigger names to know this spring include Daniels, George Pickens, Jamaree Salyer, Travon Walker, Nolan Smith and Kelee Ringo. While Georgia does have to replace most of its secondary, the Bulldogs bring back just about every skill player in addition to Daniels at quarterback.

The team will also get a real offseason to work with offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who enters his second season at Georgia. The offense took a noticeable turn for the better late in the season when Daniels became the starting quarterback.

Defensively, Georgia’s front seven should be as strong as ever. The Bulldogs won’t have linebacker Nakobe Dean this spring, but the group does see the return of Jordan Davis and the possible emergence of Nolan Smith and Travon Walker.

Related: The key storyline to know for each Georgia football position this spring

The two biggest areas of concern are at cornerback and on the offensive line. The former saw a ton of attrition, with Georgia effectively starting over at the position. On the offensive line, Georgia has talent and depth, it just needs to find the best five-man combination to protect Daniels.

Georgia won’t be able to answer all of its questions this spring but it will get a much better idea of where things stand before a crucial fall camp and season-opener against Clemson on Sept. 4. — Connor Riley

Georgia football spring practice injury updates

The Bulldogs will not be full healthy and ready to go at the start of practices, as a number of Bulldogs are still recovering. Some, such as Dominick Blaylock and Kelee Ringo, are still recovering from injuries sustained last season.

Others, such as MJ Sherman and Micah Morris, had injuries cleaned up during the offseason as a way to ensure they’ll be fully ready to go by fall camp.

Below is a list of injured Bulldogs. This will be updated throughout the 15 practices, as some players go from limited to full participants, while there also exists the chance that names are added to the list as well.

RelatedInjured Georgia wide receivers ‘right on schedule for where they need to be’ before start of spring practice

  • Arian Smith* — knee
  • Jermaine Burton* — knee
  • George Pickens* — knee
  • Kenny McIntosh* — elbow
  • Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint — ankle
  • Dominick Blaylock — knee
  • Ryland Goede — shoulder
  • Micah Morris — shoulder
  • Julian Rochester — knee
  • Xavian Sorey — foot
  • MJ Sherman — shoulder
  • Nakobe Dean — shoulder
  • Trezmen Marshall — shoulder
  • Kelee Ringo — shoulder

*Indicates the injury occurred during spring practice.

More Georgia football spring practice stories from around DawgNation

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