Live updates, injury news, position battles

Georgia football begins fall camp on Thursday, August 4, as the team gets ready for the 2022 season. Below you can find the latest practice updates, injury news as well as key position battles to know.

The Bulldogs enter the season as the reigning national champions, going 14-1 last season. While Georgia has a number of key defenders to replace, the Bulldogs should have one of the best offenses in the country.

Georgia football 2022 fall camp live updates

AUG 4, 11:45 AM UPDATE: Georgia coach Kirby Smart will speak to reporters. He’ll be joined by Darnell Washington, Chris Smith, Zion Logue and Warren McClendon. The Bulldogs will also start later this afternoon.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart press conference to start fall camp

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement…

“I’d open with a big congratulations to Richard Seymour, who I had the great fortune of playing with here. And he’ll be going into the NFL Hall of Fame, I guess at the end of the week or sometime soon. He’s been just an incredible representative of our University. He was a great player here and a teammate. I know we have several guys on our staff going to travel and be with him for that great honor, so congratulations to Richard.

“Our guys are ready to grind. It used to be a time when you were — didn’t do anything over the summer or had a long break over the summer or you might have a week off. But that’s not really the way it is now. It’s continuous. I talked to our guys last night about separating summer or what you would call a minicamp or what you would call summer practices and training camp. You’ve got to kind of step out of your mindset/routine and refocus. I talked about some of the guys I talked to in the NFL currently and what they do in trying to transition our brain from one stage to the next stage. And we talked about locking in and locking out. You know, lock into what you got to do and lock out everything outside of it and the noise. It’s one unique time for a college athlete where you really don’t have classes. Our guys are actually finishing summer school classes. But in the next coming days, they don’t have any classes. They get to focus solely on football. They get to spend 11/12 nights in a hotel where they have no responsibilities other than football. And it’s kind of when the mental and physical toughness starts to take place for your roster and your team. So there’s no way to really build for it, other than to do it. And that’s the stage we’re in. And we’re really focused on getting better. We got a lot of good players to replace and we got a lot of good players to replace them with. It’s about getting the right guys on the bus and getting the guys in the right seats, just like it is every year. But I’m excited to get out there and work with them. Today will be the first time on the field putting on helmets and getting after it together.

“I don’t have an injury list to go through. But, obviously, you guys will want to ask questions and I’ll answer everything I can from an injury standpoint. So open it up for questions.”

On being hungry for success this year, especially on defense…

“Yeah, the defense is really — really, both sides of the ball and special teams have been hungry up to this point. We only spent a limited amount of time with them over the summer and the last couple of weeks. But a lot of excited guys. We talked to them last night, about the number of snaps to replace. It’s remarkable the number of snaps, especially special teams, that we have to replace. I mean, a lot of your core defensive players make up your special teams. So there’s a lot of experience there that’s gone. So they’ve been excited, opportunistic. Some guys have changed their bodies a little bit and in better shape. I’m excited to go see them practice. They’re excited to get out there.”

On Tykee Smith and EJ Lightsey…

“EJ’s been dealing with a little bit of a knee issue, not related to anything from when he got here, but he’s cleared, he’s working with us now. He’s missed some summer training and conditioning time. But he’s with us now and cleared to go. Tykee’s out there repping, doing things. I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent. But he’s doing everything we’ve asked him to do. And may not be completely cleared for live tackle just yet. That’ll be up to Ron and how comfortable he feels with or without his brace. It’s gaining confidence in those things. He’s doing all the drills without limitation. But with every ACL, just because you’re doing it without limitation doesn’t put you where you were. You have to gain confidence in that. You have to get back into playing shape. It’s just different.”

On not worrying about complacency…

“I don’t worry about it because we don’t have a reason to be complacent. I mean, I’ve been on national championship teams that won it all that I was concerned about complacency because there was a lot of back. We don’t really have that problem. So it’s not a problem inherent to us in terms of complacency. Okay, I worry about complacency every year for a guy who started and played for two years. But that was regardless of the record. Like, it didn’t matter if you won 8 games, 10 games, 12 games or 15 games. You worry about a guy being comfortable that has started many years and can he grow. So a lot of that is intrinsic to him. How good does he want to be, how great does he want to be, does he want to continue to grow, develop, does he want to improve his opportunity to for the NFL, does he want to be the best he can possibly be? Because I know the guys who haven’t played are hungry. We have to keep the guys who are hungry. It has nothing to do with complacency. It’s not that — I mean, whether we win or lose every game this year, it’s not going to be because of complacency. It’s going to be because of the outcomes and what we did on the grass to make that possible. But it won’t be because of complacency.”

