Mark Richt said the Georgia defense dominated in the first day of competitive drills at spring practice, which should surprise … no one.
The shock would have been if Todd Grantham’s defense, returning nine starters from a team that ranked fifth nationally in total defense last season, wasn’t dominating early on.
After all, not only has the defense taken away one of the offense’s biggest weapons this spring in Malcolm Mitchell, but there’s a whole lot more that needs doing on the offensive side, what with rebuilding a line that lost three starters and getting the running game back on track.
Plus, as Aaron Murray noted to The Red and Black after the scoring of Thursday’s practice went to the defense, “Only a small portion of our offense is [installed], so we’ve got a long way to go, a lot of work to do. I’m not worried. I’m very encouraged with what we’ve done the first three days, but they just got us today.”
Meanwhile, the story of the spring that seems to have everyone’s attention is wide receiver Mitchell going over to the other side. You’d think that knowing what routes the receivers are running and how they’ll run them would give him an advantage, but he told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “It’s a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I may know where the receivers are going, but I still need to learn how to line up in certain coverages. it’s difficult having to learn one thing one year and then a different thing another year. In many ways I feel like a freshman again.”
Still, the feeling of most observers is Mitchell’s athletic talent will allow him to catch up pretty quickly. He’s already discovered the joys of the corner blitz. “It’s exciting to be able to go in there full speed trying to get around a lineman or a running back,” he said.
“It’s fun to watch him go out there and compete,” his head coach said. “You can tell he’s not sure what to do on every single play, but he’s playing with a lot of enthusiasm. He certainly can break on the ball and change direction.”
Whether he just plays defense or goes both ways, I have a feeling Mitchell could make this year’s G-Day game pretty interesting.
What are your thoughts so far on Georgia’s spring practice? Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg