Practice updates: Geathers ‘in best shape I’ve ever been,’ plus visits with Baker, Ogletree, Gamble

ATHENS — This is Georgia’s only day of two-a-day practices this preseason. The Dogs have finished the first of today’s practices, a Sanford Stadium session focused on special teams. They’ll be back on the Woodruff Practice Fields at 4:50 p.m.

Talked with a few players after the morning’s session, which was closed to the media:

  • Defensive lineman Kwame Geathers, who arrived here a year ago admittedly out of shape, is proud of how far he has come since then.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in in my life,” he said. “I’m feeling very good.”

Geathers, playing the nose position in Georgia’s 3-4 defense, said he weighs about 324 now -– down from about 345, he says, when he arrived last August. He was redshirted as a freshman last season.

  • Freshman inside linebacker Demetre Baker, from Orange Park, Fla., is one of the few UGA players who have previous experience in the 3-4 defense.

“In high school, we played a 3-4 and nickel like we’re playing here,” Baker said. “So I’m very used to the defense. I just got to learn the different names and how they call plays and stuff like that.”

The 6-foot, 200-pound Baker played linebacker and running back in high school. In his senior season last fall, he had 70-plus tackles (19 for loss) at linebacker and rushed for 1,040 yards and 13 touchdowns at running back.

He was recruited mostly as a linebacker, although he said several schools –- Miami, Ole Miss and Florida International –- wanted him as a running back.

Does he expect to eventually get a shot on offense at Georgia?

“I still have thoughts about it,” he said. “I talked to some of the coaches about it, and at this point I don’t know. Maybe next year or a couple of years from now, they might move me. They know I’m capable of doing both sides of the ball.

“Right now I’m going to focus on linebacker and see how that goes my first year.”

  • Freshman Alec Ogletree, the prized recruit from Newnan, said he’s getting a lot of work on special teams as well as at safety. He has heard the chatter, of course, about whether he might eventually move from safety to outside linebacker.

Safety “is what I want to play because that’s what I came up here to play,” he said. “If I was to slide down to linebacker or whatever, I wouldn’t really have a problem. But I like playing safety so far.”

  • Darryl Gamble, who defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has said is battling Cornelius Washington for a starting job at outside linebacker, isn’t overly concerned about whether he starts.

“It’s not as big a deal, because I know I can contribute either way,” said Gamble, who was shifted from inside linebacker to outside in the final week of spring practice. “When I get in, I know I can make a difference, whether it’s at the outside or the inside. I’m that type of player who just plays wherever I’m needed and when I’m needed. I mean, I don’t care if I don’t play until the last play of the game as long as I know I’ll make a difference that last play.”

Gamble started 11 games last season.

He said he has practiced only at outside linebacker so far this preseason, “but I’m still keeping up in the playbook with the inside ‘backers. Another injury, and I’m right back in the mix [there].”

  • No complaints from the players, of course, about having only one day of two-a-days.

“It gives us a lot more time to actually learn, with a new defense coming in,” Gamble said. “We have more time in the film room, more time on our own to study the playbook. We get our one practice in, then get a lot more time to critique it.”

88 comments Add your comment

GW

August 9th, 2010
12:57 pm

MADDAWG72

August 9th, 2010
12:58 pm

Go dawgs FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dawg fight

August 9th, 2010
1:05 pm

CLEVON LITTLE

August 9th, 2010
1:05 pm

CLEVON LITTLE

August 9th, 2010
1:06 pm

wsewell525

August 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

I can’t wait to see our Defense. It might have some hiccups at first, but once it gets all the kinks out. It will be fun to watch again. Win or lose we just looked bad last year. This year win or lose, we should see some good licks out there.

R

August 9th, 2010
1:08 pm

GATA DAWGS!!!!!!!

GeoffDawg

August 9th, 2010
1:10 pm

Great attitude from Gamble and good job by Geathers shedding those extra lbs. He should be a force at the nose position.

R

August 9th, 2010
1:10 pm

Cant wait to see what happens when don’t turn the ball over 4 times a game. the so carolina and ark game last year wouldn’t have been so close had we not turn the ball over so many times. go dawgs

cadawg

August 9th, 2010
1:12 pm

we need geathers to step up inside; glad to hear he’s in good shape, because he’s going to get snaps this year. we have got to get some depth along the front 7 on defense; that worries me more than the scheme change. our secondary is going to be excellent this year. can’t wait to sic them gators this year!!!!

