“Both of those guys are able to run straight-line and are beginning to increase their workload,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said two weeks ago. “They have to work separate. But they are increasing speeds and they’re right on schedule for where they need to be.”
Also recovering from a knee injury is defensive tackle Julian Rochester, who is attempting to make a return for a sixth season. He obviously won’t practice this spring.
Shoulder injuries make up the longest list of ailments on Ron Courson’s rehab list. Inside linebacker, perhaps not surprisingly, was hit particularly hard. Junior Nakobe Dean and redshirt sophomore Trezman Marshall are both recovering from offseason labrum procedures. But also recovering from shoulder surgeries are redshirt sophomore tight end Ryland Goede, redshirt freshman cornerback Kelee Ringo and true freshman offensive lineman Micah Morris.
Also affecting depth at linebacker is the anticipated absence of heralded signee Xavian Sorey. The 5-star prospect out of Florida’s IMG Academy had foot surgery in late January and is not expected to get much team work.
Always important to development, Smart figured this year’s spring practice is even moreso. His sixth Georgia team is a particularly young one, including a record number of early-enrolling freshmen -- 16. Numerous other players have never had the benefit of spring work. Lest we forget, juniors like star wideout George Pickens that didn’t enter school as early enrollees have never been through a spring football practice.
“We had a team run recently and I asked everybody who hadn’t been through a spring practice at Georgia to stand up,” Smart said. “I’ll venture to say that it was 65 to 75 percent of the team. That’s a scary thing. You say, ‘what does that matter?’ Well, it just shows you the youth you have and the lack of practices and experience your team has. I mean, 16 mid-years, a lot of new walkons, nobody that was here last year that has gone through that. It kind of combines to make you say, ‘wow, we’ve got a really young group.’”