Bulldogs defensive end Sterling Bailey is part of a group of upperclassmen who are supervising the voluntary summer workouts at Georgia. He gives us an peek into how things are going in Athens as well as his take on recent dismissals.
RUTLEDGE, Ga. -- Last week, twenty football players from the University of Georgia made the hour-long drive down to Camp Sunshine, a camp for kids dealing with the effects of cancer. The players enjoyed their time with the campers as we documented here. The trip to Camp Sunshine has become an annual tradition, as have declarations by the team about how hard they are working during the summer. One of those traditions is a fact; the other is often up for interpretation.
Not this year, says defensive end Sterling Bailey. While at Camp Sunshine he insisted that there can be no doubt about the amount of participation in this summer's work outs.
"We are holding each other accountable, making sure everybody is there, 100 percent, nobody taking any days off," Bailey said. "Everybody is busting their tail. We have got to get ready for our first game."
Reporters covering the Georgia beat have heard similar declarations before only to find out later they were not true. Claims of full attendance at voluntary summer workouts have sometimes proven false. Bailey was adamant that such is not the case this summer.
"Everybody is showing up," Bailey said. "We are in charge of it. We have position leaders that make sure everyone is there. Mostly upperclassmen, seniors and a couple juniors, just the ones everybody looks up to. For the defensive linemen you have Mike [Thornton], Ray [Drew], me and Toby [Johnson] making sure we are all in there."
Speaking of the defensive line, there are nine linemen for the three available spots in Georgia's 3-4 defense.
"We are out there competing against each other for three spots, pushing each other," Bailey said. "Every day is a competition. In the long run it is what's best for the team. If we push each other and compete against each other it is going to make the team a whole lot better. Yeah it is a conflict of interest but it is what it is."
Bailey mentioned that they team is not as concerned as the fanbase is with the recent spate of transfers and dismissals.
"We are moving on whether people want to be here or not," Bailey said. "We all just decided, 'Hey, the ones that want to be here, we're here. We are going to move forward. We are going to work. We are going to grind. We are going to push each other.' And that's it."
The redshirt junior doesn't blame the coaches for the losses in the Bulldogs' secondary, the unit that is now down three starters from last season.
"The coaches aren't too strict," Bailey said. "There just comes a time when you have to sit down and be truthful with yourself. 'Hey. It's on me. It's not on anybody else. It is my responsibility. I've got to do what I can and hold myself accountable.' "
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