Georgia freshmen holding their own physically, overwhelmed by playbooks, meetings

ATHENS — Here’s some of the freshman defensive player interviews. This is not a comprehensive transcription, just some of what I considered highlights, for lack of a better word, from the conversations I had with some of the guys.

I already provided a pretty comprehensive account of my entire conversation with John Jenkins. Here I’ll share some nuggets from outside linebacker Ray Drew, linebacker Amarlo Herrera, safety Corey Moore, cornerback Damian Swann and cornerback Chris Sanders. I haven’t had a chance to transcribe Quintavious Harrow yet.

If there was any type of theme I noticed from all these guys it’s that they’re heads are pretty much swimming at this point from all the information that’s being thrown at them. They’re all confident they can hang physically but all the meetings and the sheer size of the playbook they’re expected to master has been a little overwhelming for them.

So here’s a little bit from each guy. . . .

CB DAMIAN SWANN, ATLANTA

  • On difficulties so far: “I’ve just been trying to learn so much in a short amount of time. It’ll get better. I’m working at all three corners, strong corner, boundary corner, and I’m playing nickel.
  • On catching eye of coaches: “Well, I mean, I try to do my best. I didn’t think it’d be this early that I could make an impression on the coaches. But I just trust myself and play. When you know more, you can play faster. At this level, it has to be like that because there’s so much going on on both sides of the ball.”
  • Hardest part of playing corner: “The zone coverages. There’s just so much going on with that and you have different responsibiolites in different zxone coverages,. I mean, if you can tell me I’ve got a man, I can play. But I’m going to strengthen up on all those other aspects of being a DB and make improvement.”

OLB RAY DREW, THOMASVILLE

  • On first impressions: “My first impression of the collegiate level is just the speed of the game, how up-tempo everything is and how much more technical it is than high school as well. Here you’re trying to learn the whole playbook, while you may have had one or two responsibilities in high school. You have to do certain things according to the other team’s alignment. All these things are running through your mind. You have all these people trying to get lined up and yelling at you to do this and do that. It’s a lot to take in. It’s a big transition, but I think a lot of the young guys are doing well at it.”
  • On Wednesday’s scrimmage. “It was different. It took a little while to adjust to the heat. Coming out of high school, playing every Friday night, it’s kind of cool. Playing in the heat of the day, that was the biggest thing for me. As far as the scrimmage as a whole I thought I did OK. I still have a lot of room to improve, which is why we’re going out to practice each day. I’m continuing to improve and I’ll continue to work.”
  • On finding a church (he’s a licensed minister): “I’ve been to church every Sunday since I’ve been here. The first day I got here I made it my obligation to get out and find a church to go to. I’ve gone to a number of different churches. I went to Cornerstone Church and a few others. The church I made my home church is Timothy Baptist Church.”
  • On if he plans to preach: “Actually last week when I was headed home [a pastor] texted me that he wanted me to preach at his church down in Norcross. I told him we needed to keep that option open since I couldn’t do it at that time. I hope there will be some opportunities in there somewhere.”

CB CHRIS SANDERS, TUCKER

  • On his expectations for the season: “All we want to do is come in and help and contribute to the team and just help win a championship. In the secondary, if somebody goes down, we want to be there to help make plays and just getting playing where we can to help get this championship.”
  • On impact of “Dream Team:” “I think we are the real deal. I’m not just saying the Dream Team, I’m talking about Georgia period. I think we’re all good. But we do have a lot of skill guys with talent coming in with the Dream Team that are going to help this team win a championship. That’s really all we want to do, just come together and help out.”
  • On advice of lettermen: “They just said come out here and get into the playbook right away, right away. They’ve been real helpful. So I’m just trying to get in the playbook every night. We didn’t really expect all these meetings and stuff like that. But it’s all right; it’s college. We’ve got to deal with it. At the end of the day, it’ll work out.”
  • Has their been any type of freshmen initiations: “They were talking about cutting all our hair off or we’re going to have to go to class in shirts and high heels. But I think they were just fooling around.”

