The University of Georgia held its first football practice of the fall season Friday.
The media was allotted 45 minutes to watch the practice. Here are the observations made by the Red & Black.
- The team came out for practice Friday in just shells. As a result of the non-fully padded practice, there wasn’t much of a showcase of physicality, but there was a showcase of mobility. Junior tailback Keith Marshall was fully participatory in all of the team’s drills, often taking the first repetition in tailback-specific drills over fellow junior Todd Gurley. However, Marshall was wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired knee. Also recovering from an injury, junior tight end Jay Rome participated in all tight end drills and was working predominantly with the first team.
- Not on the field for Friday’s practice was one of the team’s top receiving targets. After having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday, junior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was obviously not on the field.
- Both the offensive and defensive lines used multiple different sets in searching for starting units. The most frequently used combination of starting offensive linemen included senior Mark Beard at left tackle, senior Kolton Houston at left guard, senior David Andrews at center, sophomore Greg Pyke at right guard and junior John Theus at right tackle. On the defensive line, individual drills were often led by the unit of junior James DeLoach, senior Mike Thornton and junior Sterling Bailey.
- Of the 20 players who committed to Georgia in the class of 2014, 19 of them had their first practices as Bulldogs Friday, with freshman quarterback Jacob Park being the lone exception. The players practiced to varying degrees of success, most of them having to work through their lack of experience. Freshmen tailbacks Sony Michel and Nick Chubb consistently lined up last in the line of tailbacks, with Michel being told by running backs coach Bryan McClendon that he needs to work on his pad level.
- Freshman defensive back Malkom Parrish also had some trouble in his first practice, making mistakes on back-to-back plays. First, Parrish attacked toward a runner on an outside sweep play and was knocked to the ground by blocking wide receiver Michael Bennett. On the next down trying to redeem himself, Parrish fell for a double move executed by senior wide receiver Jonathon Rumph and was called for pass interference.
- Of all of the freshmen working with the offensive line, Isaiah Wynn was the most notable, as the natural guard was seen working as a center some as well. Both offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and Andrews hinted at the possibility of this earlier in the week, but nevertheless the freshman was seen struggling occasionally in placing his shotgun snaps.
- Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was just as active as he was during the spring, quickly alternating between teaching and correcting. Freshman safety Dominick Sanders was seen as the brunt of his criticisms and the subject of his teaching in multiple drills.
Correction: Junior wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley was on the field for Friday's practice.