J.J. Green was asked on national signing day if he saw any chance to play running back this season at Georgia.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I mean (Todd) Gurley and (Keith) Marshall got it down and then we’ve got A.J. Turman coming in. Them guys can handle it.”
As Georgia has learned in past seasons, things can change quickly at tailback.
Like Marshall sustaining a hamstring injury running track and former walk-on Brandon Harton being sidelined by injury also.
Coach Mark Richt expects both of them back after spring break when the Bulldogs return for spring practice on March 19.
Green will eventually work at receiver, but at least this week the Camden County product is needed at tailback in practice where the Bulldogs other top backs now are Gurley and walk-on Kyle Karempelis.
“Right at this moment, we need him to be there, but he’s not going to be like a split receiver or a wide receiver,” Richt said. “He’s going to be more of a slot receiver. A lot of times if you can cross-train a back to be not only a back but get in the slot as a receiver as well, that’s kind of where we think he’ll find a niche for us offensively. And of course, special teams, we want to see what he can do there, too.”
His Georgia bio says Green recorded 39 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 sack 919 rushing yards and 16 total touchdowns his senior season.
“As an athlete goes, I just know I can make plays with or without the ball,” Green said.
Green, listed at 5-foot-8 and 171 pounds when he signed but now 5-9, 186 on the spring roster, still won’t turn 18 until June.
That makes him the youngest of Georgia’s 13 early enrollees. Safety Quincy Mauger’s 18th birthday is today and quarterback Brice Ramsey, Green’s high school teammate, will be 18 on April 11, the last day of spring practices.
There will be obvious adjustments for all of the early enrollees.
“You think about being a Bulldog for a year and a half or whatever, and now all of a sudden there you are in practice,” Richt said. “There are emotions that go through your mind as you’re trying to figure everything out. The more you do it, the better you get. What happens is when spring is over, they can review it and they got all summer to practice things that they know they’re doing instead of just showing up in June trying to figure it out. When fall practice begins, those midyear guys are going to be glad they went through everything in the spring. When they’re watching their other freshman teammates go through it, they’ll be like ‘Man, I’m glad I got that over with.’”
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