Georgia opens preseason camp, 'ready to grind'

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Coach Kirby Smart says his Georgia Bulldogs are "ready to grind" as the defending National Champions open preseason camp.

Georgia Bulldogs open camp; defending champs 'ready to grind,' says head coach Kirby Smart 3:25 PM ET Alex ScarboroughESPN Staff Writer Close Covers the SEC. Joined ESPN in 2012. Graduate of Auburn University. Defending champion Georgia opened camp on Thursday with coach Kirby Smart telling reporters, "Our guys are ready to grind." Smart didn't dwell on any possible hangover from last season's success or the need to make up for all the production the team lost to the NFL. The Bulldogs had 15 players drafted - a record in the common draft era - including five stars from its top-ranked defense: Travon Walker , Jordan Davis , Quay Walker , Devonte Wyatt and Lewis Cine . Editor's Picks No Dawgs allowed: Tide again picked to win SEC 13d Alex Scarborough College Football national title odds: Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia lead the way 13d ESPN Betting Analysts Dawgs, Smart reach new 10-year, $112.5M deal 14d Mark Schlabach and Chris Low 2 Related "We got a lot of good players to replace," Smart said, "and we got a lot of good players to replace them with." Smart and his staff have reeled in a top-three signing class each of the last four years. The Bulldogs also return key starters in quarterback Stetson Bennett , tight end Brock Bowers , defensive tackle Jalen Carter and outside linebacker Nolan Smith . At SEC media days last month, the media predicted Georgia to edge out Kentucky and win the East. Georgia won its first national championship in 41 years in January when it beat Alabama in a rematch of the SEC championship. Asked whether he was worried about complacency, Smart said, "We don't really have that problem." That's due in large part to the number of players the team lost to the draft and players stepping into new roles. "I know the guys who haven't played are hungry," Smart said. "We have to keep the guys who have hungry. It has nothing to do with complacency. I mean, whether we win or lose every game this year, it's not going to be because of complacency. It's going to be because of the outcomes and what we did on the grass to make that possible. But it won't be because of complacency." Georgia also has the benefit of a high-profile Week 1 game to look forward to as it plays Oregon in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Sept. 3 in Atlanta. Adding to the matchup is Ducks' first-year head coach Dan Lanning, who was Georgia's defensive coordinator the last three seasons. "The last thing I'm worried about is Dan Lanning," Smart said. "I mean, we got a million battles to face before that. I'm not even thinking about Oregon. Our concern is our roster. How do we build depth? I mean, we're not even thinking about that. We're so far away from that right now. We're focused on us, our team, our connection and getting the right players in the right spots. "If we do that, that's going to control the outcome of the game, much more than what he knows about us and what I know about him."