ATHENS — It took a couple days longer than anybody wanted, but Robert Beal was finally able to participate in Georgia’s football practice, the third one of the preseason.
The media, as is custom, only saw a couple periods, and they were just position drills, so not much could be divined other than appearances, with some exceptions.
Beal was not in shoulder pads, unlike his teammates, as Beal has to go through a two-day acclimation period. He missed the first two days of practice while waiting to be fully qualified academically.
Perhaps it was the lack of shoulder pads, but Beal seemed shorter than most of his fellow outside linebackers. Walter Grant, the other freshman OLB, looked to have an inch or two on Beal, even though Grant’s also listed at 6-4. Grant is also a bit more svelte around the hips, which does match each player’s listed weight (244 for Beal and 234 for Grant.)
Otherwise, though, it looked like Beal was generally in good shape.
- Chauncey Manac continues to work with the defensive linemen, at least during the media viewing periods. Manac, a redshirt freshman, is thought to be on the two-deep at outside linebacker, so it’s not clear whether this is a position switch or just some cross-training. Edge rushers, after all, tend to work at both DE and OLB. For what it’s worth, it doesn’t appear that Manac has put on much weight.
- Michael Barnett also continues to work with the defensive line, after shifting between offense and defense this past year. In fact, Barnett was working inside during position drills.
- Freshman Malik Herring looks taller and more svelte (this reporter likes that word) than other defensive lineman. Herring is listed at 270 pounds, which is five pounds heavier than when he signed.
- Sophomore DL David Marshall, on the other hand, appears to have put on some weight up top. He’s listed at 274 pounds, but is a bit shorter than Herring.
- The first three defensive linemen during the media viewing period were (left to right) Trent Thompson, Julian Rochester and Jonathan Ledbetter. Then nose tackle John Atkins joined the second group, with Marshall on another side.
- The inside linebackers were on the other side of the field, but you could hear coach Glenn Schumann coaching up freshman Nate McBride. After McBride made a move to his left on a drill in which he’s supposed to shoulder-bang someone, Schumann showed McBride the right way to do it, saying the freshman had made a “wasted move.” McBride nodded back in understanding.
- No sign of freshman DL Devonte Wyatt yet, by the way. He’s still trying to qualify academically.
- Finally, not a defensive note, but former Georgia punter Drew Butler was with the kickers and punters, along with his father Kevin Butler, the student assistant who is working with the Georgia specialists. Butler is still hoping to hook on with an NFL team this season.