Jeremy Pruitt: On the Record

Jeremy Pruitt met with reporters on Wednesday to talk about Georgia's upcoming fall camp.

Q: After the summer, do your players on defense fit your fitness requirements?

A: I think we’re headed in the right direction. We had a lot of guys that have changed their body over the summer, which is a positive. (We) had some guys put on some weight and some guys lose weight. The big thing is their body composition, as far as their percentage of body fat, and I think a lot of guys have done really well this summer.

Q: Anyone in particular?

A: I think all the (defensive) linemen. When you look at them, they’re moving around much better probably as a whole. I would say each one of them lost at least 10-15 pounds; some of them a little bit more than that. Some of our linebackers (and) defensive backs; some of those guys have really changed their body this summer, so I think it’s been positive and they feel better. They’ve got a little bit more confidence in their ability to do some things, and I think they can sustain and practice at a higher level for a longer time.

Q: Did they need to lose that much weight?

A: I would just say (there’s) probably a little difference in philosophy. I just know what I think a guy is supposed to look like, and that’s what we’ve worked hard to get them to – that level.

Q: What’s a guy supposed to look like?

A: He’s supposed to look good.

Q: Is Reggie Wilkerson more of a safety right now?

A: Reggie is gonna start out at safety this fall. Dominique (Sanders) will start off at safety. We’ve shuffled some guys around. The big thing is we’re trying to teach them in concepts so we can learn more than one spot, and I think a lot of our guys can do that.

Q: What impact has the losses on your roster made this offseason?

A: Well to me…I don’t know what went on last year, but everybody had a chance to start over. To me it’s not losses. We’ve got the guys we’ve got and that’s what we’re going to go with.

I’d like to focus on the players that are at Georgia – not the ones that are not here.

Q: What does Aaron Davis show you? What is Aaron Davis bringing to the position?

A: He’s got size. He can run. He plays the ball well. He’s extremely smart. He pays attention to detail. He’s got toughness. He’s a good competitor.

Q: How would you characterize your demeanor, focus this time of year?

A: I think every football coach across the country, when it gets this point of the year, you can’t wait to get started. It seems like each year for me it can’t get here fast enough. I guess the last three nights I’ve had guys over to the house and just sitting around talking, and I can see it in their eyes. They’re eager to get started and that’s exciting to me.

Q: What are you serving them?

A: This week was hamburgers and hot dogs and sausage. My guys can eat. They’re alright. There aren’t any of those guys that need to lose weight. You know, they’ve got to enjoy themselves, too. It’s good to sit down, and for us our guys come over a lot. You’ve got to create an atmosphere where they feel like it’s home away from home. We’ve got five new guys in the secondary and they’re from all parts of the southeast. In the recruiting process it wasn’t like that we recruited them for a year’s time. We got here and had two weeks to do it, so we’re still trying to get to know who they are. It’s good for us.

Q: Do you agree your linebackers are the strength of your defense?

A: I think that’s where the most experience is on our defense. We’ve got guys who have played a lot of football for Georgia there. If you’ve watched the tape, some of them have played really well at times and they’ve probably not played as well as they would have liked to at times, so the big things with those guys is they do have experience. Probably the thing they need to improve on the most is being more consistent over the course of a game.

Q: What can Rico Johnson bring to your secondary?

A: It’s hard to say right now because we’ve not had a practice. That’s a big thing in recruiting – knowing when they all come in you’ve got 25-30 and they were all superstars in high school. It’s kind of a tricky deal. How are they going to respond when they get away from their family? How are they going to respond when they get exposed to things at the college level as far as outside of football? How are they going to respond going to class? They wouldn’t be here unless they had talent. I guess it’s who’s mature enough to not let the clutter affect them – who can go out there and learn and compete at a high level on a consistent basis.

Q: Are there leaders when coaches can’t be around?

A: I feel like we’ve got a lot of guys who have the ability to be leaders on defense. We really do. I think they have grown and started taking responsibility this summer; not just seniors, but some underclassmen. We’re kind of moving in a positive direction there – a little bit of ownership.


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