DB

August 9th, 2010
1:13 pm

Let’s hope AO can put his hat in somebody’s chest the way it should be done between the 10 and 15 yard lines on kickoff coverage!!!

Go DAWGS

suwaneedawg

August 9th, 2010
1:15 pm

This is gonna be a fun year. I wish the hell it would get here! Although, at my age I should not wish away part of my life.

Bo

August 9th, 2010
1:16 pm

Stoked for football season!!

Dawg House

August 9th, 2010
1:21 pm

And here come the Techies to use terms like “thUGA” and “red panties”!!!…………………………………………………….. ……………………………………………………………

Paul Midler

August 9th, 2010
1:23 pm

I agree GeoffDawg. I am from Gamble’s hometown. He has always been like that. Hard worker, great kid. Our town has a couple more boys up there too. I am also ready to see Geathers at this weight. GO DAWGS !!!!!!!!!

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

August 9th, 2010
1:24 pm

Amen suwaneedawg, Amen on both counts

Vinny D

August 9th, 2010
1:26 pm

This is gonna be a fun year to see the changes we have made. I certainly hope they pan out quickly but we shall see. Like Bo said, stoked its football season!

dawglifer

August 9th, 2010
1:26 pm

BRING IT ON!!!! I AM SO DEGGUM READY FOR THIS SEASON TO START!!!!!!!! I HEARD THAT THE FIRST GAME ISNT SOLD OUT YET?!?!?!?! YALL BETTER GET YOUR TICKETS AND FILL UP THOSE SEATS AND BE READY TO YELL AND BARK!!!! I WILL SEE YOU THERE!

dentaldawg

August 9th, 2010
1:27 pm

good lord I can’t wait till kickoff!

jack bull

August 9th, 2010
1:28 pm

Got a chance to talk with my nephew yesterday, he’s a redshirt fresh on the defensive side of the ball, and although i didn’t want to “push” him too much on info this early on, he did say two things worth noting. First, i got the feeling they’re not too worried about ‘pass happy’ teams. He truly thinks guys like Garcia, Mallett etc… aren’t going to know what hit em and who hit em.. the teams that are run oriented may, MAY, be a different story.. Second, the only name he mentioned was on the offensive side, and it may come as a bit of a surprise, but he said Zander Ogletree, at FB, is a true football player through and through. He may not see the field much this year, due to being behind 2 very good FB’s in Chapas and Munzenmier, but says that guy is just tough and we should be set for FB in the near future… GO DAWGS!!

kevin

August 9th, 2010
1:32 pm

Dawg House,

Let’s not forget other GT classics like, “cesspool of the south”, “Ugay” and “when is the football team getting out of jail”. You can hardly blame them though, given 8 of 9.

Dap01

August 9th, 2010
1:34 pm

Can’t wait for College FB. Is anyone else tire of hearing about Tbow?

RxDawg

August 9th, 2010
1:37 pm

You gota love Gamble’s attitude.

Dawg House

August 9th, 2010
1:37 pm

Very true Kevin!

Jack Bull….. Nice tidbit on Zander Ogletree!! I was very pleased to hear when we offered him as a package with his brother. Im sure Zander is thankful for the opportunity he has been given and is most likely one of the hardest working Dawgs out there!

SO SO SO excited to get the season rolling. I do not expect perfection like the Honey Bees from the ghetto expect of us. I am excited to see the challenges facing us. If we are 3-1 at the end of September, I will be very very excited!!

26 Days!!!!!!!

Dawg House

August 9th, 2010
1:39 pm

Dap01….

YES!!!! I wrote a brief e-mail to the ajc sports editor yesterday, (though it probably was never read) explaining to him that NOBODY in the state of Georgia gives 2 hootsx about Tebow and to please stopo making him headline news. Thats what the Orlando Sentinal is for. But I do find it funny that he most likely Champ Bailey and KNowshon Moreno’s little rookie toy.

RxDawg

August 9th, 2010
1:41 pm

jack bull, I thought Zander ws playing LB? Did they move him to FB?

