Spring-practice updates on five UGA players

Eight practices down, seven to go (including the G-Day game). At just beyond the mid-point of  UGA spring football, here are updates on five players you might be wondering about:

  • DeAngelo Tyson, DE: After playing the nose position out of necessity last year, he is working exclusively at defensive end this spring – a change much to his liking. “Playing nose was a hard task, but I did it to help the team out,” said Tyson, a rising senior. “Playing defensive end is much better. You don’t have all that double-teaming and triple-teaming and stuff like that. I’m having fun out there this spring.” Linebacker Christian Robinson said Tyson and the rest of the defensive line “have really stepped up. . . . Definitely, the defensive line as a whole is so much farther ahead than I could have imagined.”
  • Ken Malcome, RB: Redshirted as a freshman last season, the tailback from Southwest DeKalb has been bothered all spring by a nagging groin injury. He believes the injury has diminished his effectiveness, but he has persevered and stayed on the field. “He hasn’t really been full speed” but had a couple of nice runs on Saturday, coach Mark Richt said. Said running backs coach Bryan McClendon: “You just want him to be able to be comfortable out there and know what to do. That’s what he needs to focus on, making sure he is learning the ins and outs of what we’re doing.”
  • Justin Anderson, OG: He is making the adjustment back to the offensive line after last year’s short-lived shift to the defensive line, and he is working himself back into condition after toe surgery sidelined him for all but the opening game last year. “Repetition is so important on the offensive line, and I think he’s behind in that,” new O-line coach Will Friend said. “If he can get all that together, though, he’s got all kinds of tools.” Friend noted that Anderson wasn’t cleared to run until shortly before spring practice and is “not all the way in the great shape that he needs to be in. But he’s powerful, he’s big, and I think he wants to do good.”
  • Christian LeMay, QB: The freshman quarterback from North Carolina, who enrolled in January, is mostly learning what to do because, as Richt said at one point, “it’s all brand new to him right now.”  While experiencing the learning curve on footwork, fundamentals, etc., he has made a positive impression with his work habits and his demeanor in the huddle and the meeting room.  In Saturday’s scrimmage, “he threw one of the better fade routes,” Richt said. “He put it in play, and Michael Bennett made a very fine catch. He also stood in there and threw a short curl, about a 10-yard curl route, to Bennett. He had to hang in that pocket.”
  • Branden Smith, CB: An oft-asked question is whether he will be used more extensively on offense, where he has been deployed occasionally the past two seasons. According to Smith, he has worked only at cornerback and on special teams this spring. “They haven’t told me anything about offense,” he said, referring to the coaches. “Right now, I’m just focused on defense.” He also remains in the mix to return punts, although kickoff-return record-holder Brandon Boykin has joined the competition there.

— Tim Tucker, AJC

144 comments Add your comment

BirdDog

April 5th, 2011
8:55 am

Randall "Pink" Floyd

April 5th, 2011
9:03 am

Not a whole lot to be encouraged about here…

Jag Dawg

April 5th, 2011
9:03 am

JeffK

April 5th, 2011
9:08 am

Thanks for the report Tim. Any word on Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie and their draft decisions? When is the deadline?

rockdawg

April 5th, 2011
9:12 am

I thought Brandon Smith was one of the highest recruited corners in Georgia as a high school senior. What happened? This is his third year and he still doesn’t start. Is it coaching? Seems we get too many players that are highly recruited and then never amount to much.

Hummon

April 5th, 2011
9:14 am

This may not be the venue, but it is the closest thing to it. Congratulations to Teresa Edwards!

Great basketball player (and a beautiful woman).

Seeing her as recite the Olympic Oath in 1996 was one of my proudest moments as a Georgia fan.

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
9:20 am

Bryan McClendon was later quoted as saying, “we are learning the ins and outs of what we’re doing, together”.

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 5th, 2011
9:23 am

Sounds like a typical spring report where you could inserts almost any teams players and get the same evaluation. Kids learn, coaches teach and some are working out of injuries. The fall practices is where it will come all together. UGA can be good this year if a few things come together. They will as long as the players keep at it and have that good mental attitude.

RomeDawg

April 5th, 2011
9:23 am

Glad to see Tyson at DE and hopeful that Malcolme gets better. Unfortunately Anderson is a great example of the coaches not knowing what to do with a highly recruited player. Just pick a side and stick with it!

D A DoubleU G

April 5th, 2011
9:39 am

I sure wish John Jenkins was already on campus.

On G-Day, we will get little or no clue as to how our defense will look. He will change everything.

I love springtime in Athens, but the fall practices cannot start soon enough.

151 days!!!

Destin Dawg

April 5th, 2011
9:39 am

New improved S & C should help alot… seeing several players with weights and speeds up is great !!!! we were out of shape last year… proper Nutrition is so important !!! Go Dawgs !!

Destin Dawg

April 5th, 2011
9:40 am

Geathers can PLAY nose guard too !!

dawgfan

April 5th, 2011
9:45 am

Branden Smith is one of the fastest, if not THE fastest, guys in the SEC and has demonstrated an ability to break long runs. But let’s just stash him away at corner and run Carlton Thomas up the middle on 3rd and a mile. Brilliant. This offense has no imagination. This is the same coaching staff that would have put Cam Newton at tight end. We are doomed. Watch and see.

Bo

April 5th, 2011
9:47 am

RomeDawg, Anderson was moved to nose out of necessity. There was some optimism that he would work himself into the starter there. He got injured and had to sit out the entire year. Now there’s no urgency to get him into the nose position because UGA now has Geathers and Jenkins to fill that spot.

As for him on offense, I have heard that he isn’t smart enough (or studying hard enough) to get the blocking schemes down. I don’t know if that’s true, it’s just what I’ve heard about him.

uuugghh...

April 5th, 2011
9:53 am

Romedawg…I believe Anderson’s move was due to depth on the D-line not ignorant coaches.

I would like to see less of B Smith on offense. That Wild Dawg is garbage. If we have to play him on O how about rocking that bubble screen that we used to run with Champ?

JB

April 5th, 2011
9:54 am

Would love to see what plays Meyer from Florida would put in for Smith to get him the ball in open space.putting him in for two plays a game, the same two plays on film that the other teams KNOWS we are going to run with him does not work. Come up with 7 or 8 plays and throw him in there 7 or 8 times. Mark and Bobo run a scripted offense.

Bo

April 5th, 2011
9:54 am

dawgfan doesn’t really sound like one to me. The offense’s problem isn’t a lack of playmakers…it’s being able to open lanes for the running game. As for Cam Newton, he would’ve played tight end in UGA’s offense and most other pro style offenses. That crisism of Richt and his staff is misplaced.

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
9:55 am

They did need some depth at DL this past offseason, and clearly Anderson was not getting it done at OL. Personally I think he was much more valuable to the team giving the OL a big body to work against during the week, than he ever was. At least with Searles anyway.
Maybe Friend has some different ways that will suit him better.

I think they have some boys back now on the D-line that were out last year.

Tim Tucker

April 5th, 2011
9:57 am

JeffK: The deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA draft is April 24. The deadline for those who enter (but don’t sign with an agent) to withdraw and retain college eligibility is May 8.

Dawg Gone

April 5th, 2011
10:01 am

Sounds like Geathers is getting after it !

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:08 am

No that’s just dawgfan’s plan to inspire the team. You know, because they ride the bus and hear stuff. If you aren’t negative all the time, they get all big headed and of course “that’s part of the problem”.

Although I can’t quite grasp the logic there. Why would you correct folks who are causing some the problem that will end up getting the coach fired, if that’s what you want to happen? Seems like you would be encouraging that.

mgdawg

April 5th, 2011
10:09 am

Is Smith fighting for a starting spot or fighting to keep the nickel spot? It seems like each year we think it is his time to step up as a starter and he gets leepfrogged by somebody else. Kind of makes you wonder if the only reason he has kept the nickel spot is because of his talent. If the guy is going to be a starter on defense then let him stay on defense and use him on offense how he has been used on offense. However, if he’s just going to be a nickel corner, let him play more on offense, he is too good of a talent to only be on the field in nickel situations on defense.

lil pup

April 5th, 2011
10:15 am

Branden Smith seems to have had problems sticking with his assignments at CB, often reverting to a “free” style of coverage. This instinct to play the ball instead of the man worked in high school cuz he has the great speed to close and compensate for his loose coverage at that level. Has worked less well for him in the SEC. Not especially physical after the catch either, just average.

uuugghh...

