ATHENS, Ga. — The first day of Georgia football spring practice offered up a few good visuals: Brice Ramsey throwing the ball around and sweating, even though he’s no longer on the team. Jake Fromm and Jacob Eason throwing side by side. Trent Thompson running on the side.
All that and more back where the team had not been in a year: At the outdoor practice fields next to its facility, just like old times. No more 10-minute bus ride to and from practice, as the team did throughout 2016 because of the indoor facility construction.
The media was permitted to watch the customary two periods, totaling about 13 minutes. Some notes and observations:
- Senior receiver Shakenneth Williams was not participating. He was out of uniform but appeared to be coaching up the receivers, acting as a student coach. Williams didn’t have any apparent injury. Earlier in the day, Kirby Smart said he didn’t know of any further attrition, as far as transfers from the team. Either way, Williams appeared to be acting as a student coach.
- Sophomore receiver Riley Ridley was not seen at practice at all. There was no word on a reason for that, though during spring a player might be absent for a number of reasons, including a class.
- Uniform numbers for the early enrollees: Fromm (11), receiver Jeremiah Holloman (9), offensive tackle D’Marcus Hayes (78), defensive back Deangelo Gibbs (8), defensive back Richard LeCounte (2) and inside linebacker Monty Rice (32).
- There wasn’t enough time to do an in-depth analysis of all the freshmen — or even any of them — but what stood out, so to speak, about Fromm was his height. Perhaps that’s because he was throwing next to the 6-foot-5 Eason, as Fromm is listed at 3 inches shorter. He did have good zip on his ball, as did Eason. They spent most of their time working on steps and throwing to receivers in simple passing drills, so nothing much to evaluate off that.
- Ramsey, as Kirby Smart said earlier in the day, was out there helping as an additional arm, despite his announced transfer. Wearing a white shirt, Ramsey threw to the receivers in one drill then joined in with walk-on Sam Vaughn as the quarterbacks threw to receivers. This was Smart’s quote earlier in the day on Ramsey: “He’s loyal to this program. He’s been very appreciative and has handled everything in a first-class manner. We asked him to help and he said ‘Absolutely, I’ll come out there.’ But not from a standpoint of taking reps away. We’re talking a standpoint of can we get enough balls being thrown? He’s going to do that.”
- Thompson and Roquan Smith, who is out with a pectoral muscle injury, were running on the side. Thompson remains with the team though he’s not in class this semester.
- Speaking of student coaches, Kevin Butler is still working with the kickers and punters.
- Punter Marshall Long was in uniform, with a brace on his left knee. Smart said earlier in the day that the plan was for Long to be fully involved later in spring.
- Junior Rashad Roundtree was with the safeties, though he’s listed at inside linebacker.
- Redshirt sophomore Michael Barnett appeared to be with the offensive lineman. He’s listed as both an offensive and defensive lineman.