ATHENS - Brendan Langley has become an early beneficiary of Jeremy Pruitt's clean slate.
It’s only spring practice, and very early so far. But Langley is working with the first-team at cornerback, which is notable.
Despite being a freshman Langley began last season as the starter, supplanting then-sophomore Sheldon Dawson. But Langley had a rough go of it, especially against South Carolina, when he was targeted early and often.
Langley soon lost his starting spot and was buried on the depth chart, not playing at all in four games. He finished the season with just 12 tackles and two pass break-ups.
But Pruitt, the new defensive coordinator and secondary coach, came in by saying that everyone started with a clean slate, and Langley appears to be one of the players who took advantage.
“I think he's like the rest of them, trying to learn what Coach Pruitt wants. I think he's like the rest of them in trying to survive him sometimes. I mean, he’s getting after all of them pretty good and teaching them all. I couldn’t sit here and separate him from the rest of the group in that they’re all really trying hard to figure out exactly what he wants, how he wants it down and try to get it done that way. There’s a sense of urgency with all those guys back there.”
The rest of the first-team secondary – again, at this early juncture – are the ones who finished last year as the starters: cornerback Damian Swann and safeties Corey Moore and Quincy Mauger.
“But it really doesn’t matter who’s on first team, it’s just putting guys where they can play right now, just seeing who can ball out,” said J.J. Green, who was shifted to cornerback from tailback this spring. “
Just a business
Tracy Rocker’s hiring at Georgia has been yet another reminder that coaching is a business: Prior to his NFL stint the past three years, Rocker was the defensive line coach at Auburn, where he recruited future Georgia players, such as Mike Thornton.
Now entering his fifth year at Georgia, Thornton is being coached by the coach who tried to recruit him to Auburn (Rocker) while the coach who did get him to Georgia (Rodney Garner) is now at Auburn.
“It’s kind of crazy how it worked out,” Thornton said, with a laugh. “It’s kind of crazy, but it’s been a learning experience, to get three different coaches, three different ways to play.”
Another Pruitt change
Traditionally the two safety spots are designated as free and strong. But so far Pruitt is going with much simpler names: left and right.
“There’s no specific spot,” Mauger said. “I just learn everything I can to be more valuable to the team. That’s what I’m doing, really, learning everything.”
Scrimmage coming Saturday
The Bulldogs are planning their first spring scrimmage for this Saturday, at Sanford Stadium. It's possible the weather could interfere, with the forecast calling for possible rain.
The NCAA allows teams to have three scrimmages during the spring, which the spring game counting as one of them.