ATHENS — Georgia football appeared back at full speed on Tuesday, Monday’s light walk-through having served its intended purpose.
“When you have 48 hours, you can almost recover to a full extent and we’re hoping to get everybody’s legs back,” Coach Kirby Smart said following Saturday’s 135-play scrimmage.
“You could see it (Saturday). The GPS says it. A guy that was running 19 (mph) is running 17. A guy that was running 21 is running 18, 19. They’re hurting a little bit but part of that is mental toughness and the grit. They’ve been able to handle that.”
Indeed, and a heat index of a mere 91 degrees likely made Tuesday’s workout feel like even more of a breeze after Smart had his Bulldogs in full equipment sweating through days of 100 plus early in fall drills.
Smart’s practice management skills may have been modeled after Nick Saban’s at first.
But now in his fourth year leading the Bulldogs, Smart has modified much to his liking, such as the hilarious Friday activity of staging a 4 x 100 race between selected players and coaches.
Georgia AD Greg McGarity was tipped off and was on hand to watch it.
McGarity chuckled while recalling when the players realizing the fix was in with world-class sprinter Matthew Boling running the anchor leg for the coaches.
“I was there when J.R. Reed spotted him and said, ‘there’s that 9.9 dude, this is a setup!’ ” McGarity said, recalling how Reed described Boling, a UGA track athlete who has run the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds.
“It was a really neat event for the kids to be a part of.”
Smart had convinced his players he was going to run the anchor leg against safety Richard LeCounte — the player he pushes the hardest and seems to have the most fun with.
“I wanted to see Coach Smart run, I was thinking there’s no way he’ll get out here and run,” UGA offensive lineman Cade Mays said. “So I peaked out there and saw curly blonde hair… and I was like, ‘Oh wow, it’s that dude that broke the national record!’
“He’s a fast dude, he looks like Roadrunner, it’s like you can’t see his legs, it’s like his upper body is still and his legs are churning.”
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 19, 2019
The Bulldogs went on to have their best scrimmage of the offseason the next day, drawing praise from Smart after last Saturday’s work at Sanford Stadium.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Landers has apparently held on to the top spot in the starting three-rotation after Scrimmage Two. Tyler Simmons and Demetris Robertson continue to hold down the top sports in the slot and the other outside receiver position.
Freshman George Pickens and Miami grad transfer Lawrence Cager are running with the twos. Dominick Blaylock, who has been working with the threes (behind Kearis Jackson in the slot), got a positive call out from OC James Coley during practice.
Nakobe Dean injury
Freshman 5-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean was not seen at practice and is dealing with a high ankle sprain.
Dean is the No. 3 ILB behind starters Tae Crowder and Monty Rice. Sophomore Quay Walker has moved up with the second team to work beside Channing Tindall with Dean sidelined.
Tyrique Stevenson back
Stevenson, the athletically gifted true freshman cornerback, was back at 100 percent in drill work after being somewhat limited last week. Stevenson was taking part in all of secondary coach Charlton Warren’s drill work.
Sophomore Cade Mays was working with the first team offensive line at right guard during the media viewing portion of practice.
Andrew Thomas continued to anchor the line at left tackle, with Solomon Kindley at left guard, Trey Hill at center, Mays and Isaiah Wilson at right tackle. The second group featured Xavier Truss at left tackle, with Justin Shaffer at left guard, Clay Webb at center, Ben Cleveland at right guard and Warren McClendon at right tackle.
Senior defensive linemen Julian Rochester and David Marshall were working through drills with their teammates at the start of practice. Smart said Rochester (ACL) and Marshall (foot) have been limited in fall camp while they rehabilitate from offseason surgeries.
DawgNation Georgia football fall camp