Georgia players practice in December chill for now, ‘can’t wait to get in’ new indoor facility

ATHENS, Ga. — On a Friday afternoon when temperatures dipped below 40 degrees, Georgia’s football team would have enjoyed getting inside the nearly complete indoor practice facility.

 

“I can’t wait until that’s built, very excited to get in there,” said junior wide receiver Javon Wims, who has peeked inside the $30.2 million structure. “I know it looks great right now.”

 

Junior tight end Jeb Blazevich wore a thermal shirt and leggings to keep warm at practice Friday.

Georgia is preparing for its Dec. 30 bowl game against TCU in Memphis, but it is still practicing at its temporary practice fields while the new building goes up.

“It’s always been talked about,” Blazevich said. “In recruiting it was, ‘Oh, we don’t need one.’ Then I get here and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, we need one.’”

The turf field is laid down with the Georgia “G” prominently displayed at midfield, but there are still finishing touches going on.

“We’re trying to get where we can do some walk-throughs in there, but there’s a lot of code (requirements) and other things they’re going on,” coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s one of those things that we have to go day by day. We can’t practice in there. They don’t have everything completed, but we hope to be able to use it just for inclement weather and things like that. They’re working with us, the construction.”

Georgia is scheduled to practice through Wednesday on campus. Today’s high temperature is forecast to be 44, with a 40 percent chance of rain, according to weather.com.

The indoor facility still is not fully enclosed but is expected to be “substantially completed” by Jan. 12, according to athletic director Greg McGarity. A dedication is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and offensive line coach Sam Pittman dressed for the weather on Friday with coats and knit caps. Rocker wore gloves.

Director of strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Sinclair didn’t seem bothered. He was in a cap but wore shorts and a T-shirt with sleeves rolled up.

Blazevich thought Sinclair was trying to get everyone’s “mind right” when they were saying how cold it was.

“I just seen him after practice and I saw chill bumps on him,” Wims said. “I said, ‘Coach Sinclair, I know you’re cold. Go get some hot chocolate.’”

Senior center Brandon Kublanow won’t be able to benefit from the building.

“I know next year it’s going to be 70 degrees in there, especially in the offseason when you’re running and it’s like 10 degrees out there and they’re going to be running in the indoor,” he said. “Lucky people.”

 

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