Bulldogs Blog

Early-enrollees share thoughts on UGA's staff, with one saying 'Coach Chaney, he's a mastermind'

By Jason Butt


Georgia early-enrollees Richard LeCounte and Jake Fromm speak with ESPN's Maria Taylor on National Signing Day.
Georgia early-enrollees Richard LeCounte and Jake Fromm speak with ESPN's Maria Taylor on National Signing Day. Georgia Sports Communications

Spring practice is still more than a month away.

But based on how their position coaches recruited them, Georgia's early-enrollees were able to get a good feel for how they'll fit into their respective offensive and defensive systems.

In an interview with former Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley on the program's National Signing Day webcast, the early-enrollees shared some thoughts on their new coaches. Receiver Jeremiah Holloman was among those impressed with offensive coordinator Jim Chaney's philosophy and believes big things are ahead on that side of the ball.

“Coach Chaney, he’s a mastermind, honestly,” Holloman said. “Seeing him actually work is crazy. The things he’s able to do, he disguises things. He’ll have the run game open up the pass game for vertical threats, things like that. The quarterbacks, of course, they’re going to get the ball to us. That’s another blessing to be here.”

Holloman is one of four receivers in Georgia's recruiting class of 2017. At 6-foot-2 and 187 pounds, Holloman will be a bigger target on the outside in Georgia's offense.

Junior college transfer D'Marcus Hayes said offensive line coach Sam Pittman was a big draw for him when deciding on which major FBS school to attend.

“What got me was Coach Pittman,” Hayes said. “I’ve seen how he develops guys, I’ve seen how he works. It reminds me of my junior college o-line coach. I just felt it was moving places. Nothing really was changing atmosphere wise.”

It's no secret that head coach Kirby Smart has been recruiting quarterback Jake Fromm since his freshman year at Houston County. Back then, Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Aiding him in his pursuit was the fact the previous Georgia coaching staff didn't offer Fromm a scholarship.

But when Smart took the head coaching job at Georgia, Fromm became one of his top targets. It didn't take long for Fromm to flip to his dream school once Smart came on board.

“Coach Smart recruited me to Alabama,” Fromm said. “When he came over here he stayed with me. I trusted and loved him for that. Jacob (Eason’s) obviously a great player but I just want to come in and compete to make the team better any way I can.”

Safety Deangelo Gibbs said defensive coordiantor Mel Tucker, who doubles as Georgia's defensive backs coach, was a big reason why he committed to the Bulldogs.

Gibbs said Tucker's system allows for defenders to flourish and that it's upon the newcomers to absorb as much information as possible.

“Great coach, great guy,” Gibbs said. “At the end of the day, he wants the best of you. He’ll push it out of you. He’s going to make sure you get it. We just have to suck it all in. We have to be willing and open-minded, and just go with the flow and go with the system, learn the playbook. From the day we step on the football field we have to prove we’re here to make a statement, and we’re here to accomplish that goal.”

While the early-enrollees had a lot of positive things to say about the coaches, safety Richard LeCounte noted that learning from the veterans on the roster is imperative as well.

“The older guys, (Dominick) Sanders, Terry Godwin, Malkom Parrish, they’ve showed us around with the do's and don’ts around here,” LeCounte said. “It’s just telling us about the new system and the new culture that they got coming here. Losing will not be something we accept. It’s getting in the motions with all of us on the same page. If everybody on the team is on the same page great things can happen.”