Practice report: Georgia TB Isaiah Crowell now in his element

ATHENS — For the last three months there has been a lot of talk about Isaiah Crowell the person and the high-profile recruit. But over the last four days, Georgia has been able to get a close look at Crowell as a football player and early reports are the Bulldogs like what they’re seeing.

Crowell’s energy and focus, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said, have reminded him what drew the Bulldogs to recruit Crowell in the first place.

“I went to a practice, it may have been his sophomore year in high school, and I saw then how much he loved just to practice,” McClendon said of Crowell, then at Carver High..”He’s out there clapping and being excited about playing and having fun just going out there and playing football. That’s one of the things that excited me the most, to see a guy that talented that didn’t take practice for granted. He goes out there and he wants to get better.

“He’s been the same way out here. He’s focusing on getting better, focusing on every rep. He’ll come to me and ask, ‘what can I do to get a little bit better.’ That was the biggest thing. I thought, ‘this guy has what it takes to be something.’”

Georgia just completed the fourth of 29 preseason practice opportunities on Sunday. But McCelndon has seen enough to know that Crowell is back in the environment he enjoys most.

“He’s just a great humble kid who wants to be good in football,” McClendon said. “And that’s what he’s doing. He’s doing everything he can to make sure he’s doing that. He’s doing a good job of studying. He’s doing a good job of learning it. That stuff comes pretty quick to him. And that happens when you have a guy that, one, wants to be as good as he wants to be; and, two, and is serious about football. Football is serious to that kid.”

As for Crowell’s on-field abilities, teammates say his speed and quickness is apparent and he has exceptional cutting ability. But coaches are reserving their comments until they get a look at him in full pads. That begins Monday.

Hutson Mason solid at No. 2 QB

Everybody knows Aaron Murray is solid as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 quarterback and it appears Hutson Mason is equally entrenched as the No. 2 guy, at least in the early going. Christian LeMay, a signee who enrolled in January, is still grappling with the playbook.

“You see his athletic ability and flashes of what a good quarterback he can be,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “But right now he’s still trying to get a handle on everything, especially during these first acclamation days. We’re installing the whole playbook and we’re throwing a lot at him. He’s running everything we’re installing. Once we get out of acclamation we’ll script more what we’re going to do when he’s in there and it will be more about what he knows and what suits him. I think you’ll see him start to improve tremendously then.”

Andrews, Dantzler emerge on O-line

With just five experienced offensive linemen to put on the field, Georgia is obviously looking to young players to provide depth. And in the early going, it appears the first two freshmen to emerge are David Andrews and Watts Dantzler.

Andrews (6-foot-2, 280 pounds), a signee from The Wesleyan School in Norcross, is now the No. 2 center. Dantzler (6-7, 310), from Dalton, is getting work at both guard and tackle and looks poised to work his way into the rotation.

“We haven’t been out here a week, but I think the guys that have played the best so far are Andrews and Dantzler,” line coach Will Friend said. “They’re probably a little ahead of the new guys. But we’ve had four days and their heads are spinning. I’ve seen some good things in the whole group, but those two have done some good things.”

Sanders working at CB

Chris Sanders was considered one of the best safeties in the state when he signed with Georgia out of Tucker High. But the Bulldogs are finding out how good of a cornerback he can be.

“We’ve talked about that really since we signed him, that potentially he might be a guy we could look at at corner,” secondary coach Scott Lakatos said. “Size-wise he looked pretty good there, movement wise. He might be able to help us from a depth standpoint. He’s physical enough, he plays hard, he’s quick. He could be a guy who could be a safety as well. Athletically he could be either-or.”

The emergence of Sanders and other freshmen such as Damian Swann at cornerback have enabled the Bulldogs to give serious consideration to moving Sanders Commings back to safety. Commings is working at both spots but more lately at safety.

Some might say Lakatos has benefited most from the Bulldogs’ “Dream Team” recruiting class. He landed Sanders, Swann, Nick Marshall, Devin Bowman, Corey Moore and Quintavious Harris out of the deal.

“They’re athletes,” Lakatos said. “We knew all those guys when we took them were very good athletes. We knew they were offensive guys, defensive guys, receivers, returners, quarterbacks, DBs, they played safety, they played corner, they were good at other sports, whether it’s baseball or basketball or track. We knew that. Now we’ve just got to find a spot for them. We’ll put them out there and let them play.”

NG Geathers ahead of Jenkins

It sounds like defensive line coach Rodney Garner would at this point give the edge to Kwame Geathers over John Jenkins in the competition at nose guard.

“Kwame is definitely continuing to pick up where he left off this spring,” Garner said Sunday. “We’ve got to get Jenkins to keep coming and get him more up to speed. I feel really good about the 1s and I think the two ends [DeAngelo Tyson and Abry Jones] have really elevated their games to another level. Kwame’s continuing to improve we have to continue building depth.”

Practice update

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours in shells (shoulder pads and helmets) Sunday in intermittent rain. Monday represents the first of 11 full-contact practices (including three scrimmages). The objective of this first one? “I want to see who will strike somebody, who won’t flinch,” Bobo said. “That’s the biggest thing.”

180 comments Add your comment

DawgBoy

August 7th, 2011
2:05 pm

DawgBoy

August 7th, 2011
2:06 pm

Awesome…can’t wait till Sept 3!

Chutes

August 7th, 2011
2:07 pm

GATA, Watts!

phoneguy71

August 7th, 2011
2:11 pm

Steve

August 7th, 2011
2:11 pm

Great update, I’ve been wondering about this plethora of DBs that signed in Feb. I think Sanders Commings will be surprising people this season, it will be interesting to see who else steps up out of our talent pool. Go Dawgs!

UGA Alumnus

August 7th, 2011
2:11 pm

phoneguy71

August 7th, 2011
2:12 pm

…..Well almost

I-DOG

August 7th, 2011
2:15 pm

I like what I am hearing so far and it is especially good to hear that Andrews and Dantzler might be able to work their way into the rotation on the offensive line. If we can get through the first two games without injuries on the OL, hopefully a lot of these young guys can get meaningful playing time in the 3rd game and then we will start to build a bit of depth we can count on.

Tide Roll isn’t going to like our newest offensive line recruit… he is white and not from Georgia and that is two strikes against him acording to Tide Roll

dawgfan

August 7th, 2011
2:16 pm

Let’s go ahead and get this lame and hateful Techie joke out of the way:

“Crowell in his element? Where is that, the county jail?”

There you go Techies. You’re welcome.

JRW7

August 7th, 2011
2:18 pm

Football practice on SUNDAY?

ToccoaDawg

August 7th, 2011
2:20 pm

Wait till they put on pads

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:28 pm

this is Todd Grantham’s.chance of a lifetime… he knows he can solidify his career and he’s a great coach… Saban tried to hire him twice… we have the schedule… the players… Grantham = Irk Russell… UGA defense = Junkyard Dawgs !!!

Frank Lane

August 7th, 2011
2:30 pm

I still think Connor Norman is a natural at free safety even though he is a walk on. I will be disappointed if he is not given a chance.

Palm City Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:35 pm

I can tell you. I feel a 6th sense the DAWGS D will DOMINATE.

UGA 93

August 7th, 2011
2:36 pm

It is Erk Russell

G'Vegas Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:38 pm

All I need now is a crown and coke, a bag of peanuts, my seat backs and sec 322 row 5 seat 1 and I’ll be ready to go!!!!

S.E. Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:42 pm

PLEASE NO INJURIES!!

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:43 pm

UGA 93 Sorry.. i do know it’s Erskine !! Erk… crome dome.. Bald Eagle.. etc.

Zoli

August 7th, 2011
2:46 pm

Sanders Commings really stepped it up when he was given a chance. He has the size, speed, and athleticism to create havoc all over the field. I am liking our depth in the secondary and can’t wait to see what these new guys can do. Boyken, Smith, Commings, Sanders and Love will be solid this year.

RabidDawgFan

August 7th, 2011
2:48 pm

Geathers isn’t going to let Jenkins just come in and get his spot. It’s great that he’s stepping up and competing well. I wouldn’t quite say he dominated Ben Jones in the G-Day game but very close to it. Ben Jones got a few good blocks and pancakes on him, but Geathers was pushing him backwards all game long. If he can do it to Jones, he an do it to Boise’s center and everyone else’s. It’s good for Jenkins and Geathers to have competition. They’ll have to spell each other every so often. Nice to have 2 capable nose guards. Like what I’m hearing. GO DAWGS

D A DoubleU G

August 7th, 2011
2:49 pm

IN my opinion, Mark Richt has shown me what I wanted to see since the Liberty Bowl to save his job.

