Tuesday News and Notes
Left tackle talk
Redshirt freshman Broderick Jones already has the attention of teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer.
When asked about the redshirt freshman, one of Kirby Smart’s potential options at left tackle, Salyer was effusive in his praise.
“That kid—you talk about someone who protects better than anybody I’ve ever seen before; he’s one of those people who’s just got it,” Salyer said. “He’s got to work on some small things; he needs to stay in the weight room, keep grinding, and get the playbook down. But he’s got what it takes to be a great offensive lineman.”
It will be interesting to see what happens.
Smart has already made it clear that there will be competition for the job. Observers believe it to be primarily in the form of true freshman Amarius Mims, Jones, and junior Xavier Truss.
“God made some guys 6-foot-8 with 40-inch arms; I’m not one of them,” Salyer said. “But I can play. Don’t get me wrong. I can go out there and play with the best of them; and I did. It’s up to Coach.”
Salyer was also impressed with what he’s seen from Mims, although he acknowledged the true freshman still has much to learn.
“He comes from a good home, always smiling, always laughing. You can tell somebody taught him how to play the game the right way. He competes really hard. He’s got to learn how to practice, like all freshmen,” Salyer said. “He’s basically just through what would be his senior season in high school, so he’s still learning. But he’s got a great future. He’s one of those guys, 6-foot-8 coming out of the womb. He’s got it. He’s just got to build on it.”
Wherever Salyer plays, he’s expected to play a key role.
Last year, Salyer started Georgia’s first nine games at left tackle before giving way to Xavier Truss in the Peach Bowl, with the former five-star sliding over to left guard.
“Playing left tackle was actually pretty fun. I was kind of nervous going into the season, but being out there for a full season, I was very excited about it,” he said. “It was a really good experience. It changed the way I looked at football.”
Salyer certainly showed he could play the position effectively. According to Pro Football Focus, Salyer’s season grade of 81.2 was ranked the fifth highest of any returning lineman in the country.
Salyer claims he’s not picky. Wherever Smart and Luke want him to play is perfectly fine.
“I have no preference. I see myself as a Swiss Army knife,” Salyer said after Georgia’s first day of spring practice Tuesday. “I really don’t care. I’ll punt the ball; I just want the team to win. I just want to be the best teammate I can be.”
Every season you can count on players missing spring ball due to offseason surgery and recovery. This spring is no exception.
By our count, 10 Bulldogs fall into this category, including linebackers Nakobe Dean, MJ Sherman, and Trezman Marshall, each of whom is coming off shoulder surgery.
Cornerback Kelee Ringo also continues to recover from his labrum operation from last year, but it’s expected that coaches will treat him carefully this spring so he will be ready for the preseason.
Backup tight end Ryland Goede and freshman offensive lineman Micah Morris are also coming off shoulder injuries, while freshman linebacker Xavian Sorey had a procedure on his foot.
Graduate Julian Rochester will continue to be limited, after tearing his ACL last year against Kentucky. Wide receivers Dominick Blaylock (knee) and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint (ankle) are doing some straight-line running, but not expected to see any practice reps.
Salyer betting on Cleveland
Count Salyer as betting that former teammate Ben Cleveland will be able to break the NFL Combine record on the bench press with 50 reps during Georgia’s Pro Day Wednesday.
“I can give a pretty good analysis, because pound for pound, we’re probably the two strongest people on the team,” Salyer said. “I think he can do it, but 50, 49, those are high numbers right there. I’m excited to see him try.”
Cleveland will be one of 11 former Bulldogs who will take to the field Wednesday as part of Georgia’s Pro Day activities.
This year, however, there’s some significant change.
Although NFL personnel will be in Athens, the league has limited all teams to having no more than three assigned representatives from their front office, scouting departments, and coaching staff each day.
Georgia’s Pro Day will be televised on the SEC Network, beginning at 11 a.m.
Bulldogs scheduled to take part also include defensive backs Eric Stokes, DJ Daniel, Richard LeCounte, Mark Webb and Tyson Campbell; linebackers Azeez Ojulari and Monty Rice; offensive lineman Trey Hill; and tight end Tre McKitty.
Defensive end Malik Herring will also be in attendance, but he will not take part in drills, as he's recovering from an ACL tear that he suffered in workouts at the Senior Bowl.
• Jamaree Salyer on Clemson: “We’re not competing against Clemson; we’re competing against ourselves.”
• Jake Camarda on having Will Muschamp around: “It probably took me about a day to get used to it, but Coach Muschamp is awesome. We love having him here. I hadn’t really known Coach Muschamp much until he got here, but I’ve talked to him so many times since he’s been here. We’re really happy to have him.”
• Jake Camarda on the “buzzwords” for spring: "It's probably just that we are really working on our mindset and that kind of stuff right now. Just having the right mindset. Just getting to know each other and really just forming a family bond on this team. I'd probably just say something around there. We feel the teams that are super-close are able to make big runs. There is nothing more important than getting to enjoy being out on the field with your brothers and your coaches, and just getting to know each other. When you know everyone you are playing with, when you are really tight with the guys you are playing with, you'll play harder. We're just trying to continue to have that culture."
• Lewis Cine on the defense and needing to be leaders: “What’s the saying? ‘Defense wins championships, offense wins games.’ So, being strong is always important. We are just going to carry that on.”