More on the Tramel Terry move

Sure doesn’t sound like it was a spur of the moment decision.

Needless to say, it seemed like a surprise move when Terry practiced with the safeties this week, but Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said it had been a long time coming. While Terry practiced at receiver along with the other scout team members, the defensive coaches started to take notice of what looked like an excellent defensive back in the making.

“I just think that the defensive coaches were kind of keeping an eye on him and kind of coveting him and kind of playfully recruiting him a little bit,” Richt said. “Sometimes if a guy’s on your scout team, they hang around the defensive coaches more than the offensive coaches when it comes to practice time. And they liked what they saw and thought it might be a good move for the defense.”

At 6-foot, Terry certainly has a body type that fits the average NFL safety instead of the rangier pro receiver. That was one of the arguments defensive coordinator Todd Grantham could make in proposing a change to Terry and the offensive coaches.

“I think Coach Grantham’s background in the NFL and just how he sees prospects and things of that nature, he really sees him as a great-looking safety prospect,” Richt said. “It was something that the defensive staff was all for, and actually kind of started it off, started the whole conversation.”

So what does the decision indicate?

  • It says something about how the coaching staff feels the medium-term depth at receiver and in the secondary shapes up now.  Terry isn’t going to be a contributor at the position next season, because he’s very green.  (“Terry played some defensive back in high school, but has a long way to go to be a proficient college defensive back.”)  But he’s clearly a good enough athlete that they want to get him on the field as soon as they can, and no doubt Terry is anxious to play as well.
  • For a guy who supposedly – and I use that word in the “I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true” sense – has been at odds with his head coach this past season, Todd Grantham still seems to have the ear of Mark Richt when it comes to talent evaluation, no?
  • Malcolm Mitchell, there’s no looking back now.  Not that you were, anyway.
  • Terry may not be ready to play much as a safety in 2014, but I expect that will make him more of a likely candidate to nab one of the return jobs next season.  If he’s as good an athlete as the buzz about him indicates, they’ll want to get him involved in one form or fashion.

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UPDATE:  Seth Emerson has a timely summary of the projected depth charts at receiver and defensive backs here.

42 Comments

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42 responses to “More on the Tramel Terry move

  1. The other Doug

    I wonder if this says anything about his WR skills or the knee?

    • From the pictures I’ve seen of the practices this week, TT isn’t even wearing a brace, so I can’t imagine the knee is a big concern.

      http://bulldawgillustrated.com/2013/12/17/photos-tramel-terry-looking-good-safety-position/

      I’m hoping this just means the coaches really are that comfortable with our WR depth not only for 2014, which is a given, but then beyond. If Terry really is the athlete he was hyped up to be, you’d think he has the potential to be an elite safety. A truly elite safety can clean up a lot of errors on defense, I’m hoping that’s what we as fans have in store to see from him in a couple of years. Guess we’ll find out.

  2. TennesseeDawg

    Never played DB coming off a season ending knee injury. I guess it will be a long time before he learns the safety position. I guess we always have to have at least one Kiante Tripp/Richard Samuel on the team at all times.

  3. HVL Dawg

    Richt said Tramel would get a look at kick return but probably not punt return. I wonder why the difference.

    • Because he can’t fair catch :)

      • The other Doug

        If we had a Special Teams Coach he could spend the time necessary to teach young players like Mr Terry the intricacies of the fair catch.

        • +1 – we’re here all week – try the veal

        • RP

          Logan Gray would be a great GA hire in that respect.

          • Logan “Ok lets pretend the ball is in the air. Now raise your arm like so”
            Tramel “Thats it?”
            Logan “How comfortable are you playing a spread option QB on the scout team?”

        • Cosmic Dawg

          You make jokes, but what about the player who hangs with the kickoff return man in the end zone and NEVER says “looks great out there today – run like hell” but ALWAYS waves his arms and yells “They look kind of mad to me…and they are really coming fast…you’d better down it. Quick! Take a knee!! Take a knee!!”

          I know people say that’s just natural talent, right there, but I think a UGA ST coach could maybe teach that guy to be more emphatic, maybe jump up and down a little bit…but as usual we will settle for mediocrity there and he’ll never get to tell anybody to “take a knee” in a NC game.

  4. Gravidy

    As someone who’s never been in the arena, I wonder about this as well. From what I *think* I know about him, I would have guessed he would be better suited to PR than KR.

  5. I wouldn’t mind seeing a little of him on offense especially in a Branden Smith type of role.

  6. RP

    Can he play left tackle?

  7. Gravidy

    This is certainly a time when we have to trust the coaches, if you are so inclined. As Bluto says, he probably isn’t going to be a world-beater at safety next year. As highly ranked as he was, I was hoping he would contribute sooner. As it stands, his redshirt year could have been spent learning his new position, but it wasn’t.

