ATHENS — It appears Kirby Smart, when he was looking for a new outside linebackers coach, ended up with someone a lot like himself: hands on, vocal and just generally very active.
Dan Lanning is three spring practices into his tenure at Georgia, and it’s already evident he brings a different demeanor than the outside linebackers have come to expect.
“Make the reps count! Play the game right now!” Lanning could be heard shouting during practice Saturday.
At another point, not satisfied with how a player had performed in a drill, Lanning had an impromptu pop quiz.
“What are we wearing?” Lanning shouted.
“Pads,” the player answered.
“Pads! Use them!” Lanning shouted back.
It’s not that Kevin Sherrer, the OLB coach the past four years, wasn’t involved in practice. It’s just that Lanning is much more vocal.
“Coach Lanning is a very energetic guy,” Georgia senior OLB D’Andre Walker said. “He reminds me a lot of [inside linebackers] Coach [Glenn] Schumann. If you all have any questions about Coach Lanning just look at Coach Schumann.”
The two assistants may indeed be cut from the same mold. They were both at Alabama earlier this decade in off-field roles, and are close in age: Schumann is 28 and Lanning is 31. They’re the two youngest coaches on the staff and they act like it.
“They might be out there competing to see who moves [the most],” Walker said. “They might have one of those mile-marker things to see who moves the most at practice.”
A few more observations from the media viewing period of practice Saturday:
- One freshman to keep an eye on is cornerback Divaad Wilson, who looks pretty impressive physically, and who drew some praise earlier this week from a veteran player.
- Tyrique McGhee appears to continue working at first-team cornerback, alongside returning starter Deandre Baker.
- Natrez Patrick and Juwan Taylor continue to work at first-team inside linebacker, while Monty Rice and Nate McBride were working with the second team.
- There were plenty of recruits, signed and otherwise, in attendance, as it’s a big official visit weekend. Signee Azeez Ojulari, an outside linebacker, was among those watching, wearing a brace on his right knee as he works his way back from ACL surgery last year.
- There were no major changes on the depth chart at offensive line. The first team remains the same (left tackle Andrew Thomas, left guard Kendall Baker, center Lamont Gaillard, right guard Ben Cleveland, right tackle Isaiah Wilson), while on the second team, freshman Cade Mays and junior Pat Allen continue to rotate at right tackle.
- Bacarri Rambo (Georgia safety from 2009-12) was also in attendance, decked out in Georgia gear, and jumping on an exercise bike.