December 19, 2006

Coates ready for action this fall

After suffering ACL injuries in both of his knees in the
last three years, redshirt freshman safety Antavious Coates has been
on the long road to recovery for the Bulldogs. UGASports caught up with Coates
to ask him about his rehab and what his expectations are for next season.


UGASports: How is your rehab going?


Coates: "Everything is going real
good and I am right on schedule and I plan on coming back in the spring so everything
is looking good."


UGASports: How difficult was it suffering
season ending injuries before you could play a down for the Bulldogs in two
consecutive years?


Coates: "It has been difficult,
but I have been getting stronger everyday and I think I will be fine."


UGASports: Most of your teammates are
anxious to see you on the field, how anxious are you to get out there and play?


Coates: "I am and I have been
waiting on this forever so I think when my time comes I will be able to produce."


UGASports: When do you think you will
be able to go full speed?


Coates: "By fall camp I will be
full speed."


UGASports: Do you think you can challenge
for a starting spot next season?


Coates: "I can compete, I have
no problem competing, and if I do not compete then I am wasting my time. I want
to play and I will play."


UGASports: Which safety position do you
think you can play or compete for?


Coates: "Free Safety or Rover,
but I can play either or."


UGASports: Do you think you can push
Kelin Johnson, CJ Byrd, and the other safeties for playing
time next season?


Coates: "Yes sir, I can push all
of them and those are some of my best friends and we are on this team to compete
with each other and make each other better."


UGASports: Who has impressed you when
you watch the team practice?


Coates: "Reshad Jones
and Quintin Banks have impressed me a lot those are some good young
guys."


UGASports: How much did the reputation
of the former star safeties at Georgia play into your decision to come here?


Coates: "It did, but it did not
because I felt like this was the best place for me. I am real happy with my
decision and I am glad I came to Georgia and I would not change my mind."


UGASports: Did you have a why me moment
when you injured your knee again in fall camp this year?


Coates: "Anytime you get hurt you
have a why me moment in camp and I just put it to the side and try to get better."


UGASports: How much of an advantage did
you have in your rehab knowing how to recover from this injury already?


Coates: "I have a big advantage
because of experience and I know what to do in the weight room and rehab. I
just go through the same routine I did the past couple of times to make myself
better and I will come out fine in the end."


UGASports: Are you still the same size
you were heading into fall camp?


Coates: "Yeah, I am 6'4"
215 pounds. I do not have a problem with weight and I can control my weight
so I do not have a problem with that either way."


UGASports: Watching the team play all
season were there moments especially in the tough games when you wished you
could be out there helping the team?


Coates: "Every game. When the season
went on, I really started not to feel that way, but the first three or four
games I really felt that way. I am real anxious to get back on the field."


UGASports: What do you think has happened
to this team following the tough October with wins over Auburn and Georgia Tech?


Coates: "I think it has made the
team a lot stronger and I think we are building a stronger bond together. We
are getting familiar with each other and I think we will be real good in the
future."


UGASports: How good can this defense
be next season with so many young or inexperienced players in key roles or starting
jobs?


Coates: "I think that will be the
big thing about because we have a lot of people returning on offense and on
defense I think we will be a real good team, but a young team on defense. I
think we will be real good."


UGASports: Will there be a moment of
doubt when you take those first steps out onto the practice field in fall camp
next year?


Coates: "Probably the first time
I step out there, but after that I really do not have a problem. When I did
it during camp I felt real good so I will do the same things and it will begin
to progress."


UGASports: What type of safety are you?


Coates: "I love to hit. I like
to play cover two, but I would rather hit somebody."


UGASports: Will you and Banks be the
big hitters next year?


Coates: "Me and him are real similar
in the way we play. Me, him, and CJ like to hit so we will really make a big
impact."


UGASports: What other players do you
see as the starters next season at the two safety positions?


Coates: "I really could not say
right now because it is going to be open competition and I think we will start
to get a little rotation going. I think that will make all of us better."



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