Georgia football players using GPS devices in preseason camp

Georgia redshirt sophomore cornerback Aaron Davis (35), shown here listening to defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt during practice last week, is among several Bulldogs players wearing GPS units this month in preseason camp.

The use of advanced technology is becoming more and more prevalent in college football, and it's no exception this month with the Georgia Bulldogs.

Georgia is using GPS (global positioning system) units to track the conditioning of players as well as the impact of collisions in preseason camp. Only a handful of players are wearing them, with the tracking devices hidden under black patches that are located where names would go on the backs of jerseys.

"We're using them for the first time," coach Mark Richt said in a news conference following Saturday's practice in full pads. "What it's doing is giving us an idea about the volume of running - how much distance are these guys traveling and what speed are they traveling and how often do they hit at maximum speeds?

"You learn a lot about the volume of work that they're doing. We're still learning how to use them and how to use the data to help us, because we really don't have anything to compare it to."

The Bulldogs wound up practicing twice Sunday - there was no media availability following either workout - after originally planning to have their lone two-a-day session today.

Nebraska used GPS devices on 50 players last year, while Alabama and Tennessee were among the Southeastern Conference teams that experimented with them. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban told The Associated Press last November that he looks at the readings to determine who is working as hard as he can and that the information among defensive backs can be revealing.

"When they're covering a good receiver, their numbers are higher," Saban said.

Richt hopes that if this proves to be a successful month, the readings from the GPS units can serve as a reference point for future camps. Conversely, if too many players wind up with too many hamstring pulls, then they obviously may have gone too far in their workout regimen.

"Changing practice habits to help these guys is what we're trying to learn," Richt said.

Staying optimistic

Sophomore receiver and return specialist Isaiah McKenzie remains sidelined with a pulled hamstring. McKenzie has now pulled a hamstring in each leg, having suffered a pull during the G-Day game in April.

"I'm not alarmed," Richt said. "I expect him to heal up and be ready to go. Sometimes guys with hamstrings end up a little bit fresher than the rest of the nation - not that you want that to happen - but I'm going to look at the bright side on this one."

Contact David Paschall at [email protected] or 423-757-6524.