Georgia football coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham were thrilled last month when gargantuan Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College defensive lineman Jonathan Jenkins signed with the Bulldogs.
DeAngelo Tyson is still pumped about it.
"He's a typical noseguard, and if we get more noseguards then we'll have more defensive ends," Tyson said Thursday night following Georgia's third spring practice. "I think it will be good for everybody."
Tyson started 12 games last season at nose for Georgia, which was implementing a 3-4 defensive scheme for the first time in 16 years. The 6-foot-2, 290-pounder from Statesboro amassed 36 tackles, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble a year ago, but it wasn't the most fun he's had.
Shifting out to end was his preference following last season, and helping facilitate his wish was the signing of the 6-4, 340-pound Jenkins. When Jenkins took his official visit to Georgia, Tyson accompanied him to dinner but claims there was never any begging.
"I couldn't do that," Tyson said. "I just told him the opportunity was there."
The Bulldogs could line up in the 2011 season with Tyson, who's a senior, and junior Abry Jones sandwiching Jenkins, who will arrive this summer. Working as the No. 1 nose this spring is 6-6, 325-pound redshirt sophomore Kwame Geathers.
Richt said Geathers is off to a good start and has improved from a year ago, which has enabled Tyson to work entirely at end and not split time.
"I'm happy," Tyson said. "I like defensive end because you're on the outside and not in the middle, when it's like being stuck inside your house. You can have more fun and be more free. You don't have to take on as many double teams or triple teams as you do when you're inside.
"I'm always more happy than the person playing nose."
The Bulldogs worked out for two and a half hours, their final practice before wearing full pads Saturday. Richt continues to notice defensive improvement in the second year under Grantham.
"Kids are getting better at fundamentals now," Richt said. "Last year a lot of time was spent on knowing what to do. Now they have an idea of what to do and they are learning how to do it better, so their techniques are improving. They are playing faster and with more certainty."
Said Tyson: "The three days have been great. We haven't had as many missed assignments, and I just think everybody is getting used to it."
Odds and ends
Richt said redshirt sophomore guard Dallas Lee, who appeared in three games last season, has been unable to practice so far because of "asthmalike" conditions. ... The G-Day game on April 16 will be televised by CSS.