Georgia toughed it out as the players practiced through the heat on Monday. The heat index hit well over 100 degrees, and the staff still demanded more. One thing’s for sure, head coach Kirby Smart runs a strict practice. Despite it being tough it makes the guys get in shape that much faster. Like day one of camp, Steve Conyers and I will break down each side of the ball and give you our takeaways.
Savannah’s Offense Report
The Bulldogs offense worked a lot of fundamentals on Monday. Each position group worked on specific details from the running backs and ball control to the offensive line and proper blocking technique, each group had something to focus on, and they did.
The quarterbacks worked with the backs on handoffs some and then floated toward footwork and quick hands drill. Fromm threw with Fields of course and both look so athletic. Like I mentioned the other day, Fromm seems stronger, and I feel like there is more zip to his ball than last season.
I saw only one dropped pass, and that came from one of the walk-ons. All of Fields balls were perfectly placed, and it seems that he and a certain transfer wideout have bonded some.
Tommy Bush, Tommy Bush, and a little more Tommy Bush. The kid is a stud and is so smooth with his routes. His long arms allow him to go up and catch those high balls and he’s one of the biggest mismatches out there. Bush stands at 6-5 195-pounds, and he runs routes like he’s 5-11 155 pounds. Talent oozes out of him, and he’s fun to watch.
Matt Landers continues to impress me as well. His routes are much smoother, and he looks like he’s filled out some and doesn’t have those chicken legs like last season. According to our rosters, he’s 6-5 200 pounds. There’s a reason Smart had him work as each team’s best wideout last season; the kid shows promise.
Tyler Simmons appeared to take second-team reps. He looks strong as well.
Demetris Robertson continues to shine too. He didn’t drop the ball, and Hankton praised him a few times during drills. There’s one thing for sure; I want to see a foot race between him and Mecole Hardman. I don’t know who would win. Even though Fields and Robertson seemed to have hit it off, he chatted it up with Fromm as well and made a few nice grabs from him as well.
Offensive Line and Tight Ends:
The offensive line continued with just running fundamental drills, at least while we were out there. They didn’t line up as a whole unit, but I did notice the TE work with the tackles. John Fitzpatrick lined up with Andrew Thomas. The Sophomore showed the youngster the ropes it seems.
I have to brag about Luke Ford too. His blocking technique is impressive. Kids a big-bodied guy and has the height to match. I overheard a media member say that he’s the most athletic tight end in the room. Isaac Nauta may have some serious competition this year with Ford and Fitzpatrick chasing his heels.
After working with the QB’s on handoffs, the running backs worked on ball protection. Zamir White made cuts and pivots and everything every other RB did. That entire unit looks in shape. Granted both White and James Cook have some catching up to do, these two are going to be exceptional players. They spill talent everywhere. White looks ready to go and eager to run. I’m excited to see what he can do. James Cook seems to be progressing after just three days as well, and I’m excited to watch him develop more in this camp as well.
Steve’s Defense Report:
-Keyon Richardson’s role is yet to be determined, but we should see him play beyond special teams this year in some situations.
-Right now the star position is getting a lot of looks with Deangelo Gibbs and William Poole emerging as the leading two contenders.
-Adam Anderson was working with the OLB’s today instead of the defensive line. He is an athletic bendy cat who is going to be tough to deal with once he puts on some weight. Anderson reminds me of Leonard Floyd in that he needs to add weight. He can hold down the edge but will be a pass rushing demon by the time he leaves Athens.
Jonathan Ledbetter seems to be the leader of the defensive line and despite Georgia not having as much depth at the position that Kirby wants they are more than equipped to have another successful year. The key this year will be up to the new guys like Jay Hayes, Jordan Davis, and Devonte Wyatt to fill the absence of Trenton Thompson and John Atkins. I’m impressed with Jordan Davis and how coachable he is. Several times he was pulled to the side by Scott, and he kept getting after it. The kids seem to respond well to Scott who I think was a great hire by Smart last year.
The inside linebackers will be the most exciting group to watch this season. There are a ton of guys competing for playing time and while Monty Rice, Juwan Taylor, and Natrez Patrick are the returning guys with valuable playing experience some of the young guys are going to be right in the mix as well. Quay Walker and Channing Tindall are absolute freaks. They are the kind of guys that look the part but also can play the role. It’s still hard to tell who exactly will end up as the starters as the competition is intense.
The outside linebackers are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season. Deandre Walker has waited his turn and will be starting for the first time now in his senior season. He played a huge role last year, and I would not be surprised to see him get double digit sacks this upcoming season.
Once again, extreme talent, but little experience. That seems to be the theme of the defense this year besides the defensive line. There are so many guys waiting to showcase their skill sets in the secondary, and it will be on display in the fall.
As of right now, my projected starters would be Deandre Baker and Mark Webb manning the corners while Deangelo Gibbs and Richard Lecounte play the safeties. There may be early hiccups with this group early in the season, but I think they could be the toughest part of the defense at the end of the year if the talent comes together.