Depth chart machinations continue on Georgia's defense

semerson@macon.comApril 3, 2014 

ATHENS - Another practice, another lineup on the defensive side of the ball. And Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said it will be that way through mid-August.

Georgia's new defensive staff continued the juggling on Thursday, with yet more players getting a look on first team during early drills, including a walk-on you probably had not heard of before now:

- Aaron Davis, a walk-on redshirt freshman, was with the first-teamers at cornerback. The second cornerback spot has been a revolving door thus far, and Davis is the latest getting a look opposite of Damian Swann.

- J.J. Green was working with the safeties. Green, slated to be a cornerback, has been the first-team at the star position. In other words, the new staff has him all over the place.

- Tray Matthews was at first-team safety, after being behind Quincy Mauger and Corey Moore the first few weeks. Moore and Mauger were with the second-teamers today.

This comes on the heels of Brendan Langley, a cornerback up until now, playing safety this week. Other players have been shifted around too.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who also coaches the secondary, said it's all about getting players ready to play multiple positions.

"We're still searching all the guys," Pruitt said. "There's some guys you see at corner, there's some guys you see at safety. We're just trying to figure it out."

As for the depth chart changes, Pruitt said it all depends on the most recent practice.

"We're trying to give everybody an opportunity," Pruitt said. "The guys that perform the day before, the guys that get to go with the ones the next day. We have no starters, we're going off of what kind of production you had the day before."

And how long will all of this continue?

"Till the freshmen get here," he said.

Actually, longer than that.

"When they get here, they'll have an opportunity to compete, just like these other guys. And two weeks into fall camp we'll get them into spots," Pruitt said. "Maybe there'll be some guys this spring that kind of take that step, where you say, Hey I know I can count on him. But right now we're just a work in progress."

Green has been working at cornerback and safety, but said he would prefer to end up at the star.

"I get to hit people and cover," he said. "Most guys don't want to do it. I'm gonna do it." The moves aren't limited to the secondary: Mike Thornton was with the first-teamers on the defensive line. Thornton, a fifth-year senior, has been labeled the most consistent defensive lineman this spring by assistant coach Tracy Rocker.

In fact Rocker sought out Thornton during drills to provide a sage word of advice:

"Opportunity! Much is given, much is asked," Rocker told Thornton.

James DeLoach, who moved up to first-team defensive end this week, is still working there.

The rest of the first-team included the usual faces: Swann, outside linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd, and inside linebackers Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson.

A few other notes from the media viewing period of practice:

- Offensive lineman Watts Dantlzer continues to sit out with a concussion.

- Vince Dooley was in attendance. The legendary former coach and athletics director isn't a regular at practice, despite living in Athens. He was hanging out with the father of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

- Former Georgia defensive linemen Cornelius Washington (now with the Chicago Bears) and DeAngelo Tyson (Baltimore Ravens) were also at the practice.

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