When Georgia signed Shattle Fenteng in February out of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, he looked like he could be an impact recruit.
The turbulent offseason for the Georgia secondary means the Bulldogs need the 6-foot-1 ¬Ω, 185-pound Fenteng to be ready to contribute, perhaps even start, now more than ever.
I caught up with Fenteng this week as he finishes up at Hutchinson and get ready to return home to his home state of Georgia, where he played for Grayson High School.
Q: When we talked before signing day, you already had the mindset that you could come in and play like you did at junior college. What‚Äôs your mindset now given how much the secondary has changed?
A: I still have the same mindset from day one. I‚Äôm going to try to come in and play my best like I did at the junior college level.
Q: Since you signed, Josh Harvey-Clemons was dismissed, Shaq Wiggins transferred, Brendan Langley moved to wide receiver and Tray Matthews got kicked off the team. What have you made of all of that from where you are?
Q: It kind of sucks because that‚Äôs some talent that I‚Äôd be glad to play with, but on the other hand it gives the newcomers a fresh start to start. Even if they would have stayed, coach (Jeremy) Pruitt has said no one has a position, no one is guaranteed even if they started the year before. I feel like it‚Äôs still the same thing. Everyone‚Äôs still getting the same amount of reps, he‚Äôs still looking for the ones to start even if they would have never left.
Q: Have you wondered why so many guys in the secondary aren‚Äôt there anymore?
A: Yeah, yeah. I wondered. It‚Äôs kind of weird. I don‚Äôt know. I guess coach Pruitt isn‚Äôt taking no (crap). If you don‚Äôt respect, I guess he‚Äôs going to let them go pretty fast. The way he coaches, he doesn‚Äôt care about talent. It‚Äôs about people with the right attitude, people who try harder. Sometimes it‚Äôs not about being the most talented, sometimes it‚Äôs about who works the hardest and respects the coaches, etc.
Q: When is the last time you talked to someone on Georgia‚Äôs coaching staff and what did they tell you about how they envision your role now?
A: I haven‚Äôt really talked to them. Twelve days ago I talked to one of the coaches and he just hit me up on Twitter and told me to keep working hard. He asked me, how am I doing, and am I working hard? It was coach (Mike Ekeler) and (student assistant) coach (Brandon) Burrows. I haven‚Äôt really heard from coach Pruitt. The last time I heard from him was a couple of weeks ago.
Q: The other signees are working out on campus and going to classes. What are you doing now?
A: I‚Äôm finishing this class. The last day of class is not this Thursday, but next Thursday. I‚Äôll be in Georgia that following Friday. I don‚Äôt know when I‚Äôm enrolling but I know I‚Äôll be home for sure.
Q: What class are you finishing up and are you in good shape there?
A: English Composition 2. It‚Äôs perfect. I‚Äôm definitely going to pass. It ‚Äòs easy. It‚Äôs just a matter of time. That‚Äôs all.
Q: Where do you expect to line up in August practices and what kind of impact should folks expect from you?
A: I would like to be in the starting lineup. I‚Äôm going to work to be in the starting lineup. Let‚Äôs just say I have high expectations. I believe (I‚Äôll play) corner. I haven‚Äôt heard nothing about safety. I‚Äôve heard people say safety, like reporters and fans and I don‚Äôt know where they get it from, but I believe corner.