Georgia Bulldogs practice at new indoor facility for first time during fall camp

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and defensive back Deangelo Gibbs (8) during the Bulldogs' session on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Monday, July 31, 2017. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldogs’ fourth preseason practice featured a new twist. Thursday’s workout was the team’s first of the fall held in UGA’s new $30.2-million, 102,306-square-foot Indoor Athletic Facility (IAF).

The practice in shoulder pads and shorts lasted just over two hours.

“Practice seemed to go smooth,” junior linebacker Natrez Patrick said. “Everybody was fresh. It obviously wasn’t as hot as it was outside. Me personally, I didn’t get as winded as I would have. That’s one of the positive aspects of the indoor (facility). We still have the same type practice as outside, though. Nothing changed there.”

The goals of the defense are simple during the early portion of fall camp.

“We’re all just working hard and trying to improve daily,” said senior noseguard John Atkins. “Everyone as a whole is working hard. To improve daily, that’s our goal.”

The Bulldogs return 10 starters from a year ago when Georgia ranked fourth in the SEC and 16th nationally in total defense. Senior linebacker Davin Bellamy expects the unit to be solid again in 2017.

“I feel like we’re an older, more veteran group now so we have to lead and show everybody how it’s supposed to be done,” Bellamy said.

The Bulldogs will return to practice on Friday before turning attention to their annual Fan Day on Saturday afternoon. The event, which is presented by UnitedHealthcare, includes photos with Georgia’s mascot, Uga X, beginning at 3 p.m., followed by an open practice by the team from 3:30-5:30 and autographs with players and head coach Kirby Smart from approximately 5:45-6:30.

COURTESY UGA SPORTS INFORMATION

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