ATHENS — Michael Barnett has a new position, a new number, and perhaps a new mentor.
Tyler Catalina, Georgia’s starting left tackle, was working closely at Tuesday’s practice with Barnett, the sophomore who has been moved over from defensive end, at least for this bye week of practice.
Barnett was wearing No. 52, switching from the No. 94 he’s been wearing the past year-and-a-half. Barnett has yet to see the field this season, so the position switch could lead to a redshirt, if the team is so inclined.
Catalina, the graduate transfer from Rhode Island, gave Barnett some help on footwork during a drill Tuesday.
“Don’t slide,” Catalina said, then motioned forward to show Barnett how to do it.
Barnett repeated the motion.
“Feeling good?” Catalina said.
A short time later Sam Pittman, the offensive line coach, came over from watching the interior linemen.
“Barnett, go again. Go again,” Pittman shouted.
Barnett knelt down, pushed forward and went at a scout-team linemen.
“That’s it. That’s it,” Pittman said, turning back around.
D.J. Looney, a graduate assistant who works with the offensive line, was also showing a lot of attention to Barnett.
Barnett is listed at 6-foot-4 and 294 pounds, but didn’t look very out of place among Georgia’s offensive linemen.
Two other players who switched positions were also at their new spots on Tuesday: Shakenneth Williams, who went from receiver to defensive back, and Tae Crowder, who went from tailback to inside linebacker. Both remained in their old jerseys, Williams in No. 23 and Crowder in No. 30.