February 8, 2010

Lakatos getting to knows his players

With spring practice now less than a month away, new secondary coach Scott Lakatos is anxious to begin on-the-field workouts with the players who will make up his defensive backfield this fall.

In the meantime, he's going to be busy pouring over game film and observing their work habits and basically spend his time getting to know his athletes the best that he can.

Georgia kicks off spring drills March 4.

"We've already gone through and watched just about everybody and pulled off 25-30 plays of each guy just to see what they did in the past," Lakatos said. "We watched scrimmage reps, game reps, one-on-one drills, inside drills; whatever we can find we're trying to get a feel for what these guys can do."

Based on that, Lakatos said he's pleased with the talent the Bulldogs appear to have on hand.

Lakatos said he's impressed with what he's seen by both Brandon Boykin and Branden Smith, who along with Vance Cuff and incoming freshman Derrick Owens figure to be the focal points at cornerback.

Don't forget about Sanders Commings.

When Lakatos first arrived at Georgia, he talked about his preference for taller corners. At 6-foot-2, Sanders, who did play some corner for the Bulldogs last fall, certainly fits that mold.

"He played both spots last year and we saw that on tape. He'll probably still be the same type of guy that he was last year, a guy who was big, physical, long corner that can also go into a game and play at some safety spots," Lakatos said. "It's all going to depend on what he can do best and what we need which would determine how we will ultimately use him."

Lakatos said Owens will also have his opportunity to make an early impact.

At 5-11, Owens also has the height that Lakatos prefers. He also appreciates the penchant the Jacksonville native has for the football after setting a school record at Andrew Jackson High with 23 career interceptions.

"He's a decent size guy but the thing about him is he is a really competitive player and very versatile," Lakatos said. "He did a lot of things for those guys down there. The thing you like about him is that he's a decent size guy who has speed and has quickness. When you add that competitiveness, he's ready to go."

Owens won't be the only Bulldog newcomer who Lakatos expects will be "ready to go" come the start of fall camp.

At safety, GMC transfer Jakar Hamilton is an early enrollee already busy learning the defensive playbook and appears to have an excellent chance of earning a starting role following the graduation of Brian Evans and Reshad Jones' decision to leave early for the NFL.

Lakatos is also excited to have Bacarri Rambo back. Although Lakatos isn't yet in position to deep anyone a starter, it would seem Rambo is assured of such a role, with Quintin Banks, Shawn Williams, Makiri Pugh and incoming freshmen Marc Deas and Alec Ogletree expecting to figure into the mix.

Lakatos admits that Ogletree will be an intriguing player to watch.

At 6-3 and 215 pounds, some have suggested that the Newnan native might be best suited for an outside linebacker spot in Georgia's new 3-4 scheme.

Perhaps one day. But according to Lakatos, Ogletree will have a home in the secondary.

"Right now we see him playing safety for us. Of course, whatever happens over the next four or five years will determine that, but you can say that about any of the guys that we signed," Lakatos said. "But we just have to get him here, work him and see how he fits in compared to the other guys at other positions. Whenever you can get somebody in there who is going to help you win football games, regardless of position, you get him out there."

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