It’s not often that Kirby Smart comes in from Woodruff Practice Fields oozing optimism, but Georgia’s coach was on Tuesday.
"I thought the guys had really good juice today,” Smart said after the Bulldogs completed a two-hour practice. “It was cooler outside. I thought we were going to get some rain, but it didn’t end up happening. They had extra pep in their step. I thought they were really good. They were good yesterday, too.”
There’s a lot for the No. 3 Bulldogs to feel good about. They’re off to a 5-0 start for a third consecutive season for the first time in history, and they’re starting to get some injured players back.
Starting cornerback Tyson Campbell, out since Week 3 with a foot injury, is finally running at close to full speed. And starting nose guard Jordan Davis, sidelined by an ankle injury on Tennessee’s first play from scrimmage last Saturday, has rebounded even faster than expected.
“Tyson’s running really well. He had some really good numbers on GPS today,” Smart said. “As the practice went on, he got better and better. I don’t know. He still has not had contact and the pressure you need from getting some contact.”
Davis didn’t practice but was continuing to rehab in the training room.
“We think Jordan’s going to be fine,” Smart said. “He was able to run and move around and do some things, and he continues to improve. If he continues at the rate he’s at, he’ll be fine. He’s ahead of where ‘Solly’ (Solomon Kindley) and Isaiah (Wilson) were in each of their weeks when they were cleared to play.”
Similar ankle injuries forced Wilson to miss two games before returning against Notre Dame and Kindley sat out versus Tennessee last Saturday after getting hurt against the Fighting Irish.
It wasn’t all good news. Five-star freshman defensive lineman Travon Walker was not spotted at practice Tuesday. Smart’s explanation was murky.
“He was getting something worked on, I think, during (individual work) or something,” Smart said. “I'm not sure."
Regardless, the Bulldogs were looking sharp during their full-contact workout.
“The cooler weather I think helps things go faster and they’re excited about this game,” Smart said of Saturday’s noon matchup (ESPN). “We had a pretty good practice. We’ve still got a lot of things to work on this week, got a lot of game plan stuff to put in tomorrow, but guys are in good spirits, and that’s good.”
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