ATHENS — The fastest man on the Georgia football team this season is up for debate.
Junior receiver Mecole Hardman, one of the candidates for the title, said the players do talk about it from time to time.
But the race has not been run.
“After these practices, you just want to go home, it’s hard to get a race going,” Hardman said following Wednesday’s practice at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
“But we talk about it all the time, who’s the fastest. But we never really lined up to see what’s really going on.”
Georgia football coach Kirby Smart and his staff track the players with GPS equipment in their shoulder pads during practice.
The Bulldogs’ staff is able to determine the top speed each player reaches each day, as well as the distance covered.
But Hardman said no one ever comes right out and says who is the fastest.
Besides, that would be different than lining up and racing.
“I’m not a big racer, I like to tell people I’ve got field speed,” Bulldogs tailback Elijah Holyfield said when asked to name the fastest players.
“Mecole is one of the fastest, D-Rob (Demtris Robertson) is very fast as well. Tyler Simmons is very fast, Deandre Baker is very very fast, so we have a couple fast guys, it would be a good race.”
And freshman cornerback Tyson Campbell, the Florida high school Class 2A champ in 100 meters and 200 meters?
“Yeah, Tyson can roll,” Holyfield said.
As for the “field speed,” Holyfield explained it’s all about touchdowns.
“I see the end zone, and the only thing in my head is don’t get caught,” Holyfield said, “so I think I run a little bit faster than in a race, when I’m not as motivated.”
Hardman reeled off his list of fastest players much quicker than Holyfield.
“Definitely Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, Deandre Baker, myself, and Jayson Stanley,” Hardman said. “D-Rob, you could put him in that race right now.”
As for freshman tailback James Cook, who many defensive players have raved about this fall, Hardman pointed to his great acceleration.
“Watching him run, if he gets the edge on you, it’s like, you’ve got problems,” Hardman said. “He’s more of a guy who can go from 0 to 100 real fast, so I think that’s why defenses have problems, because you could be right there, and he’s already at full speed before you know it.”
Georgia football WR Mecole Hardman
Georgia football RB Elijah Holyfield