From my interview with Al Groh for the “10 things” series, Groh offered a handful of observations about a few players I asked about, which I haven’t gotten to posting. Without further ado…
On T.J. Barnes: “He’s not a flamboyant player, not a flamboyant person, but he’s a very determined kid. He’s had a lot of challenges to work through in life, starting long before he got here. He’s got challenges here. He’s always fighting the weight circumstance, different issues. He’s one of those people who doesn’t say very much but is a very bright person. Was a different player in the spring, did a nice job.”
On Shawn Green: “Shawn Green, much the same way. He really hadn’t gotten much time. He came here as a freshman, not in the picture, out of shape, broke his leg, really not ready to participate or be coached in training camp last year. … He just wasn’t really ready to go. He hadn’t been able to condition and train. He missed a good deal of spring practice. So the first time he was able to get concentrated coaching was in the spring. And he made good progress. [Defensive line coach Andy McCollum] has done a nice job with those guys.”
On the secondary: “Well, we have a lot of experience on the corners, or a good amount. We don’t have very much experience at safety. We really only have one safety (Isaiah Johnson) that’s ever played very much. It’s kind of split that way. Pretty good experience, a lot of background in the schemes that we’re playing, a lot of background in pattern recognition on the edges. In the middle, we’ve got to catch up with the looks that the players see.”
On safeties Johnson and Fred Holton: “Isaiah’s got two years of playing. Fred has never really played safety in games. Two years ago, he played some special teams. Last year he was out for the year, so it was kind of the same situation as Shawn Green. Didn’t get coached for the whole fall. Didn’t participate. Had 15 practices in the spring to start to catch up. Picked up well on what he saw, there’s just a vast amount of other looks to see that are yet to come. … He showed a very good upside. He’s got range. He’s got toughness. He sees the game well. It makes sense to him.”
On Jeremiah Attaochu: “A lot of plays that Jerry had – and I use this same critique with other guys – I would look at the play and say, ‘What’s he doing? It’s not what we teach. It’s not what he did on Wednesday (in practice). What’s he doing?’ Eradicating those from his game and doing the things that he knows how to do and do well with greater consistency, which should happen for a lot of these players who are now going into their third season of doing the same thing.”
On Jabari Hunt-Days: “He’ going to be a lot better in the future than he is now. He’s never played in a game. We have to get him ready in a hurry to play well. It’ll be very challenging to him, challenging to us, to get him ready. It’s necessary for both parties to get way ahead of schedule.”
Thanks for reading. I’m technically off this week, but the 10 things series will continue this week with A-backs coach Lamar Owens. Previously, wide receivers coach Buzz Preston, secondary coach Charles Kelly and Groh.
Michael Carvell reports on three commits this weekend. Coach Paul Johnson is now up to 13 for the 2013 class.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech