Smart, players meet the media ahead of contest with Carolina

Saturday night kick for Conference opener

University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart, along with players, previewed Saturday’s game against South Carolina. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.   On Monday, Coach Smart, redshirt freshman defensive back Kelee Ringo, sophomore wide receiver Marcus Rosemy- Jacksaint, and junior running back Kenny McIntosh offered the following comments.

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening Statement…

“We are excited as begin today our prep for South Carolina. Shane (Beamer) has got the program rejuvenated. I know there is a lot of excited fans and rightfully so.  Their guys are playing extremely hard in the first two games of the season. We have been able to watch those guys really been able to compete and grow. It looks like a lot of new faces compared to last year, it looks like they have a lot of new guys that are signees or portal transfer guys that have helped them roster wise. Our guys are excited to start the SEC East, anytime we play an SEC East opponent around here we know that is a team we are going to play every year. Be able to play at home and get a home opener in the SEC is exciting. I am certainty thankful for our fanbase, I thought the turn out we had last week was awesome and you don’t always get that for non-conference opponents so I know that this week will be even more special. We will need our fanbase to help us out with the crowd noise and the environment.”

On an update on JT Daniels…

“I don’t know any more than I did last time. He has been in treatment twice and Ron (Courson) has said that he has certainty improved. He threw the ball Saturday more than he threw the ball all last week, so he was better Saturday than he was the previous days. I will know a little more after practice today in terms of his mobility and his ability to move around and throw the ball. I know he has been to treatment twice and the update from Ron and has improved.”

On an update on injured players…

“All those guys are working through different things. We are excited about Tykee (Smith) and Darnell (Washington), they are out of their boots and they are able to do some weightbearing running. They will be running some this week and like I said I am so hopeful to get those guys back and get them back quickly. I think Ron had them scanned yesterday and the scans looked good. They’re healing. It is probably not optimistic that they will be able to play this week but we are hopeful that we will get them back soon. They both have been doing underwater running out of the boot. They look better, they are able to go to meetings and things but not sure when we will get them back, doubtful for this week.”

On moving Jamaee Salyer inside to offensive guard…

“It is something we look at each week. He practiced inside last week and played outside and rotated around there. It is something we look at every week trying to get our guys in the right pieces in the puzzle. I think Broderick (Jones) playing at tackle and gaining confidence there certainly helps give you that option. It was Broderick’s first really substantial playing time out of games we had leads in last year. As we improve and figure out who is the best five are, we are trying to figure out the best way to move people and obviously that takes mass and strength and also to be able to protect so we can throw the ball…finding the best five. So Jamaree will continue to rep in there and work in there and see who we think the best five are.”

On South Carolina and the last time they played at Sanford…

“No, I mean that was brought up some last year, a lot more similarities in their team last year and in their staff, with the exception of Will [Muschamp] being gone. You know, what happened the last time they were here was really about us, not about them. It’s always going ot be about what we do and how we execute. We’re trying to do that at the highest level, and whatever we can do this week in practice to be able to execute at a high level, that’s what I want to focus on – not the other. As far as their quarterback situation, we got to see Luke last year. Doty, he’s an incredible athlete, he creates problems in terms of extending plays. You know, he’s a really good athlete; he can move the pocket around, against us last year on offense, but a good athlete. But, my man down the road right here, Zeb, has done a good job. He’s come in and played really well. It was interesting, I’m good friends with his dad and getting to watch him play in those first two games was just unique because he played really well, and I’m like, this guy was a GA, and he jumped in and played quarterback, played winning football, and made good decisions. He made good throws, and it’s got to be very cool for him, an opportunity to play at an SEC program after going in to being a GA. And they use other guys at quarterback, as well, and they do a good job of changing it up, trying to give you a change of pace at that position.”

On JT Daniels’ injury…

“The approach is rest, recovery, and treatment, and we’ve done the best we can with that. The biggest thing that we’ve been told is that you don’t want to aggravate it. He’s been dealing with it since – he felt it prior to Clemson. He felt like he had a tweak, but something happened in the Clemson game to fire it back up. We don’t know. We’ve gone back to watch the tape, you know, he didn’t take a lot of shots. But there was one the first play of the game that he took that may have made it worse than it was going into that game, but whatever reason, he woke up Sunday and that it when he really felt it. It was really, really painful injury that is hard to relieve that pain. He has to heal, and it takes time, but again, he’s improving through each and every day.”

