Bryan Evans, shifted to safety after some disappointing results early last season at cornerback, is getting rave reviews in Georgia’s spring practice.
He’s listed as the No. 1 free safety, and all indications are that he and Reshad Jones are pretty solidly entrenched for now as the starting safeties.
Mark Richt said Evans’ skill set is a good fit for safety: “He’s always been very strong. He’s fast. He has no problem with contact. And he’s very smart, and safeties, quite frankly, have a bigger responsibility in the defensive scheme to make adjustments and things like that. And it hasn’t been difficult for him.”
Also, Evans has been a force as the Georgia defense attempts to regain some swagger lost last fall.
”He’s probably got as much spirit out there as anybody,” Richt said. ” He’s enjoying what he’s doing, practicing with high tempo and high energy. I think that’s really a good sign he’s enjoying it and understands it and is doing a nice job with it.”
Almost from the afternoon in mid-season 2008 that he shifted to safety, Evans – now a senior – has said he wishes he’d made the move sooner. He started the first five games of last season at corner, got notably burned a few times, then backed up at safety the rest of the way.
He talked with his friend, Tennessee safety Eric Berry, upon making the move. Berry told him the new position would allow Evans to better use his speed in open areas. Evans also thinks his athleticism and fondness for big hits serves him well at the position.
Georgia didn’t practice Wednesday but will be back at it today and Friday, the sixth and seventh sessions of spring ball.
Richt was unexcited by the most recent practice on Tuesday. “It didn’t fire me up that much,” he said. “It wasn’t bad, but I don’t know if it was championship level, to be honest with you. The energy wasn’t quite what I had seen to that point. We’ve got Thursday-Friday this week to get back on track.”
Georgia’s spring coaches clinic, by the way, will be held today and Friday, with Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore as featured speaker.
Your thoughts about Evans and the secondary?