SDS will be taking a tour around the conference and looking at each team’s progress – or lack thereof – made during spring camp. Next up, Georgia.
Here’s what we learned during Georgia’s spring practice:
Efficiency: That was what Hutson Mason was this spring – efficient. Mason didn’t throw an interception the entire spring practice, and he looked calm and in control during the spring game. I keep going back to Mason’s experience when Aaron Murray was injured. Mason was a part of a rivalry game win and a bowl loss, and that experience is so invaluable this season. You want him struggling in the bowl game loss to Nebraska, not against Clemson and South Carolina to start the season. Mason will be fine, and he just needs to be efficient; he was this spring.
A work in progress: Aside from losing Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs lost three starters along the offensive line, including left tackle Kenarious Gates. But this spring doesn’t leave anyone in despair about the current state of the unit. John Theus is playing well, and he looks noticeably different, bigger and much more athletic. Greg Pyke also played well at right guard. David Andrews is the steady leader at center. Kolton Houston played guard and tackle this spring, but he’s projected as the starter at right tackle. That leaves Mark Beard, Zach DeBell and Brandon Kublanow to battle for the left guard vacancy. It’s not a massive concern, but of all the positions, this is the one unit that’s the most intriguing entering the season.
Keep it simple, stupid: That wasn’t Todd Grantham’s motto, but Jeremy Pruitt has made the defense simple for the Bulldogs’ players. They raved all spring about how simple Pruitt made calls. Pruitt’s motto seems to be ‘be great at fewer schemes’, while his predecessor confused the players with terminology. And it showed. Prutt’s simple approach should pay dividends. We may not see it immediately, but let’s let the players get a few games under their belts.
Secondary still a work in progress: A Josh Harvey-Clemons-less secondary will continue to be a concern for Mark Richt and Pruitt. Tray Matthews didn’t play in the spring game due to continual nagging hamstring injuries. Damian Swann is locked in at one corner spot, and Matthews should start at safety. Former running back JJ Green could be an asset at corner, and Corey Moore is a favorite to start at safety. Corner Shaq Wiggins and corner/safety Brendan Langley are two to watch. The players are there. Better communication and coaches will help solidify one of the SEC’s most head-scratching units.
Let’s break down the biggest takeaways of every spring practice:
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Arkansas Razorbacks
- Auburn Tigers
- Florida Gators
- Georgia Bulldogs
- Kentucky Wildcats
- LSU Tigers
- Mississippi State
- Missouri Tigers
- Ole Miss Rebels
- South Carolina Gamecocks
- Tennessee Volunteers
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Vanderbilt Commodores
Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports