J.J. Green, who has been one of the early standouts of Georgia’s spring practice, was working at safety with the No. 1 defense on Thursday. He had been filling a starting role as the Star, or nickleback, previously.
But Green and his coaches said not to read too much into it. It’s just a part of the continuous game of musical chairs that is spring football.
“It’s not permanent,” said Green, who moved to defense after starting two games at tailback last season. “Coach wants everybody to learn a different position just to be able to throw somebody out there because of injuries. … It’s just another day. I don’t want you guys to jump to conclusions.”
The Bulldogs held their ninth practice of 15 this spring on Thursday and Green has already solidified his place in the rotation of players that will be seeing action against Clemson on Aug. 30. But until this week, Green’s work had been in a specialized role as a fifth defensive back.
Even though Georgia will probably be in a nickel alignment better than 80 percent of the time against most teams, Green didn’t have a role in the Bulldogs’ base defense. That’s why they were giving him a look at safety this week.
“He hadn’t been taking any reps in regular, so we wanted to find him a home in regular,” defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “We gave him some reps today at safety. He’s work some corner, some star, he’s worked some safety. He’s played three different positions and we’re just trying to find a home for him.”
Green is not the only one. Cornerback Brendan Langley has been working with the safeties this week. Junior Kennar Johnson has also moved between the two positions.
“We’re still searching all the guys,” Pruitt said. “There’s some guys you see at corner, some guys you see at safety. We’re just trying to work it all out.”
One defensive back who hasn’t been moving around has been Tramel Terry. The redshirt freshman from Goose Creek, S.C., came to Georgia as a wide receiver but was unable to play last year due to an ACL injury suffered in a high school all-star game. But his transition from offense to defense hasn’t been as smooth as Green’s.
“It’s more new to me as far as the concepts of what we’re trying to do out there,” Terry said Thursday. “Each day it’s getting better and better. I’m just trying to get all the little terms and get them out on the field instead of thinking so much. Other than that I’m fine. I’ve just got to work hard in the summer time and get my feet right. I feel like I’ll be fine and be ready to play this year.”
The same type of depth chart shuffle is taking place at other positions as well. Defensive tackle Ray Drew has played everything from first to third team this spring.
“We’re trying to give everybody an opportunity,” Pruitt said. “The guys that perform the day before are the guys that get to go with the 1s the next day. We have no starters. We have no depth chart. All we’re going off of is what kind of production you had the day before.”
NOTES: Pruitt didn’t have a lot to say Thursday about Paris Bostick’s decision to seek a transfer. “I didn’t talk to him; Coach Richt did,” Pruitt said. “Obviously he was concerned about playing time. Paris didn’t do anything but work hard while he was here, went to class, did everything we asked of him. He just wanted to find a different place.” Asked a follow-up question about it, Pruitt replied, “I’d personally rather talk about the guys that are on our team. He’s no longer on our team.” … Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo expressed concerns about the overall performance of the offense this spring. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but way too may downs this spring, in my opinion,” Bobo said after Thursday’s practice. “We’ve got to get better. We’re not executing at a high enough standard to win or beat anybody.” He did laud tailback Todd Gurley for his practice efforts this spring and in particular for a long TD run at the end of practice. … Offensive tackle Watts Dantzler (concussion) and tight end Jordan Davis (knee sprain) remain sidelined with injuries. Guard Brandon Kublanow (elbow) returned to practice.
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