Bulldogs LB Nakobe Dean ‘banged up’ but ‘should be fine’

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Video: Georgia coach Kirby Smart speaks after Saturday's scrimmage. Video by. Chip Towers.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart confirmed that heralded freshman linebacker is among a growing group of players “banged up” as the Bulldogs enter a third and final week of preseason camp.

"He wasn't able to scrimmage today,” Smart said of Dean, ranked the No. 1 high school linebacker in America last year, “but he's going to be fine, we think. He got out there and moved around some, did some stuff.”

Smart didn’t specify Dean’s injury. The speedy 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker is competing for playing time along with starters Tae Crowder and Monty Rice and at least five other inside linebackers.

The Bulldogs have been conducting extremely competitive practices in intense heat almost every day since camp opened Aug. 2. On Saturday, they held their second controlled scrimmage of the preseason. Camp will conclude Wednesday, at which time the concentration will turn to preparation for the season opener at Vanderbilt (Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.).

In the meantime, the heat and contact is starting to take its toll.

“We’ve got some guys beat up,” Smart said. “A couple of guys who couldn't go . … But, knock on wood, no major, major injuries.”

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The team will get the day off Sunday and resume with a light practice Monday as Smart attempts to “get everybody’s legs back.”

“We've got to get recovery. We've got to get fluids,” Smart said. “You could see it today. The GPS says it. A guy that was running 19 (miles per hour) is running 17. A guy that was running 21 is running 18, 19. They're hurting a little bit. But part of that is mental toughness and the grit. They've been able to handle that."

Smart said defensive linemen David Marshall (foot) and Julian Rochester (knee) have been missing all or parts of practices is part of an incremental rehab plan.

“Julian and David are both older players, fourth-year players, who are not 100 percent,” Smart said. “So we're trying to control their volume of reps, also giving the other guys reps. But they've practiced each day.”

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