What we learned from Georgia’s first 2021 spring practice
The Georgia Bulldogs were out on the practice fields for the first time on Tuesday. While the Bulldogs haven’t yet strapped on all the pads — they were just in helmets on Tuesday — we were able to learn quite a few things already thanks to interviews and some media put out by the team.
New jersey for Kendall Milton?
Georgia will have 16 early enrollees taking part in fall practices for Georgia. That means numbers and names to memorize. But we’ve seen a few established players in the past switch up their numbers. Adam Anderson went from 56 to 19. James Cook went from wearing the No. 6 jersey to No. 4.
And it seems like running back Kendall Milton is the next to do so. As a freshman, Milton wore the number 22 due in part to the fact that he wouldn’t have to change his number upon potentially reaching the NFL.
But the No. 2 jersey just looks so much better than 22, which as Milton showed in a video put out by the Georgia football Twitter account.
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) March 16, 2021
Milton wore No. 2 in his high school career at Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif. Last season, quarterback D’Wan Mathis wore the jersey but he has since transferred to Temple.
As a freshman, Milton ran for 193 yards on 35 carries, impressing many with his play against Alabama, Auburn and Tennessee. He’ll be competing in a crowded backfield, as Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh will push Milton for playing time.
Lewis Cine backed up what Kirby Smart said about cornerback position
Kirby Smart made it a point to stress that Georgia was looking for any help it could get at the cornerback position.
Junior safety Lewis Cine provided proof to Smart’s statement, as he revealed he had been getting reps at the cornerback position. Cine started all 10 games during the 2020 season at safety and is expected to do so again for Georgia come the fall.
“Kirby was not lying when he said everyone was getting a look at cornerback,” Cine said. “He’s tried everyone including myself. If I’m put there I’m going to play it to the best of my ability.”
As strange as it sounds, Cine is now one of the veteran leaders in Georgia’s secondary, due in large part to all the inexperience at cornerback.
Two of the young cornerbacks that Cine was asked about were Kelee Ringo and Nyland Green. They are the two highest-rated recruits at the cornerback position for Georgia on the roster.
Ringo is entering his second year in the program. He did not play during the 2020 season due to preseason labrum surgery.
“Kelee is a great kid but also a great player,” Cine said. “He’s learning as everyone else has learned because he sat down the whole year due to his injury. He’s learning, playing fast. Kelee is a sound kid.”
Green signed with Georgia in the 2021 cycle and arrived as one of the early enrollees. His physical abilities have already turned heads.
“He’s long, fast, very athletic,” Cine said. “As like every younger guy he’s still learning also so there’s a lot we can see from him going forward.”
Georgia football working on its mindset
This time a year ago, punter Jake Camarda was at DisneyWorld enjoying spring break before the start of spring practice. Then the COVID-19 pandemic wiped everything out and Camarda was left wondering what to do next.
Fortunately, the Bulldogs don’t have to worry about that this spring even with the pandemic still being very real and present. The Bulldogs are instead able to focus on how to improve for the 2021 season.
As Camarda said on Tuesday, that starts with the mental aspect of the game.
“I definitely think that things have been done differently,” Camarda said. “We are doing some mindset program stuff and that has been a little bit of a change. We are doing more of that than we have in the past so it has definitely changed a little bit, but it has been really cool and I think everyone has enjoyed it. It has been a good change.”
This backs up what Smart had said earlier in March when he stated Georgia was placing a great emphasis on the mental area of the game.
Camarda provided greater detail into what that means for Georgia this spring.
“Just having the right mindset. Just getting to know each other and really just forming a family bond on this team,” Camarda said. “We feel that the teams that are super close are able to make big runs. There is nothing more important than getting to enjoy being out on the field with your brothers and your coaches and just getting to know each other.
“When you know everyone that you are playing with, when you are really tight with the guys you are playing with, you will play harder. We are just trying to continue to have that culture.”
What we learned from Georgia’s first spring practice
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football 2021 spring practice updates, injuries and news
- Jamaree Salyer shares his thought on left tackle position, early impressions of Amarius Mims, Broderick Jones
- Georgia football podcast: UGA wide receivers earn a rare level of praise
- 2 of the 3 biggest questions for Georgia football this spring are on defense
- Branson Robinson: Nation’s No. 1 RB breaks down his deep connection to UGA
- Georgia football podcast: UGA ready to ’embrace the grind’ as spring practice begins
- Georgia sports roundup: Baseball set for SEC play, track and field enjoy successful NCAA championship