Georgia had one last day of practice in full pads before strapping on the pads against Clemson, and the workout at the Woodruff Practice Fields didn’t go quite as well as coach Mark Richt had hoped.
On a hot and humid day in Athens, the No. 5 Bulldogs were anxious to get the heavy lifting over with before tangling with the No. 8 Tigers in Saturday’s season opener.
“We started off the day with a lot of energy, but as it went on, the enthusiasm and the energy waned, which is not good when you’ve got to play 60 minutes and beyond,” Richt said. “It was a little warmer than it’s been, but we’ve got to continue to push through that.
“Overall, everyone was trying to do what they are supposed to do and the way they’re supposed to do it.”
The Dawgs will work out in shells today and then have “dress rehearsals” Wednesday and Thursday, with the players doing light workouts in helmets and shorts.
“The clock is ticking,” Richt said.
The biggest news to come out of Monday’s session was the release of the depth chart.
Georgia has eight freshmen dotting the two-deep defensive roster. The secondary, which is one of the key rebuilding areas, will feature two frosh in safety Tray Matthews and cornerback Brendan Langley.
Veteran corner Damian Swann, a junior, and senior free safety Connor Norman will complete the four DB set.
Swann led the Bulldogs with a team-high four interceptions in 2012 to go with 53 tackles and two sacks.
When the Bulldogs use five defensive backs, sophomore Sheldon Dawson will be the first player in.
Matthews has been hampered by shoulder and hamstring injuries throughout much of the preseason, but Richt says he’s ready to go for Saturday.
“He practiced, so that was good,” Richt said. “It was hard to gauge since it was mostly scout team work and the tempo wasn’t blazing, but he got into some competitive drills and looked fine. When a guy is coming off a hamstring, it’s a couple of days before you feel like he’s over the hump. Hopefully he’ll have no more setbacks.
“He’s been at meetings and he’s been observing practice, but if you don’t do it, it’s tough. Hopefully he’s doing all he can possibly do to get ready.”
Langley has been a force throughout camp, and Richt continued to shower praise on the first year defender.
“He’s a guy with ability and a guy who can learn,” Richt said. “He’s dependable and he’s focused enough to come in as a freshman and play like a veteran. He’s done a good job of learning what to do and gaining the trust of the coaches.”
There are no real surprises anywhere else on the roster, although Marshall Morgan remains listed as the starting kicker.
Richt has said he will not comment on Morgan’s situation until game day. However, there is speculation he will be suspended due to a boating under the influence arrest in the offseason.