However, this will be the last year the Dawgs can use the excuse “we are young and inexperienced”.

I THOROUGHLY believe if Richt stays with this class for their entire Dawg tenure, good things will happen. If McGarity decides to pull an early trigger and “start clean”, it will just be another massive waste of extreme talent.

PowerDawg

August 7th, 2011
2:49 pm

Great to hear Kwame is excelling at the nose. He is a natural run stopper and will be highly coveted by some NFL team in 2012. if he has a really good year I don’t see us holding on to him past next season. Time will tell.

Don’t worry about Big John. Once he acclimates to the speed of the game and the defensive playbook, he’ll be everything we have been hoping he would be. The heat is a temporary thing that all the players have to get used to, especially the really big guys like him.

As long as we avoid any major injuries, this defense should be excellent this year. Swarming, dominating, suffocating…like a soppin’ wet blanket on a campfire.

RabidDawgFan

August 7th, 2011
2:50 pm

Can’t wait to see the team in full pads. Lots of hitting going on tomorrow. Time to separate the men and the boys. Anybody can look good in shorts and a jersey. Let’s see what they’re really about tomorrow. I’m confident.

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
2:50 pm

so lets move big Mike Thornton to OLINE

We need big uns to be good

August 7th, 2011
2:54 pm

One year, I would love to see UGA sign about 10 O linemen and get some all state or even all region guys like Clint Boling was, instead of going all over the darned planet. I may be wrong but Boling was maybe Hon. Mention All State O lineman at best. He turned out ok cause he wanted to be at UGA. He was intelligent and that is a basic necessity for an O lineman, Mostly it is a learned skill at this level.

UGA needs to get some big O linemen. If we get a new head coach, that guy WILL go after a truckload of them. This failure has been UGA’s Achilles Heel for about 4 or 5 years and it whay we get out muscled late in games ……………no depth.

I fear that this year, it will cost CMR his job. Oh well ……………..been saying this for about 5 years gang.

UGA grad, class of 71 & 73

RabidDawgFan

August 7th, 2011
2:56 pm

Another thing I’m excited about is the depth and versatility we have in the secondary. Sanders Commings looks to be moving to safety which will give Branden Smith the full time role at the CB position opposite Brandon Boykin. I think Commings and Rambo will be our two safeties.

IF Jarvis Jones isn’t able to go against Boise, don’t forget about T.J. Stripling. I heard he’s healing well and learning the defense fast. He could be a good player for us as well. Ray Drew is another to keep your eye on.

Eastside dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:03 pm

I think crowell will burst onto the scene against boise with at least a couple long runs for a td. Unfortunately the SEC brings him back to earth in week 2 against SCe but if the kid can stay healthy, and thats a big IF I see him being a possible uga great. If not then he’ll be kregg lumpkin.

The defensive backfield will be loaded, AND NOT WITH A BUNCH OF 5′8″ GUYS. With the hogs we have up front, if the thin LB core can stay healthy this defense can be absolutely GREAT!

tide roll

August 7th, 2011
3:06 pm

Andrews from Weslyan and Dantzler, the former player’s son. True freshman on the 2nd team. There’s not another school in the SEC pulling this crap. Oh wait, Brandon Shell, nephew of former NFL great Art Shell, who resided in Atlanta for years, is making serious noise at OT for South Carolina. He may line up beside OG Rokevious Watkins, who played at Cedar Grove here in Atlanta, and will be an NFL 1st rounder. And don’t forget N. Gwinnett’s JuWuan James. He was named Freshman All-American at OT for Tennessee last year. So there are exceptions. Richt/Bobo are putting themselves at such a disadvantage by refusing to recruit deserving in-state kids. They come back to haunt you guys. Just like Watkins did in South Carolina’s beatdown of you last year.

delusionaldawgfans

August 7th, 2011
3:09 pm

Destin Dawg = moron

dawgerbrown

August 7th, 2011
3:10 pm

Man….just can’t wait til the season starts. The thought of Jenkins and Gathers both playing DT in the occasional four man front is interesting too.

