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Georgia using bye week to experiment with position changes

NCAA Football: Auburn at Georgia Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

A trio of Georgia Bulldogs are on the move. At his weekly media session today Kirby Smart announced several position changes that coaches will be experimenting with:

  • Sophomore defensive lineman Michael Barnett will be moving to offensive line, tackle specifically. Barnett saw time as a true freshman but has not played so far in 2016. At 6’4 and 292 pounds Barnett probably doesn’t have the size Sam Pittman is looking for in an offensive tackle just yet. But if the move is made permanent he may get the go-ahead to put on some additional weight.
  • Junior wide receiver Shakenneth Williams will be moving to the defensive backfield. The 6’1, 208 pound Macon native caught three passes in 2014 and one in 2015, and has always been more explosively athletic than his stat line indicates. Williams’ most memorable moment may have been the fake punt he took for a touchdown against Auburn in 2014 which was called back because of a holding penalty.
  • Finally, redshirt freshman tailback Tae Crowder will move to inside linebacker. With Tim Kimbrough’s preseason transfer Georgia has been a little thin at the position all year. Crowder’s a physical back who’s contributed mostly on special teams, but it’s no stretch to believe he might ultimately end up contributing in the Bulldog linebacking corps.

It seems fairly unlikely that any of these players will make a huge contribution at their new position this season. But as Smart noted today, all are players who “athletically, are better athletes than their current spot on the depth chart.” This appears to be part of the process of getting the best players available into positions where they can contribute.

Obviously, in some cases you also see these position moves as a sort of last ditch effort to find a spot for players who later end up transferring from the program (LB/S/LB Nick Williams comes to mind). I don’t know that we’re there with these players, but it is something to keep in mind. Until later . . .

Go ‘Dawgs!!!