Georgia Football: Final Winners and Losers from Spring Ball
At the end of spring practice, Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt hands out awards to individual players who did well on the field. The awards range from MVP on offense and defense to who was the hardest worker.
The Bulldogs had several players step up their game this spring and it will pay dividends in the fall. And there are a few players that took a step back and will have to work even harder in the summer.
Here are the final winners and losers from spring ball.
Winner: A.J. Turman
Todd Gurley is the featured back in the Bulldogs’ offense, there is no argument with that.
But the running back that had the best spring was A.J. Turman, who was slowed down last season due to an MCL sprain.
Turman got a lot of opportunities to show what he can do because Keith Marshall is still recovering from an ACL injury and Gurley did not have a lot or reps during the practices because of his ankle injury.
Turman’s hard work paid dividends during the spring game, tallying 52 total yards and two total touchdowns. Turman is not going to be in the starting lineup this season, but he will definitely get his share of touches, especially at the start of the season.
Winner: Aaron Davis
One of the good stories to come out of spring practice is the emergence of redshirt freshman cornerback Aaron Davis.
After only paying in one football game in three seasons, which was back in high school as a wide receiver, Davis has become one of the favorites to win the starting cornerback job.
Davis played in the spring game with the first-team defense and recorded three tackles and one interception.
Davis still has a long way to go before he can say he secured a spot on the starting defense. But, if he continues to work hard and practice smart, he will see a lot of action this season.
Winner: J.J. Green
J.J. Green was recruited as a cornerback last season, but had to play running back due to the injuries to Marshall and Gurley, and he thrived in the position.
This year, Green is slated to play the Star position, which is like a nickel corner. Green was working with the first team at the position (via Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph) and has excelled.
He was not able to show the public his talent at the position because he suffered a minor injury.
Green should add a spark to the secondary just like he did last year at running back.
Loser: The Secondary
And the secondary needs a spark because it was not a great showing from them this spring, especially in the spring game.
Each secondary unit in the spring game gave up over 260 passing yards, and that was possible because of the same issues they had last year, which are getting beat deep and not knowing where to line up.
This is a new defensive scheme, and Jeremy Pruitt will have his share of growing pains. But the group, which is led by Damian Swann, has to get better in a hurry if they don’t want to repeat the same results from last season.
Loser: Injured Offensive Players
Injuries are a part of the game. But it would have been nice to see a few of the injured players from last year doing work at camp. Keith Marshall, Justin Scott-Wesley and Malcolm Mitchell all suffered ACL injuries last season, and all were either limited or out of practices this spring.
All three should be ready to go once the preseason practices start, but the offense was not as explosive as it has been the last couple of years without those three players taking part in practices or the spring game.