April 5th, 2011
10:16 am

mgdawg–not if his presence on offense telegraphs what play we are running. I don’t care how fast you are if a defense knows what is coming you are not going to be successful.

npgator

April 5th, 2011
10:17 am

Blowin up balloons all day

April 5th, 2011
10:19 am

Stepping up and being focused. I havent heard that before….. what are the specific improvements? I see or hear of none!

fair weather fans

April 5th, 2011
10:22 am

Dawgfan please go away! Everyday is nothing but doom and gloom from you. Everyday! Follow another team if things are so bad for UGA. Here’s an idea! Since you know all the solutions you should apply for a head coaching job somewhere. Somewhere far, far away.

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:24 am

I’m with you guys on trashing B.Smith on that end around junk too. I never liked it. I just think we have receiver that (while technically not as fast) are plenty fast and do that kind of stuff every day, or we have RB that are better suited for contact.

bigcalidawg

April 5th, 2011
10:26 am

Brandon Smith was my big question mark coming into this season. Sometimes CMR promises things to kids that they want to hear, but they actually stunt their development. Not everyone can be a Champ Bailey.

I cringed when I read where he was offering that opportunity to one of our recruits (Was it Griffin?)

At any rate, Brandon is downright electrifying, but can’t hold on to the rock……….and we gave it away way too much last year.

jb

April 5th, 2011
10:27 am

Bsmith is too much of a liability in the run game. I believe he had some concussion issues as well last year. Too weak in the upper body to cover guys like julio, jeffery, cobb, etc and not heavy enough to play against the run. GT ran the sweep to his side everytime last year and put him through the hedges and about 6 rows into the stands a few times.
Best case scenario for him would be a mikey henderson/damian gary type of role on offense. He’s definitely no champ on the defensive side, maybe he can be a champ on offense

DawgByte

April 5th, 2011
10:31 am

I would like to see Smith on offense, because he’s got mad skills. The trick is to create the right plays for him and not use him in predicatable situations. The problem is Bobo has little imagination.

The person who speculated on how Urban would use Smith is right on the money. Look at how the Gator’s used Trey Burton last year. Trey killed us, because Urban knew how to use his considerable talents.

UGASlobberknocker

April 5th, 2011
10:38 am

I find it hilarious that fans from another team (see npgator above)..will take the time on a weekday morning to come on the Dawg blog and type “yawn”

What is the hidden message that npgator is portraying? Is it

a/ he is such a loser that he has nothing better to do than type “yawn” on the Bulldog board? Why is he not on the Gator board boring them to tears? or,

b/ he is trying to pretend he doesnt care about what UGA does though he obviously does by his presence. Thats like going to a party and then acting like you dont want to be there..why go on the first place?

for that answer, see (a).

go back to the swamp npgator, you loser

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:43 am

Meyers wasn’t the OC, Addazio was. Bobo isn’t a head Coach , Richt is. Now which is it?

BTW Burton was the rotating QB that woudl often line up at different spots. Smith is a CB in about 2 times a game on offense, and the entire world knows what he can or can’t do. His skills are not mad, they are very defined. Completely differrent situation. I suspect Meyer has plenty of super fast DB’s too. See them lining up in the backfield, or over in a vacated TE position?

Dawg Gone

April 5th, 2011
10:43 am

UGASlobberknocker…he is a loser, and since their new coach has O wins as a HC..he is a scared loser.But that is just one man’s opinion..

Dawg #5

April 5th, 2011
10:44 am

Brandon Smith is playing Off anymore unless Crowell isnt in bc you cant have two # 1 jerseys on the field at the same time…….

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:47 am

I suspect you aren’t going to see that same kind of player shuffling, that “creativity” now that UF is going to a more traditional pro style offense…… ya know, like Bobo runs.

STEINER

April 5th, 2011
10:47 am

dawgfan:
You are gonna play a corner back at Tailback…Go back to sleep…Branden Smith is good in the open field, but don’t believe he would last long running inside….dawgfan, you are like many others, you are a dumb dawg fan…

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
10:54 am

I bet Urban could do it.

dawgfan

April 5th, 2011
10:56 am

Here we go again. I’m not a real fan because I am critical of a coaching staff that just guided us to a 6-7 season. Real fans stick their heads in the sand and pretend it never happened I suppose. After all, its all about having fun as Altamaha pointed out. Its fun losing a bunch of games and getting humilitated by the best. If that’s not fun to you then you aren’t a real fan.

I AM all doom and gloom because I see nothing to be positive about. I have no faith in this coaching staff to turn this around. Nobody has ever given me a reason to believe otherwise. We have been completely uncompetitive at an elite level going on almost 4 years now. Excuses about injuries and tough schedules only get you so far. At some point you have to realize that our problems are deeper than that and I am at that point.

