ATHENS — Georgia will use the bye week to experiment with three position changes, head coach Kirby Smart announced on Tuesday.
Tae Crowder, a redshirt freshman tailback who has not played yet this season, will try inside linebacker.
“We’ve got some depth issues there,” Smart said.
Sophomore Michael Barnett, a defensive lineman who has yet to play this season, will try offensive line. Barnett (listed at 6-foot-4 and 292 pounds) will begin at tackle, and Smart indicated it was more about seeing if Barnett’s long-term future could be there.
“See if he can develop there. He played a little bit in high school,” Smart said. “He’s kind of not in the rotation defensively, and see where he would be as an offensive lineman.”
Junior Shakenneth Williams, who has yet to catch a pass at receiver this season, will move to defensive back, at least temporarily. Williams and Barnett have not played this season and each have a redshirt year available, though Smart didn’t mention that. He only said the switches were for this week, indicating they may or may not stick.
“Those are three guys that athletically, are better athletes than their current spot on the depth chart,” Smart said. “So we’re going to give those guys some work. Find out what they can do. And it’s really about us getting better, so developmental (practices) will teach them what to do, but we want to see what they can do, see if they can help our roster.”
Georgia has three practices this week, then the weekend off. It goes to Jacksonville to take on Florida next week.
The moves are for the three practices this week, Smart said.
Smart said the team used Monday for a “little corrections period,” along with some stretching. The practices on Tuesday and Wednesday will be part fundamentals, and advance preparation for teams beyond Florida. That’s fairly common for bye weeks.
Then Thursday will begin full-tilt preparation for Florida.
“We’re going to try to improve, and put good on good, and give a lot of guys an opportunity to compete,” Smart said.