August 3, 2010

Samuel: "It's going to take some reps"

Richard Samuel won't lie. When it comes to playing linebacker in Todd Grantham's 3-4 scheme, there's a lot he still has to learn.

Switched to linebacker prior to spring, Samuel said he's finally broken out of his former "offensive mindset." Physically, there's been no problem.

Samuel weighs a muscular 235 pounds, but when it comes to learning the system, it's taking the junior some time.

"(Monday) was rough, just mentally," Samuel said. "There's a lot of improvement I can work on. I need to get deeper in the playbook."

It's not that Samuel isn't trying.

He spent all summer under the tutelage of senior Akeem Dent, who Samuel said helped him to "understand" his responsibilities, along with any questions he might have about technique and form.

"He was always there when I had questions," Samuel said.

That's no longer the case.

With Dent expected to miss the next month with a foot injury, Samuel is getting an early thrown right into the fire - ready or not.

"(Not having Dent) makes practice different, but at the same time by him not being here there's more opportunity for me and more hands on work with not so many mental reps," Samuel said. "Now, I just need to get down with the playbook."

Ironically, Grantham has Samuel working at Dent's position at Moe.

Would Samuel consider redshirting in order to get a better handle on the scheme? It's possible, but not likely.

Georgia's depth at the position doesn't exactly lend to sacrificing a healthy body, especially with Dent out. Barring something unforeseen, Grantham says Samuel will play.

"Richard's got ability. He has the want to and he can do it but it's one of those things when you play linebacker you've got to key and diagnose," Grantham said. "But you've got to react to what's happening with the ball coming at you. It just takes reps and it takes fundamental work. The guy is progressing, but he's got to keep working hard every day."

Samuel feels with repetition he will be just fine.

"I want to be able to know what I'm doing after the snap of the ball," Samuel said. "I just want to be able not to have to think about what I'm doing. And I will. It's just going to take some reps."

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