March 24, 2008

Future Dawgs liked what they saw

Over the weekend in Athens, Georgia had many prospects in attendance. The Junior Day gives players a chance to see what happens on campus, during position drills, and watch the team scrimmage live. But it also gave a trio of future dawgs a sneak preview of what they would be doing later on this summer and in the fall.

Makiri Pugh was there for two practices and the scrimmage, and he liked what he saw.

"The energy they displayed was amazing, and all of them looked so polished," Pugh said. "The defense is on the same page and what stood out was that they actually enjoy all the hard work being put into everything. I think they realize how much talent they have and how high their expectations should be."

The 5-foot-11, 194-pound defensive back out of Charlotte (N.C.) Independence has heard from other players that his position coach, Willie Martinez, is a fiery competitor that pushes his players on the field.

"Yeah, he had all the passion I thought he had. It is great for the defense because they feed off his intensity and they are like an extension of him on the field."

Even though he played at a national powerhouse in high school, he could tell the difference in the practices.

"Speed, speed, speed - This is the epitome of the SEC. I could also see how much more controlled and organized the practices are."

"All these players are the best of the best, and they know what they are doing. This is why I wanted to come here."

He loved seeing them out there, but it was also hard for him.

"I was so anxious", he admitted, "I wished I could get out there and contribute. This was the first time I had seen them in practice and game situations. Seeing the coaches do their thing, and watching much of the same team that ended the season."

"They look like the season never ended, plus the players look to be improving every day. I think there will be new stars emerging that are replacing players that graduated."

The North Carolina 2008 signee has a former South Carolina star in mind.

"C.J. Byrd is going to have a big season. He will take over where Kelin Johnson left off and he is ready for it. I know I will learn a lot from him he knows the defense through and through."

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