A colleague of mine who bleeds garnet and black, as I guess they must say of South Carolina fans, stopped by my desk the other day to talk a little football.
So, he said, “we’re all supposed to fear Lorenzo Carter, huh?”
Yes, the legend of No. 7, which started spreading last summer before he ever took the field as an outside linebacker for Mark Richt’s Dawgs, has been getting even more burnishing during the current spring drills.
Back last August, the 6-foot-6-inch incoming freshman, a 5-star prospect from Norcross, already was turning heads in the corridors of the Butts-Mehre complex.
At that time, linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer predicted that “two or three years from now he’s going to be a lot thicker and heavier and he’s got the speed to handle it, too. Before he’s done here he’s going to be a great player, one of the best ones to come through here probably.”
Now, as Carter prepares for his second season as a Bulldog, he’s looking like an even more formidable physical specimen. He told the AJC’s Chip Towers recently that he’s up from 220 when he first arrived at UGA to about 243 pounds and hasn’t lost any of his 4.6 speed.
In fact, Richt said, “I think he’ll only get faster and quicker and stronger.”
Already in his first season, Carter was such a dynamic playmaker that the coaching staff looked for ways to get him on the field at the same time as veteran outside linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins. And that no doubt will continue this fall.
And, as he told the Athens Banner-Herald, Carter is looking to improve on his freshman season, when he had 41 tackles, 18 quarterback pressures and four and a half sacks. “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse,” he said.
His teammates are predicting he could wind up as one of the all-time best defensive players at UGA.
So, yeah, I told my Gamecock buddy, fear Lorenzo!
IT’S ABOUT TIME
A lot of fans are excited about all the off-field “quality control” assistants added to Richt’s staff since Greg McGarity decided to loosen the UGA Athletic Association’s pursestrings. Frankly, that excitement stems in part from the fact that a big support staff is one of the hallmarks of Alabama’s program.
And I agree that adding these folks, who primarily analyze video and help research recruiting in addition to taking a bunch of less important jobs off the assistant coaches’ shoulders, is a good idea.
But there’s one particular addition that really pleases me: the arrival of special teams analyst Carter Blount.
Longtime readers will know I’ve harped for years on Richt’s seeming indifference to the special teams aspect of the game and his refusal to consider a full-time coach for that area.
Things got a bit better last season with two assistant coaches named to coordinate the special teams, but there still was a lot of room for improvement.
With Blount on staff now, however, there’s hope we’ll actually see that improvement.
In the past, the kickers pretty much were ignored by the coaches at practice and supervised themselves, so if one got in a slump, as punter Collin Barber did last season, there wasn’t really anyone around to help him.
Now, Blount is giving the kickers a detailed daily practice schedule, and practices are videotaped so he can review them.
“We have something to do at practice now and we have to work to complete it,” Barber told the Banner-Herald. “It’s pushing us a lot more.”
That’s one of the most encouraging things I’ve heard out of this spring’s drills.
The Saturday Down South site recently concluded a March Madness-style “tournament” with readers voting on the greatest SEC “star” of all time, and UGA’s Herschel Walker upset top-seeded Crimson Tide legend Paul “Bear” Bryant in the final title bracket. (Yeah, it’s been a bad week all-round for Bama football.)
Moving through the brackets, Walker defeated Danny Wuerffel, Reggie White, Bo Jackson, Steve Spurrier, Peyton Manning and then, finally, topped the Bear with 51.3 percent of the vote.
It’s good to know that UGA fans aren’t the only ones who appreciate how special Herschel was.
I’ll be away from the Blawg for Easter weekend, but I’ll will be back next week as we get ready for G-Day. In the meantime, if you have something you want to discuss concerning UGA athletics, or a question you want me to tackle, email email@example.com.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg
Bill King is an Athens native and a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. A lifelong Bulldogs fan, he sold programs at Sanford Stadium as a teen and has been a football season ticket holder since leaving school. He has worked at the AJC since college and spent 10 years as the Constitution’s rock music critic before moving into copy editing on the old afternoon Journal. In addition to blogging, he’s now a story editor.