Jeremy Pruitt says he doesn‚Äôt think he has a secondary at Georgia ready to play ‚Äúwinning football‚Äù after just four preseason practices.
The Bulldogs‚Äô first-year defensive coordinator coaches the defensive backs. It‚Äôs a group that lost some key components this offseason due to dismissals and a transfer and gained several new pieces with newcomers.
‚ÄúRight now the big thing is we‚Äôve got to figure out who the right guys to coach are,‚Äù Pruitt said Tuesday at midday, a few hours before Georgia holds its first full pads practice of August. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what we‚Äôre trying to figure out. We‚Äôre starting to narrow it down a little bit. We have not fixed the depth chart. I feel like right now I‚Äôve got one guy that‚Äôs playing the way it‚Äôs supposed to be played in the secondary and we‚Äôve got to find a lot more than that.‚Äù
That one guy is senior cornerback Damian Swann, the most experienced player on the back end.
Pruitt is working with a bunch of new faces: cornerbacks Malkom Parrish, Shattle Fenteng, Shaq Jones and Rico Johnson and safety Dominick Sanders. Redshirt freshmen safeties Reggie Wilkerson and Tramel Terry are also in the mix.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre just not complete football players yet, but they‚Äôre young, they‚Äôre babies,‚Äù Pruitt said. ‚ÄúAnd that goes back to realistic expectations. I‚Äôm not disappointed in any of them, but we‚Äôre talking about guys playing winning football. That‚Äôs what it‚Äôs all about. Right now we‚Äôve got one guy that can play winning football. We‚Äôve got 10 or 11 other guys that possibly could. Are they there yet? Not yet.‚Äù
Pruitt said walk-on Aaron Davis who played cornerback in the spring and safety this preseason is a ‚Äúfootball player,‚Äù who can play both.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre trying to figure out exactly where he fits,‚Äù Pruitt said. ‚ÄúHe does give us a chance for a guy to kind of we can move around and play him in a couple of spots, but he‚Äôs still got to improve, too. He‚Äôs not been out there in the fire. It‚Äôs easy to do it in practice. We‚Äôll kind of see how he progresses this fall.‚Äù
Asked about injuries, Pruitt said that Fenteng and inside linebacker Ramik Wilson are fine. Georgia hasn‚Äôt disclosed what is bothering them, but Fenteng appeared to have a hand or arm/shoulder injury.
Pruitt said he isn‚Äôt displeased with what he‚Äôs seen from freshmen Parrish, Sanders and Fenteng.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre all working hard,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôve all got things that they do really well and they‚Äôve got things they can work on. Now we‚Äôre just trying to get a little bit better with them every day. The guys got great attitudes, they‚Äôre working hard. Today we put the pads on so we‚Äôll find a little bit more about them today.‚Äù
Asked about their chance of playing, Pruitt said: ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going to play the best players whether they‚Äôre freshmen or seniors or whatever. We‚Äôll see. They‚Äôve got just as good a chance as anybody else.‚Äù