After one practice March 10 and then releasing the hounds to play on the beach in Key West and other fun locales, Mark Richt gathers his team back on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens today to get serious about spring ball.
Between now and G-Day on April 16, some veterans will be trying to solidify their hold on a starting position (a few looking over their shoulders at the new guys coming in August) while other spots have been left pretty wide open by departures, as we discussed back before the first practice.
The bottom line, Mike Bobo told the Athens Banner-Herald, “is there’s going to be competition, you want competition. There’s going to be competition at every position on either side of the ball. We went 6-7, we didn’t get the job done. We didn’t finish at the end of games last year. We’ve got to have competition.”
While in reality some players probably do have their position locked down, the coaching staff obviously is encouraging the idea that the hungriest, hardest-working players will start.
There are several key spots where spring competition should be interesting. Washaun Ealey, Caleb King, Ken Malcome and Carlton Thomas will be competing to be the man Isaiah Crowell has to beat out. Marlon Brown, Rantavious Wooten, Israel Troupe, Michael Bennett and Chris Conley are trying to join Tavarres King at wide receiver before Malcolm Mitchell shows up. Can Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams or Marc Deas win the other safety spot alongside Bacarri Rambo, or will a true freshman figure there come fall? And how about the battle for backup quarterback or the competition for a starting spot under a new coach on the rejiggered offensive line?
Which of the battles for playing time will you be watching most closely?
BACK AT FOLEY FIELD
The widely traveled Diamond Dogs return home to Foley Field to face rival Georgia Tech tonight, with first pitch set for 7:06 p.m. The game, the first of three scheduled against the Jackets this season, will be televised by CSS. Last year, the hapless Dogs were swept by Tech, but while this year’s team got off to a rough start, they’ve improved a lot the past couple of weeks and have competed well against ranked opponents. Here’s hoping …
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg