Head coach Kirby Smart was in a little better mood today as he detailed a rain-delayed second day of fall practice. Smart indicated that the effort and energy were overall better than on day one, not an uncommon occurrence in fall camp (every coach I've ever seen has said day two was light years better than day one. I think it's in the manual.) A few items of note from Smart's brief remarks following day two of fall practice:
- Smart called freshman defensive linemen Michail Carter, Tyler Clark, and David Marshall "the biggest pleasant surprise" of camp so far, saying that they've shown that they may want it more than the older defensive linemen. Given Georgia's depth issues along the defensive line that's either really good news or really concerning depending on how you interpret it.
- Smart dispelled rumors that Marshall had outgrown the outside linebacker spot, stating that it was "never the case for us" that the Upson-Lee standout would play anywhere but on the defensive line.
- When asked whether there are any positions about which he's particularly concerned Smart replied "24 of them." Meaning all 22 positions on the offense and defense plus the placekicking and punting duties. He also opined that the media has "anointed the secondary" but indicated that there are going to be position battles right through camp all over the place.
- Smart discussed a peculiar phenomenon in which freshman player come in and have "no governor, just go and go and go", outworking the upperclassmen. He also singled out Roquan Smith as a returning player who hadn't lost that freshman "go" and as a result has the potential to be great. He noted that Smith has gotten bigger since his freshman campaign, but will need to stay healthy to be successful.
- Asked about behemoth freshman defensive lineman Julian Rochester leaving the field yesterday, Smart dismissed the possibility of an injury, instead replying with a touch of sarcasm "He probably got tired. He tends to get tired."
- The head Bulldog noted that there's still competition in the kick return spots, saying that right now he sees Isaiah McKenzie as a better punt returner than kickoff returner. He did however compare McKenzie favorably to former Alabama return specialist Javier Arenas, whose SEC record for return touchdowns the Human Joystick is now chasing.
- Asked about the depth at tailback Smart reminded reporters that Brendan Douglas is still on campus and that Harris County product Tae Crowder has shown potential. However he's "reserving judgment" on freshmen Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien. Holyfield has the "right kind of intensity and demeanor", but coaches need to see how he reacts when full contact practices get underway. Smart also singled out freshman walk-on Prather Hudson out of Brookstone in Columbus as doing a "phenomenal job" during summer workouts.
Until later . . .