NEW ORLEANS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart lifted the curtain for the first time this season on a significant portion of the Bulldogs’ practice on Sunday.
Smart, a man who typically rationalizes every decision right down to the most minute detail, might have wanted to see how his player performed in front of an audience.
Particularly one considers how many young players and new starters will be pressed into action when the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 7 Baylor (11-2) at 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday night.
Redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson was back running routes, apparently over the sprained ankle that sidelined him during bowl practices in Athens.
Netori Johnson, once a U.S. Army All-American recruit, was also back working with the offensive line.
Johnson, a redshirt sophomore, began his career at UGA as an offensive guard before moving to noseguard before the 2018 Kentucky game.
The Bulldogs are beefing up the offensive line with three starters missing.
Starting offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson quit the team earlier this month to prepare for the NFL draft, and starting offensive guard Ben Cleveland is not academically eligible.
The secondary also had a new face working with the first team next to Richard LeCounte in drill work. Sophomore Otis Reese, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder from Lee County High School could be the replacement for All-American J.R. Reed.
Reed pulled out of the Sugar Bowl last week after suffering what he said was a “minor foot injury.”
Freshman Lewis Cine was working behind LeCounte at safety.
Georgia’s drill work was spirited during the media viewing portion.
Freshman receiver George Pickens was fighting so hard in one drill that he was turned upside down, leading to some concerns along the sideline.
Georgia football Sunday practice
QB: Jake Fromm
RB: Zamir White
WR: Tyler Simmons
WR: Demetris Robertson
WR: George Pickens
TE: Charlie Woerner
LT: Cade Mays
LG: Solomon Kindley
C: Trey Hill
RG: Warren Ericson
RT: Jamaree Salyer
DT Devonte Wyatt
NT: Jordan Davis
DE: David Marshall
OLB Azeez Ojulari
MLB Tae Crowder
WLB Monty Rice
OLB Jermaine Johnson
CB Eric Stokes
CB Tyson Campbell
S Richard LeCounte
S Otis Reese
WHO IS OUT/INJURED
Captain: OT Andrew Thomas – Sugar Bowl scratch
Captain: S J.R. Reed – Sugar Bowl scratch
OT Isaiah Wilson – Sugar Bowl scratch
WR Lawrence Cager – season-ending injury
OG Ben Cleveland – Sugar Bowl scratch
DL Tyler Clark – Sugar Bowl scratch
Captain: RB D’Andre Swift – X Questionable (shoulder)
RB Brian Herrien – Sugar Bowl scratch
S Divaad Wilson – Sugar Bowl scratch
LB Quay Walker – Sugar Bowl scratch
LB Walter Grant – Sugar Bowl scratch
OL D’Marcus Hayes -Sugar Bowl scratch
DL Justin Young – Sugar Bowl scratch
DB Tyrique McGhee – Sugar Bowl scratch
WR Dom Blaylock – season-ending injury
OL Justin Shaffer -season-ending injury
QB D’Wan Mathis – season-ending injury
DawgNation Sugar Bowl coverage