Nose Kwame Geathers proved during Saturday's G-Day game why coaches and teammates have been raving about his play all spring.
The 6-foot-6, 350-pounder at times was dominating, commanding necessary double-teams and on one memorable play, knocked down running back Caleb King for a 4-yard loss.
He also had another tackle for a short loss of yardage.
"Well, when you get named the Defensive MVP, you've done some good things and Kwame has done some good things," Richt said of Geathers, who won the award during Friday's spring banquet. "Kwame has gotten himself in good condition. You hear this term he's got better pad level, well, you've got to play low. A man that tall, if you get low at all they're going to get underneath your pads, run you and dump you, so to speak."
That wasn't a problem Saturday.
"If you stay low, you've got a better chance of splitting those double-teams," Richt said. "If you use your hands well you've got a better chance of combating people single blocking you and things of that nature. Not only has he made people double-team him, but it frees up a linebacker."
Geathers' behind-the-line tackle of King brought quite the reaction from the G-Day record crowd of 43,117.
"That tackle on Caleb was a little surprising. I was able to get out there, hit the guy and make a play," Geathers said. "He didn't say anything but as we were going back he was asking, why you all hit me like that?"
Geathers said he was pleased with Saturday's effort and of the spring in general.
Last February, the Bulldogs signed Johnathan Jenkins (6-4, 361) out of junior college, a player many expect to become the starting nose this fall.
Geathers, apparently, has other ideas.
"My goals were to come and work hard every day. I think I did that. I came and I actually got better this spring," Geathers said. "I think I made big steps. I came in and did everything they wanted me to do. I can get better, much better, but I think I made a big impression."
According to Richt, there's nothing like a little competition to make a player better.
"He probably heard big Johnathan Jenkins was coming to take his job and I'm sure that it a fire under him to a certain extent," Richt said. "That's what competition does, and that's what we tried to make sure we re-established in the spring."
But Geathers isn't satisfied. He knows he can get even better.
"I'm pretty sure there was a lot of things I could do way better on today, but it was just important to come out here and just go hard," he said. "That's what I did."
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