I reported Monday from the first day of Georgia football practice about how I felt immediately at ease with Aaron Murray taking taking over the role of starting quarterback, despite never having thrown a pass in a college game. I also reported about the buzz in the locker room that the new 3-4 defense has created. The Bulldogs all seem ready to knock some heads on 'D'.
However, there were many more things worth reporting about: some noteworthy and some just plain trivial things only I would take the time to write about. That's why I saved it for the blog.
First, it seems very apparent that Georgia coach Mark Richt is liking the pieces he's got to work with in 2010. All through his initial media session, he presented a quiet confidence and smile that everything is going to be Ok. I don't think he's worried about the NCAA investigation into A.J. Greene either, but I could be wrong.
During practice, another important thing I noticed was how calm new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is with his unit. He's got a very hands-on approach with the guys as they try to figure out what assignments they're supposed to be on. Grantham isn't a screamer, like offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and lets his defensive backs coach and linebackers coach also have a hand in instruction.
Player interviews also give a good bit of insight into the heart of the team. Nose tackle DeAngelo Tyson, defensive end DeMarcus Dobbs, and outside linebackers Darryl Gamble and Justin Houston are all doing cartwheels with excitement about the new 3-4 defense, and possibilities for making big plays and creating more turnovers than in 2009.
Dobbs is certainly going to be the most outgoing personality out of the locker room this season at Georgia. He made mention of how bad he wanted to beat Florida this season, when baited with the question, and how much he'd like to play against 'Superman' (Tim Tebow) again. Dobbs always has a big smile on his face and doesn't make the media feel like they're wasting his time. Actually, it seems like he gets a kick out of getting interviewed by a bunch of mostly unathletic writers. Very similar to defensive tackle Jeff Owens the past few seasons.
One pint-sized reporter was even brave enough to Houston, how does it feel to get thumped by Florida every year? I took three steps back when he did that.
Right after that, senior offensive guard Clint Boling walked in the locker room with his big curly blonde hair bouncing on his head. Most of what people were asking this year's offensive line representative to the media (Searels designates one of his guys to talk to the media for the entire season) about Murray and his mock-draft status, but all I could think was how much he looks like a throwback to 1977.
I also found junior tight end Aron White very intriguing. He's not afraid to get off the script and talk about subjects not related to football. I caught the tail end of a conversation between White and DawgPost writer Fletcher Page about his love of dogs and owning a pit bull. I also carried on an extended conversation with White about Murray and how in command the redshirt freshman is of the offense. That made this Georgia graduate feel even more at ease about having such a wet-behind-the-ears athlete in command of the huddle.
Lastly, I was mesmerized by Brandon Boykin's biceps. The kid looks like Ed Reed with a 32-inch waist. I could workout every day for the next 10 years and never come close to Boykin, a junior cornerback.
C'mon Bill. Tell us this morning's story out of Alabamastan (Univ of Tuscaloosa) about Blake Sims being in academic trouble. What's going on with that? Hope it's not like DeKalb County, where the principal has the English teacher change the grade and then the Principal orders the registrar to enter said change. Happens all the time! College football rules! What a joke!
I make it a habit not to blog about University of Alabama sports. If Blake Sims gets into school and plays with the Crimson Tide, I wish him the best.