Georgia’s football coaching staff gave their early impressions on this year’s freshmen class at the end of a Friday morning meeting a day after the team’s first practice.
The position coaches chimed in on their players.
Coach Mark Richt gushed on Friday night about what he heard.
“Everybody’s pretty pleased with the talent base that we brought in and the attitude, the willingness to learn and be coached, a lot of things that you know are going to be important if a guy’s really going to become a good player one day,” Richt said. “The skills sets are outstanding. The athleticism is outstanding. A lot of coaches are talking about the explosive ability of the defensive players that play on our near the line of scrimmage. I think we did a really good job of bringing in some outstanding freshmen.”
The 17-member class sounds like they are on the fast track for playing time.
“Most everybody, matter of fact, every one of them we felt like had a very good chance of contributing this season,” Richt said. “Time will tell if all of them will play. We feel like they’re all in the running for helping us win this year.”
Richt on the freshmen:
–Josh Harvey-Clemons, who is playing safety at 6-5 and 207 pounds: “His body right now is more ready to do that. I don’t think he’s really thick enough at this moment and strong enough to play the outside linebacker position. He could do it athletically without question. He could play safety without question. I think he could play the nickel, I think he could play corner. He’s just very athletic. He has very good ball skills. He’s got a lot of quickness and burst. I imagine he could be a pretty good receiver if he wanted to be. He’s about what we thought he was, but he’s just not thick enough yet I think to jump inside.”
–John Theus, who is splitting first-team work at right tackle with sophomore Watts Dantzler: “Theus is certainly a guy who has the physical ability and he’s pretty conscientious as well. We think he’s learning pretty quick. We’ll probably try to give those guys equal reps with the ones and twos. …We just want to see him with the one unit and the two unit andWattsthe same. If both of them look like they’re in the top five then one may move into a guard.”
Richt listed Theus among the top offensive linemen already along with Dantzler, left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, right guard Chris Burnette and center David Andrews.
Richt said Theus or Dantzler could play right guard. That could happen if Burnette replaced Andrews at center. Theus and Dantzler are not getting left tackle reps right now.
Another freshman lineman, Greg Pyke, “is struggling with his assignments right now. He’s got to get better.”
–Tailback Todd Gurley: “Todd is very smooth, athletic. He looks like a natural. He’s of course trying to learn what to do. In the first couple of days of installation, he’s done well, but third, fourth, fifth day of install usually give freshmen overload problems and he’ll probably hit the wall here somewhere along the way and then the dust will settle later on in camp.”
–Outside linebackers Josh Dawson, Jordan Jenkins and James DeLoach all look good, Richt said. Richt said Dawson has put on 18 pounds in two months. He’s listed at 6-4 and 250.
–Defensive lineman John Taylor looked good “in terms of body type, quickness, explosiveness coming off the ball. He’s got a lot to learn and has some really good players ahead of him right now, but he’s going to be pretty good as well.”
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