Georgia‚Äôs secondary still has its share of uncertainty heading into the summer.
Starting jobs remain wide open after plenty of movement under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
Signees will get a look in August in a unit where a couple of walk-ons held down starting spots at the end of the spring.
One player who already made a quick impression after moving from offense is J.J. Green.
The sophomore has the inside track to start at the star nickel back position.
The Camden County product ‚Äúcame to the defensive side of the ball at a good time because everybody was kind of learning new with Coach Pruitt and the defensive staff,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said last week. ‚ÄúI think that kind of helped him compete right away. You know, there‚Äôs some things that he‚Äôs got to improve on, everybody had the exit meetings with their coaches and had the opportunity to talk about things to improve on, but he certainly did well for himself over there.‚Äù
Kevin Sherrer, who coaches the star position and Sam outside linebackers, said the 5-foot-9, 187-pound Green is ‚Äúprobably the frontrunner‚Äù for the starting spot at star coming out the spring.
‚ÄúThe thing that J.J.‚Äôs brought is really a physical and mental toughness, a guy that just really likes football,‚Äù Richt said.
Said Sherrer: ‚ÄúAt the offseason looking at him and Coach Pruitt with his background in the secondary, we felt like he had a chance. We knew with some of the injury situations, guys going to be coming back healthy and some of the guys we‚Äôre going to be bringing in in the fall, we had to get him on the field somewhere so that kind of opened the door for him.‚Äù
Green, who also practiced some at safety, certainly seemed to relish playing in the secondary after moving from running back after his freshman season.
‚ÄúPlaying the slot, you guard their best wide receiver,‚Äù Green said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs all about competition. If you don‚Äôt want to compete then this is not for you. That‚Äôs all I want to do is guard the best.‚Äù
Sheldon Dawson and Damian Swann have also worked at the star.
‚ÄúEvery guy in the secondary corner-wise kind of plays that position,‚Äù Sherrer said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs kind of a revolving door. Those guys all know that position, so they‚Äôre kind of in and out as time goes by. It‚Äôs by design, too.‚Äù
Green was named the Coffee County Hustle award winner on defense for Georgia this spring.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs coming, he‚Äôs physical,‚Äù tailback Todd Gurley said. ‚ÄúNo matter who you are, he‚Äôs going to come right at you and hit you. Don‚Äôt nobody see him. He just gets all the big hits just coming out of nowhere full-speed and hit you.‚Äù
Green didn‚Äôt hit anybody on G-Day after sitting out with an ankle injury, but he showed enough at the star during spring practices to be counted on in the fall.
‚ÄúI think he‚Äôs one of the ideal guys that can play that spot to not only cover but to come in and play the bubble (screen) and get in there and fit the box with his size,‚Äù Swann said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs pretty much what (LaMarcus) Joyner did last year for Florida State. He was one of those guys that played outside and he could come in and play in the box. I think J.J. is one of the guys that can do that.‚Äù
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