In an unusual move, Georgia opened an hour of its practice Tuesday to the students and media. the headline was the personnel in the secondary, but here are some other observations:
- Quayvon Hicks was getting a lot of reps, especially at tight end. He also got some fullback and H-back looks, but it was interesting that he was lining up at the traditional tight end spot much of the time with the first team. He caught a touchdown pass from Mason out of that formation at one point.
Jay Rome, the presumed starter, has slowly worked his surgically-repaired toe back into health. His limitations have opened the door for Hicks and others.
“Quayvon Hicks had a heck of a camp,” head coach Mark Richt said. “(Jeb) Blazevich made some strides. Jordan (Davis) made strides. So Jay’s in there battling for playing time.”
- The inside linebackers were mixing up reps: Sophomore Tim Kimbrough in particular was getting a lot of first-team reps. Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera still got most of the first-team reps, but the staff appeared to be getting Kimbrough and Reggie Carter ready for game action.
“Even those spots aren’t 100 percent settled on who’s gonna start,”Richt said. “There’s a lot of moving parts.”
- Linebacker Leonard Floyd was in a green non-contact jersey, sitting out many drills, with an undisclosed injury. Freshman Lorenzo Carter was getting first-team reps in place of Floyd. But Floyd was with the first team during a 7-on-7 drill with the first team.
Richt said Floyd “will be fine.” But he added: “Either way Lorenzo is going to play. Lorenzo has had a really good camp.”
- The first-team offensive line was as follows: John Theus at left tackle, Brandon Kublanow at left guard, David Andrews at center, Greg Pyke at right guard and Kolton Houston at right tackle.
The second-team line: Mark Beard at left tackle, Isaiah Wynn at left guard, Glenn Welch at center, Dyshon Sims at right guard, Watts Dantzler at right tackle.
But Richt indicated after the practice that the line is still a bit unsettled, with Wednesday’s scrimmage potentially critical in deciding that.
- Senior defensive end Ray Drew is on scout team. Redshirt freshman John Atkins, on the other hand, was getting a lot of reps, and late in practice picked off a pass.
- Freshman Isaiah McKenzie was practicing. He got offensive reps. More intriguingly, however, he and Reggie Davis were getting the reps at punt return. Davis was first, then McKenzie.
McKenzie was also on kick return, and had a nice run-back. Rico Johnson and Sony Michel were also on kickoff return.
For what it’s worth, Marshall Morgan was booting kickoffs into the back of the end zone.
- There wasn’t much clarity to be inferred on the No. 2 quarterback front: Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta seemed to get an equal amount of reps. They both had some good throws and some misses.
- The receivers were as you’d expect: Michael Bennett and Chris Conley. The third receiver spot still seems up for grabs, and while Reggie Davis continues to get a heavy look, Blake Tibbs and Kenneth Towns are among those getting a long look as well. Justin Scott-Wesley is still in a green jersey, participating in some drills.
But in general the skill-position players were rotating a lot, so there wasn’t a definite first or second team. That’s how it will be during games, especially at receiver. But you also had Hutson Mason working with Keith Marshall and Sony Michel a lot.
- It’s only practice, but Hutson Mason’s footwork looks improved. He had a bit of happy feet during his two starts last year, but during Tuesday’s practice he did a good job of being firm in the pocket, keeping his feet to the ground as the pocket came at him, then firing off a good pass.
- During team drills Faton Bauta laid out a beautiful deep pass to Blake Tibbs for what would have been a touchdown, but the receiver couldn’t haul it in. Tibbs later made up for it with a nice catch-and-juke off a short pass.
There were a lot of dropped passes during team drills, in fact, mostly from the reserves. Jordan Davis, the No. 2 tight end, dropped an easy one in the flat. Blazevich, on the other hand, hauled in a deep pass downfield.
The best completed pass of the hour came from Mason to Bennett, on an out pattern to the sideline. Mason put nice touch on it and Bennett hauled it in before taking a couple steps in bounds.