ATHENS — After absorbing the first volley of questions from reporters about suspensions and drug policies and the like, Georgia coach Mark Richt on Thursday asked the rhetorical question, “anybody want to talk some football?”
There wasn’t a lot of new stuff, but here’s what Richt had to say on the following subjects:
“We allowed Malcolm to play a little offense as well. Any time he wasn’t losing a rep on defense, we tried to get him to jump over there and get a little work on offense, which was good. He enjoyed it. You could tell he was a little tired but, if he’s going to play both ways he’s got to get into condition for something like that. I thought he did a good job.”
Richt said Mitchell is getting opportunities as a return man as well.
“A lot of good things happening out there, but one guy in particular who’s just been showing up every day in my opinion is [DE/OLB] Cornelius Washington. He’s just been very physical at the point [of attack] and pretty dominant against the run and certainly doing a good job rushing the passer as always. Really seeing a lot of good things from him.”
“He is very diligent as far as a guy trying to learn what to do. But, again, there is so much to learn in such a small amount of time and we’re really installing our offense at more of a veteran’s pace, because most everybody is a veteran. He’s one of the few guys, along with Mark Beard and Faton Bauta, that are here at the midyear. So those three guys are not really getting it spoon fed to them like you would maybe if you come in with the rest of the true freshmen. But he knew that going in and he did a lot of studying beforehand.
“He’s doing pretty good as far as assignments, and he’s already shown that he’s got the really fine running skills that we anticipated him to have. He’s got a toughness about him. But he’s a young kid out there playing with a bunch of veterans, so it’s not easy for him I’m sure. But he’ll be a lot happier in the fall when he’s a little bit of a veteran and those other freshmen teammates’ heads are spinning. He’ll be smiling then I’m sure.”
“Richard’s the one who came to me about wanting to learn it. He knew we didn’t have a lot of depth there. So he asked me about it before spring break some time. And I said, well, you’re in the same room with them. Every time Coach McClendon is teaching a fullback, you might as well be listening and paying attention. He can’t teach tailback and fullback in the same breath. So I told him make sure you’re paying attention and we’’ll five you some reps in there. And we have. He’s big and he’s strong and he’s physical and he wants to do it.
“He just wants to help the team win. It’s the typical Richard Samuel line to me: ‘Coach, I want to have a great senior year; I want to do everything I can to help the team win. And if it means playing a little fullback I’ll do that, too.’
“We’re going to let him compete. He may start at fullback. It just depends on how well he does. That’s certainly an open competition at that position.”
The development of depth in the secondary in light of the early-season suspensions . . .
“We’ve got a good bunch of DBs. Overall we’ve got some pretty good depth there with guys that have got some experience and guys that are talented. When you put Malcolm back there, even though he hasn’t played any defensive snaps in college, he’s certainly done it in high school and he’s certainly played a lot of quality snaps in college. So he won’t be in awe out there playing football and competing in our league. Then you have a guy like Corey Moore, who’s starting to come on, and Damian Swann is coming on. So we’re definitely getting better in that area with some quality depth.”
“Well, as I watch him I see a guy who is much more confident than he was as a true freshman. He understands things a lot better. He’s very tough and physical. He certainly showed up strong for a high school kid, but now that he’s been in the program with Coach T and the strength staff he’s very solid, very strong, lean and athletic. He’ll strike you. I think he’ll be ready.”
“They’re getting there. They’re getting their reps as well. They’re all a lot further along than they were when they went through camp. So they’re all improving. I’d say Corey right now looks more the part right this moment. In time, they’re progressing. I wouldn’t say those guys are ready to start right now but their roles I think can be expanded.
“One guy we haven’t mentioned is Connor Norman. He’s a guys who understands our system very well and can play more than one position, can play bnoth safeties and has gotten stronger as well. He’s a very sure tackler in the open field and he’s got good hands and good leadership ability. Connor’s definitely going to throw his hat into the ring as well.”
“He does have some safety skills but he’s more of an outside linebacker. We’re going to see what he can do at wide receiver down close to the end zone, down in the red zone area.”
– Chip Towers, The UGA Blog