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Georgia defensive back Richard LeCounte (2) during the Bulldogs' practice on the Woodruff Practice Fields in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Georgia sophomore safety Richard LeCounte III was singled out by coach Kirby Smart last week for his inconsistent play.

LeCounte responded following Tuesday's practice by offering his appreciation.

"Hearing feedback from Coach Smart, whether positive or negative, is always something I can learn from," LeCounte told reporters. "It's a part of coaching. I would be mad if he wasn't coaching me.

"It's a learning experience, and I love it."

Tuesday's two-hour workout in full pads was Georgia's 10th preseason practice.

LeCounte was an early enrollee in the 2017 signing class, and he was not lacking for fanfare after being ranked by ESPN as the nation's No. 12 overall prospect. In his first appearance before fans inside Sanford Stadium, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Riceboro tallied nine tackles in the 2017 G-Day spring game.

In the second game last year at Notre Dame, a 20-19 win that ignited a 13-2 season that included the Southeastern Conference championship, LeCounte was in the starting lineup. That would be his only start, however, and he didn't even play in five of Georgia's last nine games, including the thrilling Rose Bowl triumph over Oklahoma and the overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship game.

LeCounte is expected to be a starter this season following the departures of Dominick Sanders, Malkom Parrish and Aaron Davis from last year's secondary, but Smart expressed concerns following last Thursday's practice.

"He makes some of the greatest plays I've ever seen, and then he makes some of the most bone-headed plays," Smart said in a news conference. "There is not a level of consistency there. Richard loves to practice and he loves football as much as anybody out there, but he has to do things consistently in order to be successful."

Georgia could be without junior cornerback Tyrique McGhee for the first couple of games this season. McGhee, who had an interception on Tennessee's first play from scrimmage in last year's 41-0 win in Knoxville, suffered a foot injury during last Saturday's first preseason scrimmage.

Smart did not immediately think the injury was serious, but 247Sports.com reported Tuesday that McGhee would be out four to six weeks.

As for LeCounte, he admits to a "gambling" style at times and said he needs to slow things down in order to take in more. Should he be singled out publicly by Smart again, he would be fine with that, too.

"I love hearing feedback from him," LeCounte said. "If I couldn't take it, I wouldn't be here. The team needs me to do my job, and I'm just a small piece of a big puzzle."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

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