Good day.

BYRDDAWG

April 5th, 2011
11:04 am

It should be interesting this fall!

BYRDDAWG

April 5th, 2011
11:07 am

dawgfan, CMR is 3-1 vs Bama & we’re 4-1 in the last 5yrs against Auburn! Sorry but I’m a realist & that’s pretty good!!! We’ve only had 1 losing season under CMR….just sayin

Alabama | MrSEC.com

April 5th, 2011
11:11 am

[...] running back Caleb King is looking for a “breakout season.”9.  This writer provides an update of five UGA players as the Dawgs rush toward the end of spring [...]

jbzoso3

April 5th, 2011
11:16 am

trey to nba. leslie to fill out paper work but mot sign with agent. per rivals

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
11:17 am

Great, so what is your function in here then? You seriously think that you are going to shed any light on something the rest of us were doing before you were born? You see NOTHING we don’t. We see the exact same choices that you do on April 5th. Some of us just choose to behave differntly. THATS what I am saying is all for fun now. You feel no worse or hate losing any more than anyone else. But if thats all Georgia Football is to you right now, why are you even in here?

I’ll just go ahead and give you the secret. And trust me, I was you. I was. Just a long time ago.

And here it is: Nobody really thinks you are smart and edgy if you have the balls to call for the HC to be fired. Heck , thats the easiest thing in the world to come up with. We all learned a long time ago, that all works itself out.

Your friends and family aren’t really giving you all that respect you think they do, because you act all upset at the loses. They humor you. They don’t really think “oh he is WAY serious about this stuff”. It’s not how mad you get that defines that to anyone.

And lastly. You can’t define your own excellence by something as effortless as being hyper-critical of what somebody else does. We all just figured out a long time ago, demanding your high “standards” require your own heavy lifting at something.

I suppose I could point out that you can’t control this stuff anyway. Seems obvious, but you don’t seem to grasp that.

AltamahaDawg

April 5th, 2011
11:20 am

Or maybe this is just how you are to be around in the rest of your real life? I doubt it.

Jborodawg

April 5th, 2011
11:26 am

For all the speculation here about B. Smith playing on offense…
Didn’t he just say he HASN’T played any offense in spring drills?

Now, far as that goes, using him might work IF he has some blocking…end around; reverse; wild dawg…whatever.

“…Carlton Thomas…third and long…” would work too IF he had some blocking. A sage once said, “Games are won and lost on the line of scrimmage.” Dawgfan, was that you…you being a sage and all? Byrddawg….amen!

choke

April 5th, 2011
11:26 am

B. Smith pretty much has had starting nickel spot locked down. He’ll see the field plenty and likely start many, considering how infrequently UGA runs its base D. Too many spreads . . . .

It Ain't Rocket Science

April 5th, 2011
11:29 am

For those of you who say the UGA coaching staff doesn’t have a clue how to run the team, I would suggest you look at the scouts 300 top H.S. players, and you will see that UGA is well aware of what they need to improve on and they have sent letters out to those they think can improve their team. They have offered 6 OLB’s, 6 Safeties, 3 CB’s, 9 WR’s and 7 offensive linemen. They have even gone after 5 QB’s as well. They are well aware of what they need to improve on. All toll, they have offered 50 out of the 300 sports.com rated 300.
UGA is still rebuilding somewhat, just like any other school in college football is.The problem is that most SEC fans feel that the success that they have had in the MNC, has to continue at all cost. For some teams, that means get them anyway you can. I am a UGA fan and will always be. I am proud of the DAWGS and as long as we keep our noses clean, UGA will be back. I would be perfectly satisfied with 9 wins this year, and our schedule is very favorable for that to happen. Fair weather fans are not true fans. They like to be with a winner 100% of thew time, and if a team is not perfect, they can’t wait to beat them down in these blogs. I think those are the type of fans a school can do without.
GO DAWGS

All In

April 5th, 2011
11:33 am

I get so much enjoyment by scanning over each one of these typical UGA fan post. It is comic relief to read the post that you all submit and think that UGA has any chance of doing anything in the near future. Each year you are dissapointed and you will continue to be dissapointed as long as you think that uga has a chance of doing anything. You got know offensive line, no linebakers and have the worst secondary in college football. Keep being 5-7 and who knows that may get you a spot in the SEC Chanpionship bc the EAST is like playing AA football.

All In

April 5th, 2011
11:34 am