ATHENS, Ga. — When he first heard the news that Scott Lakatos had been hired as Georgia’s new secondary coach, cornerback Brandon Boykin did a quick image search on the Internet, just to find out what his new coach looked like. Beyond that, however, Lakatos remains a mystery.
The same is true of new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who, like Lakatos, has yet to meet any of his new players, despite extensive anticipation on the part of the current crop of Bulldogs.
“The anticipation comes and goes, but I’m ready for the coaches to be here, and ready for everybody to settle down and get rolling,” defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said. “I’m ready to know what position I’m going to be in, what position I need to play, so I can try to be the best at that and learn as much as I can.”
With a brand new set of coaches and a brand new defensive scheme, the 2010 season could look different from the 2009 version of the Georgia defense,.
Georgia has a team meeting scheduled for Friday, which is likely to be the first time most of the players meet their new coaches. With recruiting season coming to an end and Georgia’s staff playing catch up, time has been limited, and Grantham just wrapped up his NFL season with the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.
So while it will be a busy few weeks before offseason conditioning shifts into high gear in February, the excitement and the jitters are evident, sophomore defensive tackle Abry Jones said.
“It’s a little bit excitement and nerves,” Jones said. “It’s exciting that we finally got a new coach and a new scheme, but we’re also nervous because we’ve never run it before.”
On the move?
Grantham brings a new scheme on defense, and many Bulldogs still are unclear about where they will fit into the 3-4 defense.
One player who is a bit more excited than concerned, however, is Jones, who thinks the change in scheme could mean a position move.
“I could play defensive end because I played it in high school,” Jones said. “It wouldn’t be much of a jump.”
Jones said he hasn’t heard any indication of how the depth chart will shake out in Grantham’s new 3-4 look, but defensive end would be his preference.
Either way, Jones said his role will change a bit in 2010 with an increased responsibility in stopping the run with three down linemen.
“I played in high school in a three down linemen type of scheme but never in a real 3-4,” Jones said. “Seeing that I came in as a freshman and had to learn one new defense, the only bear would be learning a whole other defense. ”
After two arrests and an indefinite suspension in December, the future looked bleak for rising sophomore defensive end Montez Robinson. But Georgia announced last week that Robinson had been reinstated — save a two-game suspension to open the 2010 season — and Dobbs said the time away has worked wonders for Robinson’s outlook.
“You can just tell the guy has a total change of attitude,” Dobbs said.
Robinson played sparingly last season but was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team at year’s end. He was arrested on multiple charges last month, however, and was immediately suspended from the team.
Since his return, Dobbs said Robinson has worked hard and shown a far more outgoing personality.
“He’s happy. He’s upbeat. Before, he was never like that,” Dobbs said.
On the mend
Three Georgia players underwent offseason surgeries last week and will be limited during the spring.
Offensive lineman Justin Anderson and fullback Fred Munzenmaier had shoulder surgery and will be limited during spring practice. Defensive end Jeremy Longo had surgery on his knee. He will miss all of spring practice.
All three are expected to be fully recovered by the start of preseason practice in August.
Quote of the day
“There was actually no other open rooms. It was him or like two baseball players and a tennis player. So I was like, I’ll just live with A.J.” – Georgia early enrollee Kolton Houston on how he ended up roommates with offensive lineman A.J. Harmon.