MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Greetings from the beautiful stone buildings of Rhodes College, a small private college that, amid all its medieval-looking architecture, has a football field. That’s where we found the Georgia Bulldogs on Monday.
On-site preparation for the Liberty Bowl officially began on Monday, and judging by the tone of Kirby Smart’s voice, they’re taking things rather seriously.
“That means you!” Smart screamed as he pointed at a second-team defensive back, during a drill in which they were practicing their dime package.
Georgia’s receivers and defensive backs matching up during Monday’s drills. (SETH EMERSON)
Here’s a run-down of the personnel and other notes that could be gleaned from the media viewing period, beginning with some continuing intrigue on the offensive line:
- Isaiah Wynn was the first team left tackle, with Tyler Catalina running second team. That was the case late in bowl practice in Athens, but it was unclear whether it was injury-related or experimenting because the game wasn’t imminent. Now that it’s happening again the Monday of bowl week – with the game Friday – it’s worth keeping an eye on.
- Dyshon Sims continues to work at left guard on the first team. Sims was the sixth man on the line this year, but usually came in at right guard.
- Reggie Carter, who hyperextended his knee during Athens bowl practice, was practicing Monday, and in a regular jersey.
- But Natrez Patrick, who missed the final three games of the season with a shoulder injury, was sitting out team drills. Patrick continues to work in a black jersey. Smart said last week that Patrick looked closer to playing than Carter, but Carter was working with the second team on Monday (along with Juwan Taylor.) That was during a nickel drill.
- Still no sign of Kirby Choates, the sophomore safety who has been sitting out because of academic concerns. His future with the team is unclear.
- Receiver Michael Chigbu, who has missed all of practice with knee trouble, was still out.
- Meanwhile, senior receier Kenneth Towns is going through practice, and might have a chance to play with the injury situation there. (Although sophomore Jayson Stanley, who missed the final four games with a foot problem, has been practicing this month and was again on Monday.
Smart and a handful of players will address the media following practice back at the team hotel. Check back for updates.
Isaiah McKenzie during Monday’s practice in Memphis.