Sterling Bailey spent his first year at Georgia working his way back from a shoulder injury and then foot surgery.
Along the way he put on 30 pounds making him more suited to defensive end than outside linebacker.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound East Hall High product is now trying to show coaches he should play.
“It’s pretty amazing right now,” Bailey said. “Every time I step out there on the field, I’m giving it my all. …If I can show the coaches that I can play, that I can play, than the door’s going to open for me to get more plays and maybe start rotating in.”
Bailey got some stern words from defensive line coach Rodney Garner early in Friday’s practice for running in the wrong gap.
Bailey suffered a torn tendons in his right foot during the first Outback Bowl practice last December. That kept him out of spring practices.
Bailey hasn’t been limited in preseason practice. He’s getting some second-team work.
“He’s coming,” Garner said last week. “Every day I think he will get better. It’s a confidence thing, too.”
Bailey said he’s not fully back like he was before the foot injury.
“I’m still a little hesitant on it, but it’s a process,” he said.