UGA football players comment following first spring practice
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UGA football players comment following first spring practice

George Pickens
Photo: Tony Walsh/UGA

UGA football opened their spring 2021 practices on Tuesday in Athens. The Georgia Bulldogs will practice a total of 15 times, which includes the annual G-Day game.

G-Day 2021 is set for Saturday, April 17 at Sanford Stadium. Capacity will be limited to 20% and tickets for the game have already sold out.

Following the first practice on Tuesday, several UGA football players met with the media. Below is a transcript of their comments that was provided by UGA:

#90 Jake Camarda | Senior | PK/P

On the first day of practice…

“I mean the first day of practice was awesome. It is just great to be back out there. We didn’t have the spring last year so just getting to be out there today and getting to be back with the coaches and all the guys, it was awesome. It was a great day out there today.”

On the buzzwords and phrases that the coaches use…

“It is probably just…we are really working on our mindset and that kind of stuff right now. Just having the right mindset. Just getting to know each other and really just forming a family bond on this team. I would probably just say something around there. We feel that the teams that are super close are able to make big runs. There is nothing more important than getting to enjoy being out on the field with your brothers and your coaches and just getting to know each other. When you know everyone that you are playing with, when you are really tight with the guys you are playing with, you will play harder. We are just trying to continue to have that culture.”

On difference between this off season from previous off seasons…

“I definitely think that things have been done differently. With the strength program, we are doing really great things there. We are doing some mindset program stuff and that has been a little bit of a change. We are doing more of that than we have in the past so it has definitely changed a little bit, but it has been really cool and I think everyone has enjoyed it. It has been a good change.”

#16 Lewis Cine | Junior | DB

On the defense needing to be the leaders and strength of the team…

“What’s the saying? ‘Defense wins championships, offense wins games.’ So, being strong is always important. We are just going to carry that on.“

On keeping score of daily battle between offense and defense…

“We love going back and forth, that’s what makes practice fun. The competition is good on good. So that is what makes practice very fun – the back and forth.”

On mindset from strength work…

“We have been working on trying to find what can help us connect as a whole outside of football. We are trying to get to know each other on a deeper level than just x’s and o’s. The strength coaches are a crucial part of getting to know each other. We are trying to get to know each other more than just seeing a guy or going to class with a guy. We need to know what’s their ‘why’ or what makes them go. Really getting to know them as a person, not just as an athlete or a football player.”

#69 Jamaree Salyer | Senior | OL

On whether anything has been implemented into the strength and conditioning routine….

“We are having these deals called ‘Skull Sessions.’ I think we’ve been doing them for the past five or six weeks for three days out of the week. So, we will have them after our lifts, and after our lifts we will split up in to two groups- you know for COVID protocols of course. We would talk about all types of stuff; what is your why, our team DNA, goal settings, all types of different aspects and we hit one different topic a week. So yeah, it has been pretty good, and it has been pretty good for us. One of my favorite ones is the why of course. If you can know a guy’s why, your teammate’s why, then you can push them to do things that you never thought they could do. It has made us a totally different team.”

On whether he prefers playing tackle or guard…

“I have no preference. I like to think of myself as a Swiss Army Knife, I can do anything, whatever the team needs to win I don’t care. I’ll go give a snap, I’ll go punt the ball, I don’t really care whatever it takes for the team to win. I want to go out there and be the best teammate I can be so that we can get the result that we want to get which is a National Championship. As far as last year, I think I did some great things, just being able to play left tackle, it is really fun actually. I was very nervous about it going into the season but just being able to be out there for a full season, I mean this is my first full season. I was very excited about it because it was just different. Tackle is something that I played in high school but playing left tackle in the SEC is like okay you must be a grown man; you have to play a certain way. Just knowing that you have to lead in that position was a different experience. It changed the way I look at football.”

On whether he has a preference on which position he plays…

“I mean like I said I don’t really care. If coach says go out there and play left tackle, then I am going out there and play. If he says you are playing center, if he says you are playing left guard then I’m putting my head down and playing. For me, of course, God gave some people 6’8 length and 40-inch arms, but it wasn’t me. I can play, don’t get me wrong. I can go out there and play with the best of them, and I did for 10 to 12 games. It is up to coach. I am not the coach and as far as practice we rotate. I get left tackle reps, I get guard reps, I get all over because I can play everything, so I have to be ready to play everything. I mean it doesn’t matter to me I just want to play ball and I want to win.”

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