“Talking season is over. It’s time to do more.”
Georgia’s football hosted media day on Friday as the team begins fall camp. Head coach Kirby Smart and a few players addressed the media about various topics, and how the Bulldogs aim to do more in 2019.
Fall camp is a time when the team gets together and begins preparations for the upcoming season. The coaches have the players all stay at one place on campus, and then the work begins.
“Training camp is a grind, and I think it’s important that it is that way,” Smart said. “You create adversity in camp. We practice almost every day with the exception of we have to give them a day off per week. But it’s a grind, and you go to the point of getting exhausted. You go from running 2,000, 3,000 yards a workout in the summer to possibly running 5,000, 6,000 in a practice.”
Starting quarterback Jake Fromm said that camp is all about coming together as a team.
“(Camp)is about being mentally and physically tough,” Fromm said. “That’s what we want to be. We want to be a tough, physical, disciplined football team. That is when you figure out your identity of the football team. That is what we are trying to figure out.”
The junior is heading into his third fall camp, second as the starting quarterback and Smart said he’s glad Georgia’s got him. He is one of the most significant leaders, and it shows.
“I mean, Jake’s a good football player. He’s smart and does a lot of good things from a leadership standpoint,” Smart said. “He has tremendous energy in meetings, and his enthusiasm rubs off on people, his confidence does. It’s comforting to know you’ve got a guy that has that much experience and that’s a luxury because you don’t always get that in this league.”
Last season as a sophomore, Fromm threw for 2,749 yards, 30 touchdowns, and just six interceptions.
Fromm said that he’s a lot more comfortable heading into his third camp.
“There is a smoother transition going into things of what to expect, what not to expect, how practice is going to be ran, and the offense. There is a lot of things to be comfortable with and a lot of things that I have to push myself to do great and be a leader in. There are new things for me, and we are excited for it and ready to practice.”
Leadership is something that Smart has preached since he took the job, and expects it of his players and his staff.
“I’m certainly pleased with where they are right now, and we have a lot of guys that care about this team and care about this university,” Smart said. “It’s important to them that they have a successful season.
“They still have to confront and demand excellence of anybody, but I would never take my attention away from one thing to another, especially in support of leadership. That’s the ethos, all the stuff that goes into our team is way more important than what defense we call what offense we call. It doesn’t matter when it comes to that.”
During Smart’s press conference he updated the media on some players injuries. One of the important updates was about running back, Zamir White.
“Zamir is clear, so again, we’ll do everything like normal,” Smart said to the media. “He’ll be thudded, just like every other back will be thudded and we’ll progress from there. We won’t practice live until the first scrimmage.”
Smart also gave an update about freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis, who had brain surgery earlier this year.
“D’Wan is not fully cleared, but D’Wan is able to do passing drills, individual drills,” Smart said. “Things where we know that he can be safe and not take a hit and not risk injury. So still don’t know when he’s going to be fully cleared but I’m excited to see him go out and work.”
This camp is Smart’s fourth as a head coach and talked about what he’s learned the most.
“Don’t sweat the little things. At the end of the day, there are a lot of big things going on,” Smart said. “There are a lot more important than the little things and don’t sweat them, and whatever it is, keep moving because it will pass.
“There’s a lot of details I still really focus on because I like to and I think it’s important every inch of practice. We only get a limited amount of time on that grass, so every inch of that is really important. Outside of that, making sure that your coaches have the freedom to coach and your coaches have their personality impacting their position groups.”
The Bulldog’s starting running back D’Andre Swift was one of the guys that met with the media on Friday. He talked about the team’s identity and that the 2019 season for Georgia has no limit.
“We’ve got to be physical, first, and foremost. There are a lot of guys that can do great things with the ball in their hands, and we’ve got one of the best offenses in the nation. We want to be balanced. We want to run the ball and catch the ball. We want to do as much as we can do so we can be good on both sides. Honestly, the sky is the limit for us. We’ll be as good as we want to be.”
Georgia travels to Vanderbilt for the opening game of the season on Aug. 31 with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network.