Not surprisingly, he's focused on the more positive part of that experience headed into the upcoming season, in which the 6-foot junior is projected as the Bulldogs' starting short cornerback.
Although Demario Minter's starting spot in the Capital One Bowl had more to do
with the Boilermakers' offense than Minter's progress, it was still the
highlight of a challenging season.
"I want to keep that momentum going into the season," he said.
Minter missed the Bulldogs' first two games while serving a two-game
suspension following an arrest on charges of marijuana possession. By
the time he returned, Georgia had moved on without him. Eventually, he
was moved to safety, where he played very sparingly.
The supporting role was tough on Minter, particularly after he had
showed such promise as a true freshman the year before.
"I came in and played big-time ball as a freshman and then fell off
a sophomore," he said. "I had some off-the-field stuff, and I did some
soul-searching. I lost my confidence last year. I lost my swagger."
He's starting to get it back this year as the heir apparent for Bruce Thornton. Tim Jennings has a firm grasp on Georgia's wide corner
position, but Minter is trying to hold off a group of young defensive
backs that includes Thomas Flowers, Mikey Henderson and Paul Oliver.
"Our young guys are very good," Minter said. "I know
they're behind me
and they're coming. The position is not official yet, I'm just working
with the first team. That doesn't mean it's my job."
With every practice, he gets closer to making it his job, though.
"He's settling back in at corner," Coach Mark Richt said.
understands what (secondary coach Willie Martinez) wants. He's doing
The difference is in attitude, Minter said. Last season, when things
weren't going well, he completely lost his focus. This year, he's
learning to fight through things, he said.
"My bad practices aren't too bad like they were last year," he
"When they were bad last year, they were real bad and everybody knew
It's funny that Minter is playing the short corner position,
considering he'll be the team's tallest starting cornerback since 6-3
Jamie Henderson in 2000.
"He's a very good-sized corner," Richt said. "A big part
position is jamming the receiver and being physical with them."
Minter likes cornerback better than safety for that reason, he said.
"I like going one-on-one with receivers," he said. "I like
but whatever they want me to do, I'll do, as long as they get me on the
Anything's better than standing and watching.
Minter Stepping Up
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