Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Post Practice Interviews

UGA Sports Communications

The Dawgs practiced in full pads for just over two hours on Tuesday afternoon under idyllic conditions in Athens. The workout was the team’s 10th of 15 sessions during Spring practices, which will culminate with the traditional intrasquad G-Day game a week from Saturday.

Post-practice interviews included a pair of juniors, tight end Isaac Nauta and defensive back J.R. Reed.

Nauta started nine of 15 games a year ago and is adjusting to his new position coach, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney. After working with quarterbacks during his first two seasons at Georgia, Chaney has shifted to tight ends this spring, a position he also coached with the St. Louis Rams.

“He’s definitely put a big emphasis on blocking and route running,” Nauta said. “He coached tight ends in the league so he’s got a lot of different techniques that have already really helped us. It’s been kind of eye opening for me, really. It’s been good. I feel like I’ve grown as a blocker in just the couple of weeks that he’s been coaching us. It’s good for us to learn that stuff and to learn it from a coach who’s been at the highest level and taught it there. It’s been positive. It hasn’t been easy. He’s been pushing us. We’ve had a lot of reps, but it’s only going to benefit us in the long run.”

Reed was fighting for a spot last spring and went on to become a second-team All-SEC performer last season after finishing second on the team with 79 tackles.

“I’m approaching this spring more as a leadership role because we have a lot of guys who are in the position I was in last year,” Reed said. “Mainly, I’m trying to lead the younger guys because there is a lot of competition in the secondary. How I take it is trying to be a captain and be a leader and help the young guys learn the playbook and learn what they have to do on the field.”

The Dawgs’ G-Day game at Sanford Stadium is slated for April 21 at 4 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN. Prior to the G-Day matchup, lettermen from the program's past will square off in a flag football game beginning at 1:15 p.m. At halftime of G-Day, the Dawgs’ incoming class of 2018 signees will be introduced to fans.

Admission to G-Day is free. With expected high demand and temporarily reduced seating due to the construction on the new West End Zone complex, the UGA Athletic Association will be implementing a pass system. Upon entrance, each fan will receive a commemorative pass with a seating section. The UGAAA asks that each fan sits in this section to help manage what is expected to be a near-capacity crowd. Gates 2-9 will be open as usual. However, Gate 10 (gate under the bridge next to the Tate Center) will be closed due to construction. To help reduce congestion and further improve ingress flow, please enter on the side of the stadium where each fan's preferred seating location would be. Additional pass/entry questions can be directed to facilitysupport@sports.uga.edu.

The Dawgs will begin their 2018 campaign with a home match-up against Austin Peay on Saturday, Sept. 1. Georgia will travel to Columbia, S.C., to open its Southeastern Conference schedule against South Carolina on Sept. 8.

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