Georgia defensive tackle Michael Barnett (94) and inside linebacker Monty Rice (32) during the Bulldogs’ practice on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

ATHENS, Ga. – A 10th University of Georgia preseason practice accompanied the first week of Bulldog classes at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Tuesday.

The Bulldog squad worked for a little over two hours in full pads and helmets. Following a day off on Sunday, Georgia opened the school year with a full five days of practice before its second scrimmage on Saturday.

This season, junior defensive tackle Michael Barnett looks to contribute to a line that returns four starters, who guided the top-rated Bulldog defense in 2017 and expect to build on last year’s performance.

“I don’t look at it as criticism; I think of it as the coaches doing their job,” Barnett said. “They’re just trying to get us better. It’s up to us to take it and learn from it. It’s not about the tone but about the message. … Throughout the defensive line, I feel like we need to remain consistent. We need to know our job and do our job.”

With the first snaps of his freshman year behind him, sophomore defensive back Richard LeCounte returns with a similar outlook of steady development headed into year two.

“I see it as a process,” LeCounte said. “Everything starts as a foundation. Everything starts from the bottom, up. Making sure I do what I need to do, and Coach Smart taking the time to make sure I don’t skip any of those steps in that process. To get to the top, you’ve got to go through the bottom. I still myself as a work in progress, as I hope everybody else on the team does. There’s always somewhere we can get better.”

The Bulldogs will open the season on Saturday, September 1 at Sanford Stadium against Austin Peay. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.