ATHENS, Ga. -- The Achilles heel for the much-maligned Georgia Bulldogs' defense last year was its secondary. With seven different starting configurations of four freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors, the Bulldogs' lacked consistency and experience. Now that four of those starters from last year are either no longer on the team or have switched to offense, Georgia fans have every right to be worried about a repeat performance this year.
Lucky for them, Shattle Fenteng enrolls at Georgia on Wednesday.
Fenteng is a junior college transfer from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. Last year he was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 1 JUCO cornerback in the nation. He signed with the Bulldogs back in February but did not enroll with the rest of the freshman class this June. For a fan base that was already on edge, news of Fenteng's delayed arrival did not go over well. It now appears that Fenteng has cleared the final hurdles to enrollment.
We caught up with the 6-foot-1, 183 pound junior to get the latest.
11Alive: What was the holdup?
Fenteng: "I didn't have enough credits to transfer so I had to take a Composition II English class in the summer. I finished the class last Thursday but I had to wait until my grade transferred. My grade just got in so I will be able to enroll tomorrow."
11Alive: What were the coaches telling you during all this?
Fenteng: "I talked to Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt this morning and he was saying, 'We need you. Come here tomorrow morning and let's get your physical done and all the little steps done so we can get started.'"
11Alive: What is your first goal upon enrolling?
Fenteng: "The main thing is to get comfortable. I want to get my classes and get familiar with the campus. I know it is a pretty big campus. Then I want to get the playbook down as fast as I can."
11Alive: Now that you are about to enroll, how does it feel?
Fenteng: "I'm excited. I'm ready. I love competition. I'm ready to battle. I am not looking at it like it is something different, I looking at it just like going to school and playing football just like I did at Hutch. I am not over-thinking anything."
11Alive: What did you learn during your time at Hutchinson?
Fenteng: "I learned how to be more independent because I was so far away from my parents. I learned how to be more responsible because I didn't have anyone telling me to wake up or when to do homework. I got better at football too. I got much better. My first year at Hutch was my second year ever playing corner. My sophomore year was my third year at corner. So I evolved a little bit and I feel I have more room to grow since I just started at this position."
11Alive: Speaking of evolving, the Georgia secondary has had some attrition this offseason. Your thoughts?
Fenteng: "We lost a lot of talent but also it gives the freshmen and newcomers a chance to step up and earn a position. It shows that the coaches are more serious this year. They are not taking any crap from players. If you talk back or show up late, you are getting cut. That's how I see it. I guess they feel this year is the year to win it all so they don't want any cancers on the team. They want everyone on the same team."
11Alive: Who do you already identify with or know on the Georgia team already?
Fenteng: "I cool with Toby Johnson since we both went to Hutchinson together. I got pretty close to Rico Johnson. We went on our visit together. I am thinking he will be my roommate because he doesn't have a roommate yet and we have been talking a lot."
11Alive: Tell us something about yourself that the fans don't know or that would surprise them.
Fenteng: "The first thing people would be surprised to know that my first year starting was my senior year. The second thing would be that I was born in Italy. Brescia, Italy. My father was marketing and selling clothes, shoes and stuff. He had his own store there."
11Alive: Do you have dual citizenship?
Fenteng: "Yes sir I do. I forgot all my Italian because I was a little kid but my parents speak it fluently. We moved back when I was five I believe."
11Alive: Were you pulling for Italy in the World Cup?
Fenteng: "Yes, I was rooting for Italy and Ghana."