ATHENS —— The Georgia Bulldogs began their preparations for the 2019 season opener at Vanderbilt with a 90-minute practice on Friday afternoon. Approaching weather forced the team indoors for the final minutes of today’s workout.
A pair of Georgia’s senior defenders, lineman David Marshall and defensive back Tyrique McGhee, fielded questions from the media after practice. Excerpts from their sessions follow:
Senior DL David Marshall:
(On his lisfranc injury from last year) ‘’Lisfranc is a bone in the middle of your foot that keeps it from bending. That’s about all I know. Before that (injury), I never knew what a lisfranc injury was. It feels pretty good to be back with my brothers on the field, working hard. It’s just a blessing to be back. I knew it was going to be a long rehab, but you’ve just got to stay positive. So in my mind, I had to come here and get treatment every day and don’t skip a treatment. I’m just glad to be back on the field, working hard with my brothers.’’
(On his expectations for contributing this season) ‘’I’m working on that right now, trying to see and practice on my foot, seeing if it’ll take all of that. So I’m just going to keep grinding and see what happens.’’
(On the help that Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson has been) ‘’Me and Mr. Ron have been together since Spring Break. I’ve been working with him and he’s been working with me. It took a long time to get back, just to get back to walking. I’ve had plenty of surgeries, so you’ve just got to have a mindset to come back and be ready. I did a lot of work on the treadmill in the pool and they worked on my ankle mostly. I had my surgery last September, after the Vandy game. (During the Vandy game) I got on the sideline and sat for a minute. It got stiff on me and I couldn’t walk on it, so I knew there was something wrong. I can take pain, I can take any injury. But when I couldn’t walk, I knew there was something wrong with it.’’
(On how he’s helping underclassmen in practice): ‘’I’m just helping them with technique, helping them get comfortable in the system, coming out there every day and pushing them harder. They still have a lot of work to do, but they’re going to help us out this year.’’
(On his relationship with teammate and fellow DL Malik Herring): ‘’We’ve been friends since high school. We went to rival schools, so we’ve been grinding together and working out since high school. Knowing that we play the same position and from the same area, about 20 minutes away from each other, it’s great to be playing beside him.’’
Senior DB Tyrique McGhee:
(On Coach Smart’s comparison of him to ex-Bulldog Aaron Davis) ‘’That’s an honor. I view Aaron as a big brother. When I came in here my freshman year, he showed me the way, from the playbook to just how to hold myself as a student-athlete here. So to hear that comment, that’s an honor. Much love to Coach Smart and ‘AD’.
(On where he identifies himself this season) ‘’Wherever the team needs me. I just love to play football. I can be a utility guy. Just wherever’s needed, and to be a leader for the young guys and step up in that role, try to make plays. Just be there when and where I’m needed. I pride myself on being useful, so that’s pretty much how I feel about my role.’’
(On Richard LeCounte’s progress thus far) ‘’Oh man, he’s grown so much since he first got here. He’s stepped up as a leader, he’s more vocal, he’s playing faster than ever. It’s great to see his progression since he first got here.’’
(On which position he’s played the most so far) ‘’Probably the nickel, the Star position. It’s a matter of just snap counts. Maybe it’s just the Star position is where most players come from in college football, especially in the SEC. We adjust to what we’re looking for each season at the Star. It’s different every season. Last two years it’s kinda been me at that position. But like I said, wherever I’m needed to play — safety, corner — anywhere Coach needs me.’’
(On being called a ‘dominant’ special teams player by Coach Smart) ‘’I think it’s a mindset. I feel like if you want to be useful, if you want to help your team, I think that special teams is the best way to do it. Since high school, my coaches always instilled pride in special teams. I just carried it over to here. I just want to show the young guys that’s how you make your name. That’s kind of how I made my name here at Georgia.’’