ATHENS — It was seasonably hot and the environment was decidedly intense as the Georgia Bulldogs convened on Woodruff Practice Fields for the 22nd practice of preseason camp on Monday.
The Bulldogs were in full pads and scout-team players sported the jersey numbers of Austin Peay players as preparations turned to the specific task of facing the Governors from the Ohio Valley Conference this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Sanford Stadium (News 95.5 and AM-750, “Your Home of the Dawgs!”).
Earlier in the day at UGA’s Media Day news conference, Georgia coach Kirby Smart extolled how important it is that Austin Peay has the full focus of the Bulldogs’ attention.
“I have a lot of respect for Coach (Will) Healy and the job he’s done,” Smart said of Austin Peay’s 33-year-old coach. “I’ve followed his career and he’s done a tremendous job everywhere he’s been, especially offensively.”
The Governors have eight offensive starters back from last year’s 8-4 team, including quarterback Jeremiah Oatsvall and leading rusher Ahmaad Tanner of Dalton.
Here’s a few observations from the 6 minutes and 45 seconds of practice viewing time offered to the media on Monday:
- Wide receiver Terry Godwin was not present. Earlier in the day the senior and leading returning pass-catcher from last year’s team is “questionable” for Saturday’s game due to a lingering knee injury.
- Fellow receivers Jayson Stanley and Kearis Jackson were getting limited work. Stanley (quadriceps) and Jackson (hamstring) ran on the side with trainer Ron Courson. Later, Stanley moved over and did some drillwork with the other receivers.
- Also working on the side with Courson were cornerback Divaad Wilson (knee) and walkon receiver Josh Moran (unknown).
- Mark Webb appears to be back in the mix with the No. 1 secondary. The sophomore cornerback from Philadelphia was working alongside Deandre Baker, J.R. Reed and Richard Lecounte as coach Mel Tucker worked with them on alignment.
- At one point, Smart nearly blew a gasket as he screamed and yelled at safeties for not being lined up correctly.
- Former Bulldog Malcom Mitchell was among observers at Monday’s practice. Mitchell was recently cut by the New England Patriots and is currently getting treatment at UGA for a lower-leg injury.
- Quarterbacks were getting a lot of fundamental work Monday. Offensive analyst Jay Johnson was closely overseeing a dropback and footwork drill.