Fast Five: Freshmen Speak

ATHENS - Dawg Post takes a look at the top five areas of interest from Georgia's 11th day of camp.

(One) Joseph Ledbetter is catching up with the rest of the tight ends, but it wasn’t an easy transition for the former NCAA Division II basketball player.

The brother of four-star defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter, Joseph attended Tucker High before transferring to Oak Hill Academy with hopes of furthering his basketball career. After the 6-foot-3, 239-pounder found basketball to be a ‘dead end road,’ he became a late addition to Georgia’s 2014 roster.

Ledbetter isn’t afraid to admit he wasn’t on the same level as his fellow tight ends coming into camp. He hasn’t played football since his sophomore year at Tucker.

“It’s kind of like starting over,” Ledbetter said. “I know it’s going to take a lot of work. Camp is tough, so I’m just going to stick with it every day and try to get better ever day.”

He’s coming along now. After coming to Athens on a visit with his brother, Jonathan, coaches asked Ledbetter if he’d like a chance to play. As it turns out, he did. Now he just has to pick up football again.

“I felt very behind,” Ledbetter said. “I’m getting the hang of it slowly, but the transition from basketball is very difficult.”

Of course the thought lingers of whether or not Joseph’s arrival at Georgia will have any impact on his brother’s choice of college. The current Bulldog tight end says he doesn’t know, but it would be nice to play with him at Georgia.

He says that’s a question for Jonathan – not him.

“You’d just have to ask him,” Ledbetter said.

(Two) Freshmen running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel are starting to feel at home in Athens, though Michel made the longer move. According to Chubb, it doesn’t hurt that they’ve got one of the top running back tandems to learn from.

“We got out here, me and Sony, (and) we learned the plays and (we’re) learning from two very good running backs,” Chubb said. “I’m enjoying it.”

As a freshman, you’ll make mistakes – hence the term ‘freshman mistakes.’ However, it helps when you’re not facing the learning curve alone.

“It takes pressure off me,” Chubb said. “We’re messing up a lot, so we learn from each other and learn from other backs. I’m glad I came with him.”

Chubb finished Saturday’s scrimmage with 52 yards on seven rushes – just four yards less than scrimmage leader, Keith Marshall. One of Chubb’s runs went for 19 yards. Michel had five carries for 21 yards.

“I gained a lot of confidence,” Chubb said. “I always wanted to see how I’d do in a fast-pace, real game set instead of practice with a coach behind me telling me what to do. It was on my own and I gained confidence during that.”

Chubb says he’s been getting a lot of work on all the second team special teams units, too. His best chance to play, in his opinion, will be on punt team.

(Three) Jacob Park isn’t concerned with the battle for Georgia’s number two quarterback spot. He’s just trying to get on the same page as his fellow quarterbacks.

“It’s starting to come along for me,” Park said.

Park enrolled early during the University’s 2014 spring semester. He had a little bit of time to pick things up, but the fall has been a huge learning experience for the 6-foot-4, 202-pound quarterback out of Goose Creek, S.C.

“It’s night and day. I mean, in the Spring everything was just thrown at me,” Park said. “I didn’t really know anything. I picked up on a little bit of just concepts. Now I’ve got the concepts down (and) declaration down. I’m in the point now where I’m starting to read the defenses a little bit better.”

He’s leaving the competition to Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta.

“I’m just strictly learning right now,” Park said. “I’m not even worried about the depth chart. I just got here…they’re competing right now.”

(Four) Freshman tight end Jeb Blazevich should be a critical part of Georgia’s offense – and soon. With Jay Rome’s now seemingly minor injury, Georgia still needs another tight end threat to put pressure on opposing defenses. Blazevich can definitely be that guy. He, like a lot of freshman, still has a ways to go, but fall camp is getting him there.

“It’s a grind, but I really like it,” Blazevich said. “I think the transition’s going as smooth as it can right now. I’m just trying to learn and get better every day.

Blazevich says his big area for improvement is the mental game. He overthinks things. Once he can get past that he’ll be okay. Blazevich says John Lilly has told him to slow it down and not go through things so fast. On top of that, Blazevich is still trying to improve on his technique and footwork.

“I’m definitely doing the best I can,” Blazevich said.

(Five) Detric Bing-Dukes did some work with the running backs Monday morning. He’s been switching back and forth. The inside linebacker out of Tucker High could possibly be filling in for Merritt Hall, who didn’t practice Monday morning.

“It was a fast change, but me, him and Sony, we’re real close,” Chubb said. “Bringing him in just made it better, chemistry-wise. We hang out – us three. It was great to get him in a room with us.”


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