  8. Dawgwood

    TT didn’t play defense in High School. I don’t see how this doesn’t take long for him to develope, especially with this scheme. We saw too many confused defensive players out there this year. He might be another one he he plays next year. Here’s hoping I’m wrong and he is a stud.

  9. Macallanlover

    You guys may want to look at another UGA blog which has an interview with TT done in May, 2012 before he even played his Senior HS season. In that interview he says he and the UGA coaches had been having discussions about him playing DB and he felt that might be best for him. All of this discussion about this being a new development in 2013 may not be the whole story. Regardless of it’s birthdate, I support the idea of looking for a way to get great athletes to help fortify our weakest link.

  10. JAX

    I like the fact that our coaches can evaluate and trust their instincts enough to move players around when they feel it’s best for the team. This might not be as impactful as Robert Edwards to RB, but I like to creativity.

  11. sUGArdaddy

    Certainly the coaches are out there every day. They move kids to help win games. I think the biggest unknown is the 2015 receiving corp. That has me a little worried. We’ll lose a lot after 2014, so we must be pretty confident in recruiting and other players developing. I do think it begs some questions:

    -Is Langley moving to WR?
    -Is JJ going to play the slot?
    -Blake Tibbs better strap it on in 2015.

    The bigger question to me is what this means for the defensive players. My feeling has always been “if you move a player, you move him to play him.” So, we’ve got to be thinking that Tramel will start at safety in 2015 and 2016. But what about Mauger and Matthews? They both played as true freshmen and will still be on the team in 2015. Are we going to move Matthews to LB? (BTW, i’m all for it — dude looks an awful lot like Mosley in his uni). Is this so we can move JHC closer to the line more? (again, I’m all for that, too).

    I think the hardest thing to figure is that we so rarely play in a traditional base set because teams so rarely play traditional sets, especially on our schedule. So, we’re in nickel almost the entire game versus teams like USCjr, Mizzou, UT, and Auburn. I do think this says something about trends, which I’ve stated before about Auburn. And I’m not sure Gus will be prepared for it.

    I guarantee you this is part of the thinking: “Well, what do we need to do to beat Auburn? Put as many fast, athletic guys on defense as we can to stop those speed sweeps and read options.” Teams will start tailoring their teams to chase the top dogs in the conference. Coaches figure out EVERY OFFENSIVE GIMMICK with schemes and talent. That was the issue for the wishbone, the triple option, the new-fangled spread, and it will be for the Gus Bus. Stanford figured out that big guys and physical defense can stop Oregon, and the Ducks can’t beat them, but they score 60 on everyone else. I think a lot of that is what’s behind this move. I’ll say it till the cows come home — if that offense couldn’t be stopped and was the best way to win, they’d run it on Sundays. There’s a reason they don’t. Safeties as athletic as Tramel turn 70 yard Nick Marshall runs into 12 yard gains.

    • Macallanlover

      Great post, we do play at least two distinctly different offensive schemes every season in the SEC/GT now so flexibility and versatility have to be incorporated into our thinking. We have been behind that curve but Auburn has made it a bigger priority.

    • Good post. The most glaring losses this year were in part due to our D not being able to stop Mizzu and Auburn. Whatever model Stanford is using, lets do that.

    • IveyLeaguer

      Nice post. I don’t see any reason why Terry can’t play next year, if he stays healthy. There wasn’t anybody this year who impressed. Quite the contrary.

      Sure the guys who played this year will have the experience. But one thing you really need in a safety is you need them to be smart. And Terry is supposed to be smart. And we can be pretty certain that he’s the only really smart guy we have back there.

      We haven’t had a really good safety, a great safety, since Sean Jones. Not even Davis and Blue, who were both good, were natural safeties. I like the move. Terry has the body, the great athleticism, the intelligence the physicality, and a knack for the game.

      Of the 5 or 6 guys we brought in recently, none have impressed. And that shouldn’t be, but it is. For 7-8 years now, we’ve needed a trailblazer at safety, somebody to set a standard and show the way at that critical position.

      Terry at least has the ability and the tools to be that guy.
      ~~~

  12. Skeeter

    As Coach Dooley might put it, Terry will be one heck of a fair catch threat.

  13. DawgByte

    We need a pulling Guard. Put 150 lbs. on him and lets roll!

  14. W Cobb Dawg

    Okay, I’ll play devil’s advocate and stir the pot. This move is a reflection of the recruiting and coaching ability of 2 assistants – Ball and Lakatos. Ball recruits very well and has coached his guys up. For the most part they were very well prepared this year, and the injury situation showed how great a job Ball has been doing bringing backups and newbees along. Lakatos hasn’t recruited all that well, nor has he coached his players up. DB starters and backups aren’t ready, and injuries expose how lousy a job Lakatos does coaching the DBs.

    Mind you, I’m okay with the move and am not bitching about it. Dawgs have a history of doing very well with some of these moves. But I think it contrasts the performance of two assistants quite well.