On Devonte Wyatt’s absence against UAB…

“No, he is not dealing with an injury.”

On how big an impact Will Muschamp has on preparations for South Carolina…

“I don’t know that. It’s personnel change, right? We go through this all the time with DK on Clemson, we go through it every year – somebody changes spots. You guys write about it, make a big deal about it, and it’s not that big a deal. He’s not in their meetings, he doesn’t know their game plan. He does know who their players are, and I just don’t know how that helps you a lot. We know their heights, weight, and we’ve got their tape, and the tape speaks for itself. He just might know more about them in terms of what strengths and weaknesses there are. So, we always do personnel with somebody who knows teams, and we get the personnel information, but at the end of the day, I think some of these kids can improve, get better, and they’re year older. You don’t always know exactly what they’re like.”

On Shane Beamer and his qualities…

“He was part of our original staff like Sam (Pittman) was. He’s a guy who has always had good leadership skills, he ran most of our special teams. He’s always had leadership qualities that would make him a good head coach and I think he took the job at Oklahoma so he would have an opportunity like this, and that’s what he has done.”

On Shane Beamer as a recruiter and qualities he saw in him as a head coach…

“To be honest, I don’t remember what year he left, y’all would have to tell me. I don’t know if we have anybody left that he was involved with in recruiting. Your team turns over so fast, so I don’t think there were many guys he recruited on the team we still have. When he was here, he was a good recruiter and he worked hard at it. I think that’s 90% of being a good recruiter: what letter you have on your chest and what the value is of your organization you’re selling. It’s more than the recruiter, it’s what you’re recruiting them to and we’ve got a special, special place here in terms academics, community, and support as well as facilities.”

On Channing Tindall getting playing time…

“Channing has done a tremendous job. He’s earned the trust and respect, he works really hard every day. Nobody comes out to practice with more toughness and effort. The part that people don’t see is that he has been a major role on special teams for a while. His confidence has grown on defense, he’s got tremendous speed and closing ability. I’m so proud of someone who works so hard and has done so much to be a good player. He’s producing and playing at a high level, coach (Glenn) Schumann is doing a really good job of developing his talents. He came early on and was transitioning from inside to outside in high school to just playing inside. He’s come a long way, he’s been able to do this because hard work pays off.”

On if Beck will be involved again on Saturday…

“You’ve got to take it day-by-day, because I don’t know what JT (Daniels) will be able to do in terms of volume and reps. Sure I’d love to keep Carson involved in the plan, but I don’t know where those reps are going to go. It’s hard to prepare three quarterbacks.”

On Sam Pittman…

“Sam is a tremendous leader. A great man. One of the funniest, wittiest, humorous person I’ve been around. He did a great job for our organization. We wouldn’t be where we are now, with some of the guys that have had the opportunity to leave here and grow and become head coaches and coordinators and things. Sam fits that mold. He was part of the original crew that came in. He and Jamie are special people to us and I’m just happy to see him succeed. I didn’t get to see much of the game, but I heard they played really well. I’m excited for him and honored that he was here. I’m happy that he helped build this place.

On the details from this past weekend…

“We had some small goals for this week. Attention to detail came out of the Clemson game…(audio went out) We didn’t approve our ability to stop the run and technique. Offensively we wanted to be explosive. We were explosive, but we didn’t have the communication, attention to detail, IDs, points and things that we need to have in order to be successful. We have to figure out why that is. What’s causing that. Is it something that they’re doing or is it something that we can control. I actually came out of the game feeling better about our ability to run the ball from the Clemson game than I did last week. The same way in run defense. Give UAB some credit, but what can we do to improve in those areas.

On Coach Beamer…

“I’ve known Shane for a long, long time. We were around the same age and kind of grew up as graduate assistants and things together. He interviewed with Nick (Saban) one time, a long time ago. We got to be friends and we’ve always been close ever since. I have a lot of respect for his family, his dad. We both have been around Lake Oconee in the summers and always spent time together. His family is friends of our family. I’m happy and excited for him to get the opportunity he’s got at South Carolina.”

