ATHENS –- Richard Samuel has changed positions again, although it’s a less substantial move this time.
Samuel, who switched sides of the ball when he moved from tailback to outside linebacker for the start of Georgia’s spring football practice, shifted to inside linebacker Thursday.
“I think he’s a natural [inside linebacker],” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after a late-afternoon practice. “He can run. He can cover. And . . . you can still blitz as an inside guy, but there is a little bit more coverage element involved and that would utilize his speed.”
Head coach Mark Richt agreed that inside linebacker is a more natural spot for Samuel. “We started him outside, a little bit because of depth issues at outside linebacker,” Richt said. “To give him more of a fair opportunity, we moved him inside.”
Samuel joins an inside-linebacker group that includes Darryl Gamble, Akeem Dent, Marcus Dowtin and Christian Robinson.
Georgia’s starting tailback at the start of last season, Samuel slipped well behind Caleb King and Washaun Ealey on the depth chart at the position by the second half of the season. He played both tailback and linebacker in high school.
After Thursday’s practice, the third of spring ball, Grantham said the transition to the 3-4 defense is on schedule.
“I think that we are on track,” he said. “I’m not discouraged. I’m pleased. . . . If we continue to work like I’ve seen us work, we’ll be fine
“Actually, it’s funny,” Grantham added. “There are things I thought might be hard that [the players] have picked up, and there are things I thought might be easy that were a little harder for them. But I have been pleased with what they have understood and grasped, because we have thrown quite a bit at them and it’s all been new.”
For the third consecutive practice, quarterback Aaron Murray was wearing a glove on his throwing hand.
Asked if he’d ever had a quarterback wear a glove before, Richt said: “Not on a 70-degree day.”
Richt added that Murray “feels like it helps him grip the ball better.”
Click here for more on Murray’s glove, including photos.
Defensive line coach Rodney Garner said Kwame Geathers is the only player working exclusively at the nose position. DeAngelo Tyson and Abry Jones are working at both nose and end, Garner said. . . . Safety Shawn Williams again worked with the No. 1 secondary Thursday. . . . Safety Jakar Hamilton, slowed on Tuesday by a foot injury, practiced Thursday and seemed fine. . . . Offensive lineman Dallas Lee left practice for a few minutes with what Richt called as asthma episode, then returned. . . . Tony Grantham, an assistant coach at Navy and younger brother of Georgia’s defensive coordinator, watched practice.
Please click here for more notes from Thursday’s practice.