UGASports - Lovasea Carroll switches positions for now
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Lovasea Carroll switches positions for now

To open spring practice, Lovasea Carroll is taking reps at cornerback.

The four-star prospect originally from Lincolnton was recruited to Georgia to play running back. Perhaps down the road, that will still be the position he plays. But with a deep running back stable and a need to improve the numbers at cornerback, head coach Kirby Smart said the coaching staff decided to give Carroll a look in the defensive backfield two practices into spring ball.

“It’s experimental,” Smart said. “We recruited him as a running back; we’re really deep at the running back position. He’s probably going to be a factor on our team on special teams. We think he’s really fast; he’s embraced the position. He’s made some good plays; he’s made some bad plays.

"He’s not played this position, so to put him out there and put him on some experienced wideouts and guys who have played a lot of football, it’s probably not fair to him. But that’s how you grow, and that’s how you get better.”

For those who listen to the UGASports Live podcast, this was a topic brought up by former UGA coach Jim Donnan back in late February. Donnan predicted Carroll could get a look at cornerback, based on his speed alone. He cited Smart moving Mark Webb, recruited to be a receiver, to defensive back during his freshman year in 2017 before the Notre Dame game as a precedent.

The Bulldogs are depleted at cornerback after losing their top three to the NFL draft in Eric Stokes, Tyson Campbell, and DJ Daniel.

And speed at the position is something the Bulldogs have grown accustomed to, considering Stokes ran an unofficial 4.25-second 40-yard dash at Georgia’s pro day on Wednesday. Campbell said his times in the 40-yard dash were under 4.4 seconds.

Smart actually stated a sound case for a player like Carroll to switch from running back to cornerback, especially if he has an eye on having longevity in the NFL.

“I’ve been around a lot of good running backs,” Smart said. “I’ve been around a lot of good running backs I’ve signed at other places that came to me and said, ‘Man, I wish I had played corner, based on what these guys are getting paid in the NFL. The shelf life of a corner is much longer than the shelf life of a back, and there’s a lot more corners active in the NFL than backs.”