On the interior offensive line…

“Yeah, like we started last week with Warren (Ericson) at right guard and Jamaree at left tackle. We did a lot of work during the week in terms of preparing for guys to play different spots. Like I said Jamaree has taken snaps some at center early in camp but now he is taking some at guard as well. (Justin) Shaffer has kind of been the constant over there and Warren has kind of been the constant over at right tackle and Shaffer at left guard. The backups that came in did a decent job. I want to see them play more physical and aggressive, I’m talking about Devin Willock, Chad Lindberg, Owen Condon, Amarius Mims. They got to play more than your normal amount of playing time. Those guys got to grow and get better. But I want to see them play more physical, play more aggressive, play with reckless abandonment. Some of them were in there for the first time and they were playing a little more timid and getting their first playing experience, some of them this year and some of them all together. But we will continue to look at those starting guys and figure out the best puzzle pieces to put in. The decision won’t be based on just Warren being the center, he is not going to be punished because, ‘oh I am the center,’ or (Sedrick) Van Pran is the center. We will put the best five out there. We have to play better up front, I think those guys will be the first to tell you that. It is not all about ability, some of it is about dependably. We have to do a better job of moving people and being physical up front and open up some stuff.”

# 5 Kelee Ringo | RFr. | DB

On his first two games…

“Going into my first game against Clemson, there were a lot of emotions. It was my first time actually getting into the collegiate level playing football. I mean, just being able to rely on my teammates and also my coaches, and seeing the support of my family, it was a lot of emotion out there. I felt pretty well. We’re greatly prepared. Going into my pass interferences, just trying to stay poised and keep my head around going down the field is something that we worked on this entire past week going up into UAB, and I was able to execute that and come away with my first interception. It was a great feeling, man, it was unexplainable, and I’m greatly blessed to have this opportunity.”

On his mom and her story…

“Seeing from the picture, you could see all the emotion she had. Seeing her kid go out there and have his first interception at UGA, especially in Sanford, was a huge accomplishment, as well. Last year I wasn’t able to play, so my mom saw me go throughout that process and struggling mentally, just trying to stay locked in and engaged, and just looking forward to the next opportunity, honestly. So, just continuing to be prepared, and my mom, I’m sure as soon as I made that play, she just thought about all the things that I had gone through, and I was able to seize the moment, and she was really proud.”

On Brock Bowers…

“Most definitely. Brock Bowers is a great player. I was actually able to guard him myself a good amount of times. Just how he is able to move his body against anyone that’s guarding him, whether it’s linebackers or safeties, he’s able to get open. Just being really agile and how fast he is with great, strong hands and a wide catch radius – it’s a big thing to his advantage.”

#81 Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint | So. | WR

On Stetson Bennett’s performance and his limited involvement against South Carolina…

“Stetson had a great game. To be honest, I’m fine with not being able to get in time, I’m just happy to see my teammates who were able to go out there this past weekend and make big explosive plays that help us get in a position to win. So, I feel like Stetson did his job, we did our job as a unit, and played a great game.”

On the South Carolina game…

“I know that we are going to keep doing what we have to do, and we are going to keep working on what we need to work on. I don’t know what South Carolina is going to come out with this coming weekend, but I know that we are going to have to do what we are going to have to do. We are going to have to do our jobs, and at the end of the day, we have to go out there and execute and play football, at the end of the day. That’s the only thing we can do, and we can focus on it.”

On getting up to speed in Georgia’s offense…

“I wouldn’t say it takes very long, it’s just with every offense you just have to get in the playbook. It’s been like that since high school, and it’s going to be like that until you get into the league. The most important thing is that you have to study and get into the playbook, and once you do that, then everything will come to you.”

#6 Kenny McIntosh | Jr. | RB

On what the team has been doing and where they can take it…

“I feel like we have the ability to take it as far as we want. Our offensive line is very talented. We have a lot of great players that can get that push to get to the second level. Just being able to run behind these guys and that connection, it’s going to take us far away.”

On his growth and improvement…

“Coming from practice and having the ability to go against our defense, there’s a lot of great players. Just being able to get those reps and finding where the hole is going to be at in certain plays. That’s just on being at practice and gaining experience.” On Will Muschamp and what it will be like for him on Saturday…

“Muschamp is a great coach. He knows what he’s doing when it comes down to that. I feel like he has a plan for us to be prepared and to have us in the right position to be successful.”

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