Early enrollee Rankin makes a gritty first impression

semerson@macon.comDecember 22, 2012 

ATHENS - Ryne Rankin joined the Georgia football program a few days ago, and by all accounts is making a positive impression so far.

Rankin can't speak to the media yet, per Georgia's rules, so instead we go to Jordan Jenkins, a freshman linebacker, for his impression.

What sticks out to Jenkins is Rankin's tenacity.

"He's definitely a fighter," Jenkins said. "I remember the first day (Rankin practiced), he got blown up by Hunter Long and Watts (Dantzler). But he's coming along pretty well. Every time you see his face it's all bloody, because I guess the two scars he's got, every day his face is bloody at the end."

If you suspect that the Georgia veterans are giving Rankin a "welcome-to-college" treatment, then you would be correct. But Jenkins said Rankin has handled it well.

"You can catch it a little bit when you first get in. He's making the most of it. He's taking it in, and whatever he's on, scout team, punt team, special teams, he comes in and runs down full-speed. Everybody likes to watch him to see what he's gonna do, to see if he's gonna get blown up or not."

And Rankin already made one play that stuck out to Jenkins: During a scrimmage, Rankin and fellow inside linebacker was Brandon Burrows teamed to make a big stop on Quayvon Hicks.

"He definitely looks like a player," Jenkins said of Rankin. "That little neck roll he's got, and that neck brace and all that, he definitely looks like he can make some plays. Add a little weight, keep his size, I definitely think he can make some plays next year."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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