On the incoming defensive backs class…

“I’m excited. I feel like most of them are not really freshmen. I guess a couple of them were with us in spring. So the two safeties, Malaki (Starks) and JaCorey (Thomas), got a lot of work, a lot of work in the spring. And they still got a long way to go to be a viable option to play this year. I mean, you show me a freshman DB that played in the SEC, I’ll show you a guy that gave up plays. All right? That’s the common denominator. Now, every now and then you have a guy that comes long who’s just — I think of a couple of those guys that had to play as freshman, they played really big. It happens from time to time. And if you’re going to have a guy be an elite player as a freshman, it’s usually at a skilled position like receiver, running back, or defensive back. I don’t foresee one of those guys just coming in and dominating. A lot of the accolades that came with them, they dropped them at the door. And they go to sweat and they go to work. So we’re not going to live off high-rankings and what people said about them, because there’s a lot of good football players out there that you guys didn’t rank high or did have high. So it goes both ways. We will need those guys to be core special teams players. We will need those guys to be ready to play in the case of, you know, injuries, targeting or whatever may be there. But we’ve got to get them ready by how we prepare in this training camp. And I’m excited about all those guys.”

On how the defensive line has progressed…

“Every day that we’re out at practice we make those guys go over and go against the first offense. That’s what we call our developmental squad or scout squad. They got a lot of work in, they got a lot of bowl practice in. And this year, they got the extra week for the championship game. I mean, that’s a lot of work put in to get those guys prepared. They’re not Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt and we’re not asking them to be. If they were those guys, they would have been out there a lot more often last year. So we’re excited about where they are. Optimistic that those guys will be very productive. We’re asking, you know, Zion, Jalen, Naz, Warren Brinson, Bill Norton, Jonathan Jefferson, all those guys. The two young guys, Bear and Christen, they’re going to get thrust up there and have to go out and compete and give us a depth and give us snaps. Because we play a lot of guys up front. So I’m excited to see what all those guys can do on the defensive line. We certainly need some guys to step up at that position.”

On Stetson Bennett’s new haircut…

“I don’t know what it’s about. I certainly — there’s several guys more than Stetson that decided to get it. And that goes back to that lock in, lock out, lock into camp. You got no distractions. Lock out all the noise and all the social media things and get really focused on being the best version of yourself. And there were several guys that, I guess, decided to do that through their hair.”

On the new group of running backs…

“We know enough about Kenny (McIntosh) and Kendall (Milton) to know their strengths. They’re both talented guys and played featured roles within drives within their careers here. But never the featured guy. They’re both talented and improved immensely. I think Dale’s done a great job developing those guys as pass protectors, route runners. I think the more unknown is Daijun (Edwards), who’s been able to get in a lot of games, mop up. And has really done a good job. He’s going to play a bigger role this year. And then finding out the two freshmen. Both Branson (Robinson) and Andrew (Paul) have got to help us from a depth standpoint. So I’m excited to see what those guys can do.”

On Darnell Washington’s health and the excitement of having him this season…

“I gave Darnell a lot of credit. He’s worked tremendously hard putting himself in the best possible health. When he got injured, which I think was over spring break, going into spring practice, we thought he was in the best shape he had been in since being here; both body fat composition, body weight, conditioning level. I mean, he was really running well in our offseason conditioning program and we were looking forward to spring. He reinjured his foot. And from there, he couldn’t train the same and he couldn’t do the same things. And he’s really in a good spot. You know, he’s a guy that I came in on Sunday, and he’s out there running on his own on a day that was off. He’s got a purpose. He’s practicing to be driven. And excited to see, you know, what he can do. It’s going to be important that we get him in good, physical conditioning shape to be good to go in this training camp.”

On depth at the tackle spot…

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