The Dawgs are reportedly holding today’s practice at the Georgia Dome.
Yeah, the news about Eason was the big story from yesterday, but this is a pretty big deal, too.
But Friday, head coach Kirby Smart, during an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show, gave his most optimistic outlook on Michel, who suffered a broken left forearm in a July 3 ATV accident, yet.
“I’ve got great confidence in Sony,” Smart said. “He’s worked really hard to get in shape.”
The preface of Finebaum’s question to Smart was about any media reports that suggested Michel didn’t have much of a positive outlook for the season’s start.
Smart said that any reports stating this were not accurate. Since the injury occurred, Smart has played more of a wait-and-see approach with Michel.
While Smart didn’t say Michel would play against North Carolina, his tone was different than in previous comments.
“The kid’s out there doing everything he’s been cleared to do,” Smart said. “He hasn’t been cleared to do everything. He looks great. He’s running. He’s doing 7-on-7. He’s in a black jersey. He was returning kicks yesterday. He’s doing a lot of positive things. It’s just he hasn’t been cleared to play yet.
“We won’t know that and it may even be a game-time decision.”
Sounds to me like they’re preparing as if Michel will play. Add to that Elijah Holyfield’s return and the disappearance of Nick Chubb’s brace, and the running back corps is in a different place than even the most optimistic of us expected.
It may also be one reason the coaches are turning to Eason as the starter.
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Okay, so follow along.
- Today, Georgia began installing its game plan for the opener.
- During the time the press was allowed to observe practice, Jacob Eason ran the offense with the ones, followed by Lambert. Ramsey remained on the sidelines.
- Which brings us to this…
On Friday the team prepared for North Carolina for the first time all fall, and Eason continued his march towards the starting job by going exclusively with the No. 1 offense during the entire length of practice. After practice the three scholarship quarterbacks, which includes returning starter Greyson Lambert and reserve Brice Ramsey, were told about their standing in the current quarterback competition according to sources intimately familiar with the situation.
Today was the first such day that the quarterbacks were told there was a game-week rotation. UGA coach Kirby Smart met with each signal caller individually. Smart previously gathered the three earlier in camp and let them know collectively that Eason would get a more serious look after school started. Before that time the trio was rotating evenly during fall camp. Eason has run with the No. 1 unit almost exclusively since school started, and the other two have rotated with the No. 2 and No. 3 unit.
Insiders say that Eason’s development improved during his time with the No. 1 unit, and that the extra day off (this Monday) helped him recover from what has been a grueling, high-voluming of throwing camp. At this point insiders expect Eason not just to start against the Tar Heels, but to play the entire game.
Lambert will run with the No. 2 unit, and is only expected to take the starting job if something goes wrong with Eason in the next week. Ramsey will work with the No. 3 unit and continue his punting chores.
Um… “high-voluming of throwing”? Somebody needs an editor… but I digress.
Assuming this is true, either we’re supposed to think it came fairly suddenly, or else Smart and Chaney had a decent idea after the start of camp this month where they thought the battle might go. I don’t know about you, but I lean towards the latter, mainly because I want to give them credit for their conviction.
I don’t know how much of a gamble this will turn out to be, but there’s little doubt it’ll be one of the major ways Kirby’s start will be judged. Good thing they started on those first-team reps when they did, eh?
Compare and contrast.
If you haven’t been paying attention, D-1 football kicks off tonight, Down Under, with Cal facing off against Hawaii.
Which means it is once again time to cue up the Stephen Fry clip and welcome another glorious season of college football.
It is a testament to how much I love CFB that I can appreciate an Iron Bowl game for the spectacle it is. It’s my sincere hope that the people running the sport don’t screw up that vibe beyond redemption.
I’m surprised this isn’t getting more attention, but if you’ll dial up the latest episode of The Audible with Feldman & Mandel to around the 4:30 mark, you’ll hear Bruce Feldman report that not only has the NCAA spoken with some current SEC players about Ole Miss’ recruiting, but at least two SEC head coaches have also spoken with the NCAA.
Even juicier are the alleged motives behind that: “There was a lot of acrimony and frustration with Ole Miss and the NCAA and how it was handled at that point…”
Whoa. We’re gonna need a bigger bag of popcorn.