‘Big guys’ impressive during Georgia’s full-pads practice

Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh has a laugh as the Bulldogs transition from one drill to the next during a spring practice at the Woodruff Practice Fields. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

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Georgia running back Kenny McIntosh has a laugh as the Bulldogs transition from one drill to the next during a spring practice at the Woodruff Practice Fields. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh/UGAAA

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart offered media about 20 minutes of observation time for Tuesday’s practice, the Bulldogs’ fourth of the spring session. The sidelines and open areas were crowded with visitors, many of them recruits and their families, but also former players and coaches.

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Georgia Sports Hall of Fame coach Ray Lamb, a high school legend, was among many observing the sled work of the defensive and offensive linemen. Lamb, 86, was accompanied by two grandsons, who wanted to come from Commerce to see the Bulldogs work out.

“These are the guys who win games for you,” Lamb said as Georgia’s Jalen Carter hoisted a blocking dummy in the air about 10 yards away. “It’s amazing how big and fast they are.”

Lamb knows a little about winning football. He won 249 games and two state titles at Commerce High and Warren County High. After retiring from coaching, Lamb spent a couple of decades as UGA’s director of high school relations before permanently retiring in 2011.

Two of Lamb’s sons, Hal Lamb and Bobby Lamb, also were successful coaches.

Looking around at the new football-operations building and the indoor practice facility, which were not built when Lamb was working for UGA, Lamb praised Smart for his vision and organizational skills to bring it all together.

“He told them what they needed up front and knew how to make it happen,” Lamb said.

Practice observations

Fran Brown was hired from Rutgers as Georgia’s new secondary coach, but there wasn’t any question who had the defensive backs’ attention Tuesday. That was Will Muschamp.

A longtime defensive coordinator and former SEC head coach, Muschamp was promoted to co-defensive coordinator along with inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann for the 2022 season. Brown was involved, too, but he definitely was acquiescing to Muschamp at every turn.

“It’s functioning really well,” senior safety Christopher Smith said of having two defensive coordinators and two position coaches. “Coach Muschamp and Coach ‘Schu’ both do a great job with the guys and teaching the defense and stuff like that. So, it’s functioning pretty well.”

Both coaches were emphasizing one overarching message: “Punch the ball out; punch the ball out!”

Georgia is having to break in four freshman DBs this year and is seeking three new starters in the back end of the defense that is having to replace eight starters from the national championship squad.

Also of note, the Bulldogs’ first-team offensive line was lining up in position drills as left tackle Broderick Jones, left guard Xavier Truss, center Sedrick Van Pran, right guard Warren Ericson and right tackle Warren McClendon. Second team, at least for the brief viewing period, appeared to be LT Earnest Greene, LG Micah Morris, C Austin Blaske, RG Devin Willock and RT Amarius Mims.

Etc. …

Norcross-based Associated Credit Union announced a new NIL deal with tight end Brock Bowers. The rising sophomore from Napa, Calif., will promote the bank’s services. … Georgia hasn’t released the jersey numbers of its 19 early-enrollee freshmen yet, but following were some assimilated from beat writers during the 20-minute observation period scattered across three football fields: No. 4 tight end Oscar Delp; No. 6 defensive back Daylen Everette; No. 11 linebacker Jalon Walker, No. 13 defensive end Mykel Williams, No. 14 quarterback Gunner Stockton, No. 18 wide receiver C.J. Smith, No. 20 defensive back JaCorey Thomas, No. 23 wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette, No. 24 athlete Malaki Starks, No. 27 linebacker C.J. Washington, No. 66 offensive lineman Aliou Bah, No. 71 offensive lineman Earnest Greene, No. 95 defensive tackle Shone Washington and No. 99 defensive lineman Bear Alexander. … There did not appear to be any new injury casualties. Some players were in black (non-contact) jerseys that are in various stages of recovery, including wide receiver Arian Smith (leg) and tight end Darnell Washington (left ankle).