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Georgia quarterback Gunner Stockton (14) during Georgia’s G-Day spring scrimmage on Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 16, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Georgia football practice observations: Kirby Smart, Todd Monken not holding back in coaching Georgia freshmen

The Georgia Bulldogs held their fourth practice of fall camp with some action in shoulder pads on Sunday afternoon.

And while it’s still early on in the relative season, you would not have guessed it based on the reactions of head coach Kirby Smart or offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The two Georgia coaches were very vocal in calling out a player’s efforts or miscues.

Smart’s voice is amplified via a speaker, so there’s no hiding from the head coach. Freshman defensive backs Jaheim Singletary and Julian Humphrey learned this on Sunday, with the coach both demanding both players to be more physical in a drill with the Georgia cornerbacks. Smart made a comment about how Singletary, who Smart referred to as Silm, is going to have to get his weight up to 190 pounds so that he can possess the necessary strength to play at an SEC level.

Singletary was a 5-star signee out of Jacksonville, Fla., and will he is on the slimmer side, he does have the length and raw tools of a promising cornerback. Humphrey was a top-100 overall signee out of Houston. The latter responded to Smart’s coaching by hitting so hard that his helmet popped off.

“We will need those guys to be core special teams players,” Smart said of the Georgia freshman defensive backs on Thursday. “We will need those guys to be ready to play in the case of, you know, injuries, targetings or whatever may be there. But we’ve got to get them ready by how we prepare in this training camp. And I’m excited about all those guys.”

Offensively, Monken gave freshman quarterback Gunner Stockton some instruction during a passing drill on air. Stockon threw a ball over the top to a receiver. Monken let Stockton know that the throw has to be just over the defender’s ear, as opposed to lobbing it up there. Unlike Singletary and Humphrey, Stockton was with the team in the spring as he was an early enrollee.

It wasn’t all negative for the freshmen however, as Smart did praise freshman wide receiver Dillon Bell for his route running. Bell arrived this summer and will look to be the latest freshman wide receiver to show promise early, as AD Mitchell, George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock have in the past.

Below are some additional news and nuggets to come out of the limited practice viewing the media had on Sunday:

  • Smart’s words weren’t limited to just freshmen, as the head coach called out tight end Arik Gilbert over the speaker for not running hard enough during the aforementioned passing drill. “You gotta be fast all the time if you’re gonna earn playing time,” Smart said. Gilbert is one of the more physically impressive players on the team, but much of his offseason was spent getting back into great football playing shape after spending time away from the team last fall.
  • Earlier in practice, Georgia wide receivers were focusing on making one-handed catches. Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint hauled in his pass with ease, as did Blaylock. The latter looks noticeably bigger than we saw him at G-Day, especially in the upper body. Blaylock could be a real difference maker in the wide receiver room this year.
  • While much of the attention in the tight end room goes to Darnell Washington and Gilbert, freshman Oscar Delp is no slouch either. He looks noticeably stronger in the lower body compared to when we saw him at G-Day. His level of physicality will go a long way in determining how quickly he gets onto the field.
  • Freshman Marcus Washington Jr. was working with the safeties and stars, being coached up by Will Muschamp. Expect him to practice primarily as a star this season, competing alongside Javon Bullard and William Poole. Washington reclassified to arrive at Georgia this summer, as he was originally a 2023 recruit.
  • The offensive line appeared to be the same from Thursday when it was Devin Willock and Tate Ratledge at left and right guard. Those two are competing with Xavier Truss, Warren Ericson and Dyaln Fairchild for the starting spots at offensive guard.
  • Defensive tackle Christen Miller was no longer in a black jersey, a change from when we last saw practice on Thursday. The only two Bulldogs currently in black non-contact jerseys are tight end Brett Seither and wide receiver Mekhi Mews.
  • Former Georgia All-American Jarvis Jones was on hand on Sunday and giving some pointers to Smart’s youngest son, Andrew, as the two watched the outside linebackers work with new position coach Chidera Uzo-Diribe. Jones had previously served as a graduate assistant at Georgia.

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