After more than two months of waiting and wondering, the Bulldogs finally got back to practice last week in what was a frenzied first experiment with Todd Grantham's new 3-4 defensive scheme.
The follow-up to those early efforts, however, was a bit out of place – a 12-day vacation.
"It's weird to practice one day and then take a week off. You can get out of shape and get weak, but I think we have players who will buy in and do what they're supposed to do over spring break."
Georgia opened spring practice on March 4 to take advantage of additional meeting time afforded by the NCAA, but players are now relaxing again on their spring breaks before returning to work on March 16 to finish out the spring. It was an odd schedule, but head coach Mark Richt said he hopes his players are using their vacation time wisely and will come back ready to impress.
"Guys can gain a lot of confidence during the spring, especially from a competitive standpoint, from a physicality standpoint," Richt said. "If you learn to play hard and play physical in the spring and see what it feels like, they'll remember that. It's also a big time just to prove to the coaches, should you be in the lineup, should you be playing? I don't worry about who starts in the spring so much as who's going to be ready?"
Tipping the scales
It's an annual spring story for tight end Aron White, but this year, he's not going to let it dominate his approach to the offseason.
The undersized tight end has fought an ongoing battle to put on weight and improve his blocking during his first two offseasons at Georgia, but this year things are different. He's tipping the scales at 240 pounds – a career high for him after playing last year closer to 230 – and he's through worrying if he gets any heavier.
"I've always struggled a little bit keeping the weight on, just with the working out that we do and just genetics," said White, who caught 13 passes for 197 yards and four touchdowns last year. "It's always been something people have talked about with me, but I try not to think about it. I want to let it come naturally. I don't want to put on 10 pounds overnight and then go out there and lose a second on my 40. I definitely feel like that's not my strength, running people over. I have to get out there and be athletic. That's what suits me best."
Change has come
Tailback Washaun Ealey officially unveiled his new uniform number at Georgia's first spring workout, switching from the No. 24 to No. 3 – the same number he wore during his high school days.
The move got the stamp of approval from backfield mate Caleb King, who said it fits with the dynamic he's trying to establish among the running backs.
"I just called him my son now," King joked. "He's three and I'm four."