Darrius Swain, a junior from Decatur, played his first two seasons on the defensive line for Rodney Garner, but the coach and player never found a common ground. Garner often chided Swain in public and said at one point last year that Swain was a third-teamer only because there was no fourth team.
"(Garner) has his way of doing things," Swain said.
This year, the Bulldogs have moved Swain to offensive line, where he
works with Neil Callaway. Due to injuries to starting guards Bartley Miller
and Josh Brock and the defection of Randall Swoopes, Swain will work as
Georgia's first team tight guard for the final two weeks of spring
"I think it was time for change," Swain said. "I feel
and Coach Callaway get along really very good. He's is a little more
mellow (than Garner)."
Where Garner is very open in his opinions, Callaway is much more
reserved. He conceded last week that he wanted Swain to drop a few
pounds but refused several times to tell reporters what Swain weighed.
(Swain said he checks in at 340, and Callaway wants him at 320.)
Although Georgia didn't announce Swain's position change until
February, he actually got his first work on the offensive line during
the final few days of bowl practice in Orlando, Fla.
"We kind of knew then what we were going to get," Callaway
Swain has progressed quickly in the first two weeks of practice due to
his athleticism and upper body strength.
"I think he's going to be a fine offensive lineman," Coach Mark Richt
said. "He's a very, very talented guy. He's big, he's quick, he's
strong, he's sharp. He could be outstanding."
Brock is expected to be ready in the fall, and Miller may be. That
means Swain probably won't be a starter in the fall, but he says he'll
be ready if he is.
"I've got the ability, that ain't no problem, but it's knowing the
plays, knowing who to block," he said. "It was frustrating at first,
right now it's going all right."
Note: Georgia will be one of five teams featured next
week on ESPN's SportsCenter. The show will profile spring workouts at
LSU, USC, Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. The feature on the
Bulldogs will air April 9.
New Position fits Swain Well
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