Saban

August 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

urban,hows your punk ass heart? get ready for another beatdown. who will be your crybaby this year?so many questions,so little answers.

Saban

August 9th, 2010
1:49 pm

Gators suck.Cry me a river beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatch

Saban

August 9th, 2010
1:50 pm

urban,promise me you will not quit this time.

Corch Meyers

August 9th, 2010
1:52 pm

I miss my Timmy

Rick S

August 9th, 2010
2:01 pm

I am getting more and more optimistic about the improvement on defense- Grantham knows what he is doing which is much different than Willie (flap your arms) Martinez.

Gratefuldawghead

August 9th, 2010
2:02 pm

I am just glad we are having a practice “focused on special teams”!
GO DAWGS!

ValdostaDawg

August 9th, 2010
2:02 pm

Gamble just became my favorite Dawg!

Gratefuldawghead

August 9th, 2010
2:09 pm

Rick S…What about Jon (waste of pay check) Fabris. Have to give Charlie Strong credit for running Fabris off the first week of Spring practice at Louisville! Fired up for Grantham!
GO DAWGS!

PARTY SCHOOL CHAMPS!!

August 9th, 2010
2:21 pm

PARTY SCHOOL CHAMPS!!

August 9th, 2010
2:24 pm

AND YALL CALL GT DORKS??

cadawg

August 9th, 2010
2:37 pm

jackbull: good to know. i was talking with a friend (a bama fan) yesterday and he asked me what i was most worried about for the upcoming season, and i told him it was stopping the run. we’re thin, inexperienced, and undersized at NT and ILB. fortunately this shouldn’t hurt us as much against the teams we play early (SC and arkansas) because they (as you say) don’t run it. hopefully as the season progresses guys like bean anderson, geathers, and garrison smith can get into the rotation and give us some depth and size.

GATA

August 9th, 2010
2:39 pm

I also love the attitude of Gamble, I hope it is contagious and jumps on everyone else! Go Dawgs, can’t wait til first game!!

cadawg

August 9th, 2010
2:39 pm

@rxdawg: zander played LB in high school but we recruited him as a fullback.

destin dawg

August 9th, 2010
2:44 pm

It feels real good .. great attitudes.. coming to camp in shape.. rejuvenated coaching… Go Dawgs !!!! Techies.. no need to come on our blog… get to class.. it’s much more important to be highly intelligent.. can’t have much fun on your campus anyway.. up to your A$$ in nerds and no women !!!

BigTimeTECHFan

August 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

WoW – UGA looks stong this year

Napoleon Dawg

August 9th, 2010
2:51 pm

Talked with the midget this weeekend and he says he will sometimes and somtimes will not be able to see over the line of scrimmage. He says wish him a lotta luck.

Pago Pago Dawg

August 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

Sounds like the DAWGS will finish in the Top Ten.

jason

August 9th, 2010
3:01 pm

Geathers coming in shape only helps Tyson as he shuffles along then DL. A front 3 of Dobbs, Geathers and Tyson will have alot of weight and athletic ability. Curious to see how fast Anderson is picking up the NT position. To me it seems we have the depth at LB; not neccessiarrily the size. Got to find depth on the DL. Secondary looks to be in good shape.

Johnny DangerDawg

August 9th, 2010
3:04 pm

I love Gamble’s attitude. I expect that whoever is the backup at that position will get almost as much playing time as the starter, whether it be Gamble or Washington.

Our O-line will Mow you down like Grass

August 9th, 2010
3:23 pm

Proceeding well. As far as Ogletree he can play saftey or linebacker wouldn’t worry too much about that he is a beast.

Bride of Chucky Knapp

August 9th, 2010
3:25 pm

Nice glimpse into practice and the what’s on the player’s minds. Thanks Tim!

Ready for the season!

Army Chaplain in Iraq

August 9th, 2010
3:27 pm

Like every body else I am pumped about this years team and can’t wait to kick it off. Over here in Iraq its hot, but hopefully Armed Forces TV will air some Georgia games. Go Dawgs!!!

Nick

August 9th, 2010
3:32 pm

No worries about Gamble only getting in on the final play of any game this year!

ATL Native

August 9th, 2010
3:41 pm

Corch Corch Corch … funny gaytor word GATA Dawgs!