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:10 pm

tide get a life

bitter ajc director

August 7th, 2011
3:10 pm

sorry i cant find someone to fill chip towers shoes as lead recruiting reporter

=========all we could afford was carvell—he works for food——–sorry folks

———————————go dawgs and tech and panthers and eagles

Valdosta Cat

August 7th, 2011
3:17 pm

Would love to see more of Connor Norman. Was really impressed with his abilities at G-day

Dawg '94

August 7th, 2011
3:19 pm

Everything seems to be coming into place for a GREAT season for the Dawgs. I guess time will tell. The pads will let the coaches see who is really ready to step up. Anybody can be an All-Star in their underwear, but full pads will seperate the men from the boys. GATA Dawgs!!!

Old Dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:27 pm

this will be our year…. Big T.E.’s are awesome… Figgins at F.B…. sure hope Malcome can get healthy… Crowell and Samuel….Marray plus Lemay and Mason…. Grantham’s defense… kicking game… it’s All GGGOOOODD !

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:30 pm

4 weeks… can’t wait !!! Go Dawgs 1 !!!!

tide roll

August 7th, 2011
3:35 pm

So let me get this straight. You let Under Armour All-American, Offensive Tackle Brandon Greene, from Atlanta’s Cedar Grove, commit to Alabama, and then you let one of the top rated Offensive Guards in the state, Joe Harris, from Lithonia, commit to South Carolina. Then you go recruit a player to Georgia from the smallest school classication in Maryland. There ought to be a law. Richt’s behavior toward these more deserving in-state prospects is a disservice to the parents, coaches, and supporters of high school football in the state of Georgia, who basically have made Richt what he is today. Something needs to be done.

@tide rolled

August 7th, 2011
3:35 pm

Bama has a true freshman listed 2nd team at OT.

Big John

August 7th, 2011
3:39 pm

Destin Dawg, You are an idiot, If Saban had wanted him twice he would be with Saban now. In his only DC job he was fired by the Cleveland Freaking Browns fool! He also gave up over 30 to the worst Gator offense since 1990.

ga gator

August 7th, 2011
3:40 pm

Cannot wait for the whole thing to get started.

RabidDawgFan

August 7th, 2011
3:41 pm

Think about it, people often overlook the kicking game and special teams part of football. We have the best kicker in the country…the best punter in the country…one of the best return men in the country as well. Those guys can win games for you. We nearly swept the 1st team All-SEC for special teams. Walsh is a 1st team All-SEC kicker, Butler is the 1st team All-SEC punter, and I believe Brandon Boykin is 2nd team All-SEC return man. Almost a sweep.

Granthams’ defense in 2nd year….better personnel…new S & C program…new hunger…new fire…new attitude…best special teams unit in the country…best QB in the SEC…Samuel & Crowell…best TE in the SEC….no arrests…etc.

We’re going to have a great season.

ringleader

August 7th, 2011
3:43 pm

tide roll……………..

Thought you were occupied with the bookie investigation in T-town.

And the “beat down” the Dogs took from Carolina was nothing like the drubbing the Tide took from the Aubies.

Destin Dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:50 pm

Big John.. you Sir are an Idiot

richmondDawg

August 7th, 2011
3:51 pm

Was wondering how long it would take tide roll to start singing the ballad of Rokevious Watson again….cue up that broken record, folks, Georgia’s O line is a sink of racial inequity…

Old Dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:53 pm

wait till THIS YEAR…. 4 weeks…. then the trolls are gone back to the Flats…

richmondDawg

August 7th, 2011
3:53 pm

On a more positive note, it looks like we got a great class of DB’s last year, who will get playing time as frosh…

Paddy

August 7th, 2011
3:55 pm

tide roll you need new material. Very boring little guy!

honolulu dawg

August 7th, 2011
3:59 pm

Tide roll theres is a reason why u sit at home and watch the games on CBS than on the payroll at BAMA. You know nothing about the game a football except your lil fantasy draft. Find you a job at one of the Wal-Marts in Bama and get a life son.

@big john

August 7th, 2011
4:04 pm

Saban did offer Grantham jobs while at Miami and on his return to Bama.name a defensive coordiantor the browns haven’t fired, that list includes , bill belichick and nick saban.

tenn.DAWG

August 7th, 2011
4:06 pm

Time to separate the men from the boys.Need to find a Greg Blue or Thomas Davis among the bunch.