Fifth-ranked Georgia’s preseason practices intensified on Saturday morning as the Bulldogs added shoulder pads to their gear for the first time this fall. The team is in the midst of an NCAA-regulated acclimation period from jerseys and shorts to shoulder pads to full pads on Monday.
“Today was our first day in shoulder pads, and we had a chance to up the tempo to what we call ‘thud,’” head coach Mark Richt said. “It’s part of the progression of our five-day acclimation period. Things definitely got more lively today, and I was pleased with what I saw.”
The Bulldogs hit the field at 8:45 under relatively warm temperatures in the mid-80s and practiced for approximately two and a half hours.
Junior defensive end Ray Drew said the presence of pads takes the workouts to a different level.
“I feel like it gives you a better gauge of what you’re going to get from someone as far as their effort,” Drew said. “Just about everyone can run around out there, but the real people show up when the pads go on. It really shows you who’s who and who’s going to do what.”
The Bulldogs are slated to open their 2013 schedule four weeks from today on on August 31 when they travel to face interstate rival Clemson at 8 p.m. ET. The Tigers were ranked No. 8 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches’ poll released on Thursday. The contest, which is 2013′s only season-opening top-10 matchup, will be broadcast nationally on ABC.
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