J.J. Green adjusting back to cornerback

semerson@macon.comMarch 20, 2014 

THE TELEGRAPH

ATHENS - J.J. Green says it was his idea to move from tailback to cornerback. And no, it's not because of the depth chart.

"I just wanted to hit people again," Green said. "I got tired of being hit."

Green was hit a lot last year, when he was Georgia's third-leading rusher. Normally a freshman who accounts for 384 yards and three touchdowns - and an average of 5.6 yards per attempt - has a bright future at tailback.

But last year, as people who follow Georgia are painfully aware, was unique. Star tailback Todd Gurley was sidelined for three full games with an ankle injury, and was never quite healthy when he was playing. Top backup Keith Marshall tore his ACL in the fifth game.

So Green was pressed into duty, despite being recruited to Georgia as more of an athlete, with cornerback his most likely position. So when Georgia signed the highly-touted Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in February, Green jumped at the idea of moving back to his original position.

Two games into spring practice Green said the adjustment back to defense has been a smooth one. Especially since he's not the only one on defense trying to adjust to new defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt.

"Everybody on the defense right now is learning Pruitt's system," Green said. "Step by step we're just learning what to do."

Green, who is listed at 5-foot-9, said he weighs 187, four pounds heavier than his listed weight last year at tailback.

"I'm trying to go out there and show I can be physical with the receivers, and help out with the run," Green said.

Safety Quincy Mauger said Green was bringing a lot of energy to the secondary.

"He's like a little ball of energy," Mauger said, smiling.

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