ATHENS, Ga. -- In the minutes following Georgia's G-Day spring game that was witnessed by 93,000 fans, first-year Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart was asked to assess where his program stood.

"I had no preconceived notions, so to say where it is -- I think we've got to get bigger, and we've emphasized that," Smart said. "We're not as big as we need to be, and we're not as physical as we need to be. Obviously I came over from a machine where we had a lot of really good players, and the hardest judgment I have is, 'Where are we?' I only have one thing to compare it to."

"We've got a long way to go and a good bit of time to get there," Smart said.

Smart stressed the importance of the summer conditioning workouts and this week admitted to having a better sense for the program. The Bulldogs are coming off consecutive 10-win seasons but have not won the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference since 2012.

"I know that our players are more willing to push through the pain," Smart said. "Our guys have shown from spring to the summer that they're willing to get under a bar that has more weight on it and to lift it. They're not only capable, but they're more willing."

"There is a difference in compliant and committed," said Smart. "Compliant is doing what is asked, but committed is doing whatever it takes, and that's where our kids our going. I don't know that we're there yet, but they are much past compliant on the way to committed on the continuum right now."



The Bulldogs completed their fourth preseason practice Thursday, working out for two hours in shoulder pads and shorts. They are allowed under NCAA rules to put on pads for the first time today.

"We're close to putting on the pads, and it's exciting," sophomore defensive tackle DaQuan Hawkins said. "We're getting better individually, as a unit and as a team. We're all buying in and staying focused. We're worried about the team and what we can do to help it be better."

Under a new head coach who is getting less and less new every day.

"The transition is kind of old news now," Smart said. "As far as the players being used to me and me to them, I think the comfort level is there."

This article was written by David Paschall from Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.