The NCAA Legislative Council passed a rule Tuesday that will allow schools to provide unlimited meals and snacks for college athletes, but it will be anything but an all-you-can-eat offseason for the Georgia football team.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt is exiting spring practice the same way he entered it, wanting his players to continue to reshape their bodies to get leaner to last for four quarter.
“That’s going to be the No. 1 thing,” defensive line coach Tracy Rocker said. “We’re going to have to trim them all down. This league is a lot of no-huddle. We can’t be 330 pounds out there. We’ll get that done, but it’s going to be up to them to do it, too. We’ve got time, but it’s going fast.”
Added Pruitt: “I think as we go through we’ll see who works this summer, who goes out and trains because a lot of our guys have got to get their weight under control. We’re too big in my opinion. We’ve got to get a little smaller. Some guys have got to cut body fat. Some guys need to put on a little bit of muscle. We’ll see how everybody comes back summer conditioning and see where we’re at a couple of weeks into fall camp.”
With fast-tempo offenses, Pruitt wants his players to be able to hold up down after down.
“You can’t eat dollar meals and think you’re going to play this game and be in great shape,” Rocker said.
The days of players hovering around 350 pounds like John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers did during a 2011 season are when
Georgia reached the SEC championship game.
“They go to the championship (game) and you turn on that tape, the first thing everybody (sees) is they couldn’t get off the blocks,” Rocker said.
He rattled off a schedule that Georgia needs to get in shape for: “Clemson, no-huddle. South Carolina, some version of no-huddle. You got Auburn, some versions of no-huddle. Everybody’s got a bit of it. It’s hard to get a 350-pound man off the field. That’s not going to be very smart. We’ve got to make sure we’re very well-conditioned.”
It’s not just the big guys. Pruitt mentioned senior cornerback Damian Swann as one of those guys who needs to get in better shape.
“To me if you’re in shape then you don’t make mental errors,” Pruitt said. “Fatigue makes a coward out of everybody. We’ve got to get in shape as a football team. We’re nowhere where we need to be. We’ve got to improve on that. Coach T (strength coach Joe Tereshinski) will do that this summer.