Roger Clarkson takes a good look at the struggles of the incoming defensive linemen.
… Georgia brought 17 scholarship newcomers into preseason camp, most with glowing resumes from recruiting experts. More than half will not take a live snap this season.
Many didn’t realize the magnitude of chore of earning immediate playing time until the first practice.
“It’s a big step,” freshman defensive lineman Mike Thornton said. “I came in with a lot of high expectations about being the man and everything, but I found out quick. It’s a lot of hard work.
“It was the first day of camp, as soon as we got out there and got a little contact in, I started learning that I’ve got a lot of learning to do.”
For some perspective on how big that step is, keep in mind that Justin Anderson, a converted offensive linemen who has become the leading candidate to start at defensive tackle, had this to say about his early success at learning the new position:
“Coming on defense, I was kind of nervous at first. I knew I was physically going to do well. But in the past on the offensive line, I’ve had trouble with playbooks. So that was probably my biggest –- I wouldn’t say fright, but I was kind of skeptical about it. But I’ve picked up on it pretty good.
“Playing nose tackle,” he noted, “you just have to learn the base package.”
Anderson, inexperience and all, is still a junior with several years in the program under his belt.