georgia football-veterans-spring practice
Brock Bowers led Georgia in receiving last season and will look to do so again in 2023 (Connor Riley/DawgNation).

How Georgia football veterans look to go from good to great during spring practice

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, and everything else UGA.

What Georgia football stars look to get out of spring practice

So much of spring practice is focused on newcomers. Not just those new to Georgia — the Bulldogs brought in 18 early enrollees and three transfer players — but players competing for a new role. The most obvious example is the quarterback battle, but there’s a good bit of interest in who will be the new left tackle or starting safety for the Bulldogs.

There are also a few Bulldogs missing spring practice with injury. Guys such as Marvin Jones Jr. or Jalon Walker that would’ve drawn a ton of interest given Georgia’s need to see them develop.

For known entities like Kamari Lassiter, Smael Mondon or Brock Bowers, there’s not much on the surface they can prove. All started double-digit games for the Bulldogs last season and are safely considered starters for this upcoming season.

Kirby Smart will be quick to point out that every player can get better. Even one who is a two-time All-American and the best player at his position in the country.

“I want to continue to get stronger in the weight room and really focus on like the small details of my game like throughout my route running and just be able to be more dominant in the run game, too,” Bowers said.

There are plenty of tangible aspects players want to improve in. Mondon said block-shedding was important for him. Defensive back Javon Bullard wants to better learn the ins and outs of the safety position, as Georgia may ask him to move from the star position.

Another significant part of a veteran’s spring tasks included educating younger players. Helping them adjust to the rigors of the college game and way of life.

For as hard as it might be to believe for guys such as Mondon and Bowers, they’re now veterans in their respective rooms.

It’s a new role for them, one that is going to take some getting used to.

“Kind of shocking me because I don’t feel like I’ve been here very long,” Bowers said. “I mean, I’m just trying to maybe do a little bit more of taking a little bit more of a leadership role. We’ll see.”

Related: Brock Bowers looks forward to new offense, quarterback competition

Just about every veteran that has spoken so far this spring has also pointed to being a better leader. Georgia has to replace Nolan Smith, Stetson Bennett, Chris Smith and others. Those three were all permanent captains. Add in veterans Kearis Jackson, Robert Beal and Warren McClendon and there’s a lot of institutional knowledge walking out of the Georgia practice facility and into the NFL.

Not everyone is capable of leading vocally like Nolan Smith did. Bowers and Mondon are on the quiet side and recognize they’ll have to lead by example.

“I’m trying to become a better leader, more of a vocal guy, you know, lead by example,” Lassiter said. “We’ve got a lot of mid-years and young guys and just trying to help bring some of those guys along.”

This time last year, Bowers and Mondon were recovering from shoulder surgery while Lassiter was battling to win a starting job at the cornerback position. Now, he’s overseeing a competition at the other cornerback spot.

At inside linebacker, much has been made about the arrivals of freshman CJ Allen and Rayeln Wilson. The same could be said of tight ends Lawson Luckie and Pearce Spurlin, though the latter is now out with a collarbone injury.

Bowers and Mondon recognize where those players are, as at one point they themselves were freshmen trying to learn the playbook.

“Just helping the younger guys learn, being able to talk to them,” Mondon said. “Working through their mistakes and stuff like that, just being able to help them.”

Related: Smael Mondon offers up a terrifying thought about Georgia football linebacker room

Not every veteran though gets out of spring what they want. Kendall Milton wanted to show teams he could remain healthy after focusing on strength training this offseason. He’ll now miss the rest of spring practice after a hamstring injury.

Next Spring practice shows what most obvious strengths are for Georgia …
Leave a Comment