All Hands on Deck

With summer workouts in full swing, Georgia's freshman class is getting it's first taste of action.

ATHENS - After a short break from spring ball Georgia's summer workouts are in session, and attendance is at an all-time high.

The most impressive area for the summer has been the effort of the newcomers, and junior Mike Thornton said those players are on board for what this season has in store.

"This is the year to get it," Thornton said. "All of our young guys are out there and they're ready to go. After what we did last year, we feel like we can do it again this year so everybody's 100 percent committed."

Outside the young players, Bulldog veterans have taken it upon themselves to make sure workouts are as efficient as possible. Without the leadership of Georgia's big names, Thornton said the workouts wouldn't be as effective.

"Aaron Murray has been a big part of it," Thornton said. "He and Artie Lynch make sure everybody is out there and a part of the workouts. Garrison Smith and [Damian] Swann handle the defensive players."

Junior linebacker Amarlo Herrera said he knows the young guys are coming out to work hard, he just doesn't know who they are yet.

"I don't know their names," Herrera said. "I can't call them out because I don't know their names and there aren't any numbers out there. No names, no numbers, just tattoos."

Herrera has made it his responsibility to organize a few workouts, but he's not twisting anyone's arm to get them on the field.

"I'm telling them I'm going out at this time, so if they want to go do it they can do it," Herrera said. "If they don't want to get better they can stay in."

Sophomore tight end Jay Rome said he was most impressed by the team's new addition at tight end, Jordan Davis. The Thomson native should give Rome and Artie a little help as well as a little competition at the position.

"Jordan is coming in and he's learning really quickly," Rome said. "He's really fast, he's really athletic and he has some nice hands so I'm ready to see what he's going to be able to do."

Two fresh names that stuck out to receiver Chris Conley were Brendan Langley and Shaquille Wiggins. Langley, who high school coaches have called a physical freak, was an immediate standout to Conley.

"Those are two really scrappy guys who are hard-nosed football players," Conley said. "They're fearless really. They'll go up against anybody and we saw that from the first day."

Conley, who plays in the always-physical SEC, has no concerns about the tenacity of his underclassmen.

"The biggest thing that jumps out to me about this freshman group is they're super athletic," Conley said. "They're not really missing any steps when it comes to training. They're in great shape, they run really well and they all have really good size."

The junior said the first year players' brains are well on the way to the next level too.

"They're getting educated," Conley said. "You have to remember they're still freshmen, so they still have moments where they have lapses but I think they're learning very fast. The first couple of days they were getting burnt, but they're actually starting to make plays now."

With the suspension of safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, these freshmen will have to be game-ready for Clemson.

"They're going to have to be equipped," Conley said. "I don't think it's a question of how equipped they are. We know they're going to have to play, and with that in mind they have to prepare like a starter from day one."

Senior defensive end Garrison Smith was more impressed by a certain freshman running back than any defensive newcomer, though.

"I call him White Lighting," Smith said in reference to freshman Brendan Douglas. "That dude looks like a white Adrian Peterson. That guy is so ripped up it looks like he's been lifting weights since he was born. He's a warrior in that weight room."

Smith said this freshman class's work ethic stands out beyond the rest.

"Everybody is working hard and trying really hard so I'm happy with what I see right now," Smith said. "Compared to the past two years this is the most active freshman class I've seen."

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