Saturday, August 18, 2018

Press Conference

UGA Sports Communications

The Georgia football team practiced for two and a half hours in Sanford Stadium with its season opener arriving in two weeks.

This marked the second scrimmage of the fall camp and the 14th practice overall, including the sixth in six days. The Dawgs are off Sunday and will return to work on Monday.

“The guys have never gone this many practices in a row this camp because even when we started, we had a day off in between. Their last day off was last Sunday so they are tired,” said head coach Kirby Smart. “Our GPS monitors indicated that since there weren’t a lot of guys flying around. But I did like their grit, the fight. We did not play exceptionally well in some spots but I like the fight and the demeanor all the way through.”

The Dawgs are replacing seven starters on defense and one of those players gunning for one of those spots is sophomore Malik Herring, who has been rotating between the defensive line and the linebacker spot. Herring played in all 15 games and finished with seven tackles in 2017.

“Malik is cross training because we don’t know if we have enough mass,” Smart said. “Robert Beal has been out at outside linebacker so Malik gives us mass and he’s a good athlete. Malik has become a little better swingman than maybe Jonathan Ledbetter because Ledbetter has a little more anchor and can hold up inside better than Malik. Malik is a bright guy.”

Another underclassman vying for playing time on defense is redshirt freshman defensive back Eric Stokes. Stokes is battling to be the other starter at corner other than senior Deandre Baker.

“Stokes has gotten a lot better since last year,” said Smart. “I tell you what is unique about him. Everyone knows his speed and he was not very highly recruited. He’s a great case of someone we had in camp who was raw, fast but raw. I wasn’t sure if this kid was going to be able to develop. But Coach Tucker has done a helluva job developing him and to his own credit, he listens in the meetings, he takes notes in the meetings and he learns in the meetings. Eric carries over what he learns there onto the field and not all of our corners have done that.”

Smart also addressed that true freshman tailback Zamir White sustained a left knee injury during the scrimmage.

“Zamir was on punt coverage and it was a non-contact injury,” said Smart. “We don’t know anything yet and he is getting an MRI done.”

NOTE: MRI report indicated a torn ACL that will require surgery to repair, White will miss the remainder of the 2018 season.

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