ATHENS — While the quarterback competition might be over, a number of position battles are still up in the air as the Bulldogs wrapped up fall camp on Saturday.
The Bulldogs will have a handful of practices next week, before moving into game-week mode as the Bulldogs ready for the start of the 2023 season.
“We’ve got to secure some more spots — a couple spots still up for grabs — and then really hone in on who our special teams and travel roster guys are going to be,” Smart said. “So we’re two weeks away from kickoff. We’re not where we need to be, but we’re competing. I want to see some more improvement, but I did see improvement from scrimmage one to two.”
The three big battles are at left tackle, cornerback and kicker. Smart stressed with each possession that he’s in no rush to make a decision with any of the battles. The Georgia head coach is content to let each play out, hoping a starter steps up and wins the job outright.
Georgia left tackle battle
Competitors: Earnest Greene, Austin Blaske
What Smart had to say: Earnest got a little banged up today. He went back in and played so I don’t know how serious it was. It was an ankle, so I don’t know if it was low ankle or high ankle. He felt like he was hurt, he came back in and played, played about 10 or 11 plays, then it bothered him and we shut him down. Truss got dinged up on the same play. Truss went out, Truss came back and played. Both those guys came back and played. I think they’re okay but I’ll know more tomorrow.
Blaske played today. He was good. He’s been dealing with heat, things like that but he played.”
Predicted starter at this point: Greene(if healthy)
Georgia cornerback battle(opposite Kamari Lassiter)
Competitors: Julian Humphrey, Nyland Green, Daylen Everette, AJ Harris
What Smart had to say: “All those guys are competing. Daylen (Everette), Julio (Humphrey) Nyland (Green), all rolling and playing primarily with the ones. AJ (Harris) has gotten some reps with the ones. All four of those guys are going to battle it out. There’s no reason to make a decision because we’ve got competitive practices Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, all the next week. If nobody is a clear cut guy, then we’ll play multiple guys until we figure it out. We’re waiting for someone to step up and take it but that hasn’t happened.”
Predicted starter at this point: Humphrey
Georgia kicking battle
Competitors: Jared Zirkel, Peyton Woodring
What Smart had to say: “No outline at this time. One was 3-for-3, one was 3-for-4 today. I thought they both kicked much better than what they did last week. The conditions were a little better today. They kicked better throughout the week. They’re both talented guys. I could make the case for both of them, either one of them to start right now.
I don’t know how they did to kicked off. I don’t know the numbers on that, I got to put a lot of thought into that and hang times and I don’t know what that was. They both had a really good fall camp and we don’t have to make a decision on that.”
Predicted starter at this point: Zirkel