April 7, 2009

Secondary coming together

With less than a week remaining before Saturday's G-Day game at Sanford Stadium, Georgia's secondary continues to make important strides.

At least that's the way senior wide corner Prince Miller sees the situation.

"We've got a lot of young guys and right now we're just trying to get everyone to know their roles and get their plays down," Miller said. "For the most part everyone is still learning, but guys are getting in the right positions and starting to show what they're capable of doing."

Of those "young guys," sophomore Brandon Boykin appears to be taking advantage of the opportunity he has to replace Asher Allen at the short corner spot.

Boykin already has a number of interceptions during the team's 11 workouts thus far this spring. He's certainly made an impression on quarterback Joe Cox.

"Brandon's been all over the place," Cox said. "He was matched up with Tavarres King on one play and looked like he went seven feet in the air to make a play. It looks to me like he's going to be able to step right in."
Apparently, Boykin isn't the only defensive back making a solid impact this spring.

Defensive coordinator and secondary coach Willie Martinez says that senior Bryan Evans appears to have found home at free safety and has done nothing to suggest that he won't be the starter there when Georgia opens its season against Oklahoma State.

As for Reshad Jones, the move to strong safety has been a smooth transition while redshirt sophomore John Knox continues to make strides and is earning a reputation as one of the team's more punishing hitters.

Meanwhile, Quintin Banks continues to recover form the knee injury that has prevented him from taking part in spring but is expected to be 100 percent for fall camp.

Junior corner Vance Cuff continues to be coming on as late and is trying to make an impression before the impending arrival of touted freshmen Branden Smith and Jordan Love.The Moultrie native suffered what he described as a mild concussion during bowl practice and later a mild MCL sprain that slowed his initial progress.

Fortunately, Cuff says he's back to where he was physically before the injury, although he's dropped four pounds from 182 to 178.

"When you come back form a collision, play defense and tackle it's kind of scary when you come back but Ron (team trainer Ron Courson) has helped me through it," Cuff said. "I had a concussion in high school, but not like this. Anytime you get back out there you're a little bit antsy, but you can't play football if you're like that. You've just got to get back out there and compete."

Sophomore Sanders Commings and redshirt freshman Makiri Pugh continue to get most of their work at nickel back.

Bacarri Rambo has also performed well, although he's recently been slowed by a sore MCL.

"Spring is the time for earning playing time," Cuff said. "You just want to go out there and show the coaches what you can do, if they don't already know. It's a really competitive time because everybody out there is trying to open some eye."

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