ATHENS - Sam M’Pemba and Gabe Harris both likely benefitted from their time at IMG Academy, as the elite prep school has churned out a ton of college and NFL stars. Former IMG alums to play for Georgia include outside linebacker Nolan Smith, defensive tackle Warren Brinson and cornerback Daylen Everette.
But the effort level by M’Pemba wasn’t good enough to finish out one drill with the Georgia outside linebackers, and outside linebackers coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe let the freshman know that level of effort know about it.
“That’s an IMG effort,” Uzo-Diribie said.
M’Pemba was hardly the only Georgia newcomer to get some tough coaching during practice. Tight ends coach Todd Hartley let freshman tight end Lawson Luckie know that he had gone the wrong way coming out of a block in one of the tight end drills as well.
Georgia had 18 members from the 2023 signing class enroll early. Some, such as linebacker CJ Allen and wide receiver Tyler Williams, were able to go through bowl practices with the Bulldogs. That wasn’t the case for every member, but it appears many of the newcomers are picking up the Georgia way of doing things quickly.
Uzo-Diribe later quizzed outside linebacker Damon Wilson during a drill and the freshman was able to provide the answer Uzo-Diribe was looking for. Georgia is going to be counting on Wilson, M’Pemba and Harris given the lack of proven depth at the outside linebacker position. Junior Chaz Chambliss is the only player that has seen the field with any regularity.
“Those young guys have looked good in workouts,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “When you talk about how our guys run around and how they move, there’s a really good group of guys, but we’ll need a lot of reps and work there to replace the Nolans and the Beals who have been there forever.”
Georgia football practice report notes
- Did not see tight end Pearce Spurlin or outside linebacker Darris Smith with their respective position groups during the open portion of practice. Running back Daijun Edwards was back with the running backs during practice.
- The quarterback pecking order was the same, with Carson Beck going first, Brock Vandagriff going second and Gunner Stockton going third. Mike Bobo gave Vandagriff some extended pointers on his mesh point while the quarterbacks were working with the tight ends.
- Austin Blaske was getting the first reps at left tackle, with Amarius Mims stepping in at right tackle. Sedrick Van Pran was at center, while Tate Ratledge and Xavier Truss were at right and left guard. The offensive line was working on combo blocks during practice.
- During a pass on air drill, wide receiver Rara Thomas had a ball go right off his hands for what was a clear drop. During a blocking drill, wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon made it a point to quiz Dominic Lovett on a specific hand signal.
- Georgia was in pads for the practice and the Bulldogs certainly didn’t shy away from the physicality. Practice began with a wide receiver and defensive back version of the Oklahoma drill. Sophomore safety Malaki Starks made a strong effort in bringing a wide receiver to the ground. Then as he was moving out of the way, he was nearly run into by redshirt freshman wide receiver CJ Smith.
- Georgia had a former rival coach viewing practice, as former Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins was on hand to watch practice. Collins coached at Georgia Tech from 2019 through 2022. He was replaced by Brent Key. Also at practice were former Georgia offensive linemen Warren McClendon and Warren Ericson.
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