LB AMARLO HERRERA, COLLEGE PARK

  • On working with the No. 2 defense: “Im just trying to do what I can do to help the team. I ain’t worried about whether I play or whether a walkon plays or second strong or third string. I’m just trying to get in and help the team. If they need me they’ll put me in.”
  • On playing UGA football: “Really you have to convince yourself you can play every day, because if you get down on yourself then you won’t practice good, you’ll start thinking negative and you’ll start talking about people and you’ll feel like you’re a victim if you don’t think you can compete. I haven’t surprised myself. I’m really just trying to work hard and learn the plays.”
  • On learning the defense: “There’s a lot to learn because Coach Grantham,came from the NFL and it’s an NFL-type defense. Really it’s about studying and knowing what you’ve got to do in different formations and just knowing itlike the back of your hand.

S COREY MOORE, GRIFFIN

  • On speed of SEC game: “It was the first day we were in helmets and they did a play-action pass. Orson Charles, he came in and acted like he was blocking and he came back out and he crossed my face and he swiped my helmet when he went by. I was like, ‘dog, he moved past me pretty fast.’ I was like, ‘man where’d he come from?’ That kind of woke me up then. I thought,’ man, I’ve got to get ready. I’ve got to move a little faster.’ Ever since then I’ve been on it.
  • On playing safety: “The safety position is like the quarterback of the defense. You have to know all the audibles, what the cornerbacks are doing, the middle linebackers. You just have to know your stuff. Sometimes I had to help the cornerback with his plays and stuff like that. Every formation I have to holler out calls to the cornerbacks and let them know and then translate that to the middle linebacker so we can all be on one page. The big playbook we have, it’s been pretty hard. But I’ve been sitting down every day going over it and I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it.”

93 comments Add your comment

Dostoyevskiy

August 11th, 2011
6:36 pm

It ain’t just play books; most UgA FB players are overwhelmed by books in general, particularly those w/o pictures.

Chris

August 11th, 2011
6:38 pm

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

August 11th, 2011
6:39 pm

Good Stuff, Thanks Chip!!! Looks like we’ve got some solid freshman.

Frank Lane

August 11th, 2011
6:40 pm

No non-football fan understands how mentally difficult football is at the highest levels.

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:41 pm

Mr. Drew……Vampires like the night better than the day too…..hummmmmmm? Are you a vampire?

Inspector G

August 11th, 2011
6:41 pm

One time I saw Matthew Stafford thwart a full-on riot in the streets of Detroit. That’s right, he walked amongst the crowd and they parted as if he was Moses. NOTE: Matt was humble enough to remind those people he was not, in fact, Moses. However, they still were chanting it. The crowd realized what they were doing was stupid so the riots ceased immediately. I was told just yesterday Nigel Everton of the Tottenham(UK) Police Service contacted Matt about his riot control methods. Matt suggested they meet halfway at Amici’s in Athens. There, I was told that they enjoyed some awesome Honey 2x wings, some buffalo chicken garcheemar, and downed several pints. By all accounts it was delicious. Look for Britain to wind up this riot outbreak with cardboard life-size cutouts of Matt…yeah buddy!
-Inspector G

GEORGIA DOME

August 11th, 2011
6:41 pm

Frank Lane

August 11th, 2011
6:41 pm

‘much more complicated than basletball, baseball or soccer

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:44 pm

I am starting to wonder……all these Dawgs having problems with daytime heat……..are they all vampires? hummmmmmmmmmm……..?

The Gators practice in 95 degrees and 100 percent humity…..and I have not heard of one Gator freshman falling out of practice or complaining about the heat……..hummmmmmmmmm????

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

Frank Lane……

Why would a non-football fan understand? Just saying……..

And….how can someone who is not a football fan…..be a non-football fan…..just asking?

Inspector G

August 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

@ TampaGator

Matthew Stafford invented 100% humidity. And the piano. And the Panini sandwich (have you ever had one of those? Man, there are so delicious. If you haven’t my friend, you’re missing out!).

-Inspector G

Sharkman

August 11th, 2011
6:47 pm

I’m so sick of hearing about that dang playbook!!! Just memorize it, shut up about it, and go play football! How hard is that???

proud dawg

August 11th, 2011
6:47 pm

energy vampire

Inspector G

August 11th, 2011
6:48 pm

@ Sharkman

Matthew Stafford invented sickness. And the 6 stage rocket. And salsa dancing (which I hear can swoon the ladies…*wink* *wink*).

-Inspector G

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:49 pm

Inspector G…..

Comprehension requires understanding…..I don’t understand. But maybe that is the point of your post?????????????????

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:52 pm

Inspector G…..

You’re funny…..do you hang out with vampires?

Inspector G

August 11th, 2011
6:52 pm

Does the word ‘trolling’ mean anything to you?

Quite frankly with all of the outlandish, untrue, and ignorant statements on here, I thought mine would seemlessly fit right in.

-Inspector G

f4ifrank

August 11th, 2011
6:53 pm

To Tampa….Choot ‘em, Choot ‘em

Inspector G

August 11th, 2011
6:54 pm

I have a friend named Edward, my wife’s name is Sookie, and my dog is from the Umbrella Corporation. So yes. I think.

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:54 pm

The fun is over…….

College football is a real eye opener for some of these recruits. They have to grow up fast….or they get left behind, fast. Jenkins sounds like someone who has grown up….and understands the program. I wish Florida has signed him. He is going to have a big time impact for Georgia this year. Good night.

kevin

August 11th, 2011
6:56 pm

Inspector G,

Did Matthew Stafford invent the jokebook cause you need one.

TampaGator

August 11th, 2011
6:57 pm

Inspector G…..

They fit.

proud dawg

August 11th, 2011
6:58 pm

mr. sharkman

I think you–like many of us ignorant fans–just don’t know how this game really works beyond what is displayed to us on espn and the internet. 600 page playbooks are no walk in the park. And these are not the playbooks from madden 2010.

I wish us “fans” could get educated about this game–too be honest, i don’t think any of us has the slightest clue about professional football.

Saban

August 11th, 2011
6:58 pm

Oh well another group of A recruits waiting to become losers. Keep Richt.

Plato

August 11th, 2011
6:59 pm

About the learning difficulties: Bear in mind that UGA recruits are just… well, not very intelligent.

But that’s hardly news, is it.

Saban

August 11th, 2011
7:00 pm

Is UGA still alive?

college is forever

August 11th, 2011
7:02 pm

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com The pups are going to be very good this year and borderline great next year. Check out the UGA Classic Tin Lunchbox. Go Dawgs!!

f4ifrank

August 11th, 2011
7:02 pm

Good job Chip, thanks for the info

tom

August 11th, 2011
7:03 pm

I love these guys that say, “just memorize the playbook.” or “how hard can it be.” How many of these guys have ever seen a college playbook? I have and I assure you when you are coming from a high school playbook, it is very difficult to know in 2 weeks. They will be coached up by Sept. 3. No worries.

South West Dekalb! Track Star

August 11th, 2011
7:18 pm

Chip, Can You Please interview RB Ken “BOO” I would like to hear his progress. Man! if this guy can get well, he is a beast at tail back, I watched him at his High School and believe me UGA got ne of the best RB if he can stay healthy

Trolls.......Trolls.............Trolls

August 11th, 2011
7:18 pm

So much drivel to type and so little time. Sad life when your team sucks so much that you have to troll other teams blogs……..sad.

Vance Duly

August 11th, 2011
7:25 pm

Even Socrates would know that a question ends with a question mark, but not Plato, apparently!!!

…………..But, that’s hardly news, is it? Maybe Plato should study the English language playbook just a bit more before making inane remarks with poor punctuation.

PT

August 11th, 2011
7:33 pm

FYI – Mark Richt’s average season record is 11-2 when he has a returning QB. – just saying

Matt in ATL

August 11th, 2011
7:43 pm

Herrera’s “victim” comments display a very well-raised young man. Go mighty Bulldogs!

Dosta Dawg

August 11th, 2011
7:49 pm

Chip – Love the attitudes of these kids. “I just want to help the team win.” This has been missing for to long. Looking for great things from this class. VERY PROUD of our Valdosta Dawgs Gillyard, Rome and Mitchell.

Joey

August 11th, 2011
8:13 pm

“choot’em”…Lmao!! Go Dawgs! Gata

Tampa Gator

August 11th, 2011
8:16 pm

I am the smartest person on this website. You GA fans are my punks.

U

August 11th, 2011
8:18 pm

Football ain’t that hard. Not even at the highest levels. Now, I’ll grant you that it can be a lot of information to absorb. But don’t make it out to be something it isn’t.

Rdawg

August 11th, 2011
8:22 pm

All the talk will come to an end come Sept 3rd then we will see who is gonna man up and play hard nosed football I myself believe that CMR has these guys focused on playing not for themselves but for their team. They all seem to want to help the team and that is an improvement in attitude over the past few years. I look forward to a great year of Georgia football. The dawgs may not win every game but I think we will turn some heads and have plenty of national talk about the dawg pound.

Vandy Dawg

August 11th, 2011
8:24 pm

I love it when trolls make fun of our players academically and still manage to make spelling mistakes…eh, “Dostoyevskiy”?

On a team note, I’m glad to hear these guys are taking this all in stride. It doesn’t seem we have too many worries about the Dream Team thinking they are overly privileged.

tampon gaytor

August 11th, 2011
8:24 pm

me still lovin them vampure jokes hur hur hur almost as much as me love them hot sweaty young guys down here in falrda in there jorts

DILLIGAF

August 11th, 2011
8:26 pm

Thanks for cranking out the reports Chip. Don’t worry about people griping about typos, they’re obviously not bright enough to understand the sentence without it being grammatically correct.
I enjoy your coverage of the team and you always provide good information and content.

Keep up the good work.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 11th, 2011
8:29 pm

Why is everyone bothered by

Tampa Gator

This is what happens when every UGA fan says nothing to the coaches when we get the crap beat out of us by FL every year.

As long as we get 10 wins, beat Ga Tech, and sit at home and watch another SEC east team play for the SEC championship everything is ok

Tampa Gator; by all means please invite more Gaterd fans on here.

Maybe then some of these UGA wimp fans we have will have enough of losing to FL and demand from the $3 million man better results

get hit by a truck on I-95

August 11th, 2011
9:01 pm

Be careful what you ask for moron! Hey let’s fire CMR because beating the Gators is the ONLY thing that matters! Get over it putz! Btw, how do you know what every Uga fan does or doesn’t say to the coaches? How about we demand some faith from you in your team for listening to cry like a little girl?

get hit by a truck on I-95

August 11th, 2011
9:05 pm

I’d like to know how much you contribute to that 3mil salary!?! Usually the ones complaining the most are the ones that don’t spend a dime to see the Dawgs play.

Jekyll Island

August 11th, 2011
9:05 pm

Hey Tampa Gator,

95 degrees and 100% humidity, huh? I guess in the winter your guys walk up hill both ways to class through the snow? You’re pathetic! Go write on the FSU message board you maggot!

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 11th, 2011
9:15 pm

get hit by a truck on I-95

With Season tickets and paying to park, it comes out to $2500 a yr

Faith in what 3-9 against top 10 teams

UGA having top 10 recruiting classes 10 yrs in a row (streak broken in 2009 )only other team to do it Oklahoma
Ranking #4 in putting players in the NFL since 1999 ahead of FL but those who love to make excuses to losing to FL say they have the better talent
1-9 vs FL (I dont count the other win because Zook was fired the week before)
Has never beat FL the yrs he appeared in the SEC championship
30+ arrests in 5 yrs
13-12 in the SEC EAST since 2006
Has lost 2 times to KY once to Vanderbilt in the last 5 yrs

And finally UGA ranking #2 in Recruiting behind USC this past decade

Facts bud where is yours

Maybe if you lay off the Jack Daniels a few days a week you could afford Season Tickets and you would sober up and demand better sissy

Ross

August 11th, 2011
9:20 pm

@ Tampa Gator

It is impossible to be 95 degrees and 100% humidity. There is a thing called a dew point which is when the humidity is at 100% and dew is formed. Typically the avg dew point in the summer is between 72 and 75 degrees. But what can you expect you are a gator, now go feed Charlie Weiss to keep him happy.

достоевский

August 11th, 2011
9:22 pm

Vandy Dawg, how would you transliterate my name into English? It’s just a little bit arrogant that you tell me how to spell my name.

moleman

August 11th, 2011
9:22 pm

i’ve been saying it all day. trolls rule! trolls are necessary for the survival of UGA blogs. people don’t come to these blogs to read the stupid post’s of UGA homers. they come here to read the prose of artist’s like inspector g, still@thebar, murray county mystic,roll tide, nothingcouldbefiner,tampa gator.. oh, many more i’m sorry if i’m forgetting anyone.and of course, moleman. we are glad to be of service. trolls…can’t have a sucessful blog without ‘em!!