Saturday, August 28, 2010

Preview - Quarterbacks

FOOTBALL

Aaron Murray is not your typical red-shirt freshman quarterback according to his position coach, Mike Bobo.

 Murray, 6-1, 209, is a student of the game and spends hours studying film to prepare himself. Even when he was certain that he would not play, he still prepared himself as if he was starting the game.

With ten returning starters surrounding him, Murray is confident that he can protect the ball, make good decisions and lead the offense.

The only question concerning the quarterback position is who will be the primary backup to Murray.

Junior Logan Gray, 6-2, 199 has worked exclusively at wide receiver this fall and is slated to see action in the opener at the position. If he is completely healthy, he would likely be the backup at quarterback also. Gray doesn’t have the arm strength of Murray but is the only player on the roster to take a snap at the position.

True freshman Hutson Mason, 6-3, 190 set the single season passing mark for the state of Georgia last year and has impressed the coaching staff with how quickly he has learned the play book. He has the best arm of the three and will be called on in the event Murray or Gray is injured.

Dawgs Getting Healthy

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs conducted a brief situational scrimmage
in full pads that lasted just over an hour on Friday afternoon at the Woodruff Practice Fields. The concentration was on potential game circumstances that did not occur during their "practice game" scrimmage on Wednesday.

After practice, coach Mark Richt updated the status of several players who have been out of action due to injuries of late, with positive reports for most.

Akeem Dent was out there with no green jersey, he is practicing full speed and should be ready to play if he doesn't have a setback.

Cordy Glenn is out there practicing.

Ben Jones is out there practicing.

Trinton Sturdivant is getting more confident, which is very good news.

Rantavious Wooten is getting very close.

Logan Gray is a little further behind but making progress.

We're very hopeful that Demarcus Dobbs will practice on Monday. We think it's pretty certain he'll play.

That's the bulk of the guys that have been missing work that would normally be in the first or second teams.

As of this moment, the only players certain to miss the opener are wide receiver Tavarres King and tailback Washaun Ealey. Both are suspended for one game.

Ealey Suspended

Sophomore tailback Washaun Ealey has been suspended by head coach Mark Richt for a minimum of one game as a result of his arrest early Friday morning on charges of hit-and-run of a parked vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

“I’m extremely disappointed in Washaun’s lack of good judgment,” said Richt.  “He was fully aware of his suspended license and had been instructed not to get behind the wheel.  As a result he’ll miss at least the first game and will also be subject to internal discipline.”

Ealey was the team’s leading rusher in 2009 with 125 carries for 717 yards and three touchdowns.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Preview – Running Backs

Football

Tailback

Junior Caleb King is finally 100% healthy, has his weight down to 206 and feels like he is ready for the best season of his career. The result is he has been named the starter at tailback for the Dawg’s opener.

King was the second leading ball carrier last year gaining 594 yard on 114 carries and scoring 7 TD’s, he also caught 10 passes for 108 yards and another TD.

The aspect of his game that separates King from the rest of the pack though is his ability to protect the quarterback in passing situations, he doesn’t hesitate to stick his helmet on a defender’s numbers when needed.

Washaun Ealey sat out the first four games last season before proceeding to show the Dawg Nation the skills that allowed him to set the single season (58) and career (133) touchdown records while playing for Emanuel County Institute.

The 5-11, 215 pound sophomore gained 717 yards on 125 carries and ended the season as the Dawg’s leading rusher. Ealey is the only back in the SEC to gain 70 yards or more in the last 7 games of 2009.

Ealey will split the carries with King this year and behind an experienced offensive line, both are likely to reach the 1,000 yard mark.

Sophomore Carlton Thomas at 5-7, 176 pounds is not an every down back in the SEC but his elusiveness and speed makes him difficult for defensive linemen and linebackers to find.

Thomas appeared in seven games picking up 92 yards on 22 carries last year and if he can overcome a propensity to fumble on contact, he will surpass those numbers this season. He will also see action on special teams and returning kicks.

True freshman Ken Malcome at 6-0, 218 is the largest of all the tailbacks and could see action this year if King or Ealy suffer an injury.

Depth Chart:

Caleb King, Junior, 5-11, 206, 5 starts

Washaun Ealey, Sophomore, 5-11, 205, 2 starts

Carlton Thomas, Sophomore, 5-7, 176

Ken Malcome, Freshman, 6-0, 218

FULLBACK

Senior Shaun Chapas, 6-2, 246 is often overlooked by most fans but ask any opposing defender what it’s like seeing him lead a tailback out of the backfield and the usual answer is, “He hits you like a run away train.”

Fullbacks usually only see their name mentioned when they miss a block, Chapas is a critical link in the Dawg’s running game and his final season should earn him some post season recognition.

Senior Fred Munzenmaier, 6-2, 242 has 12 career rushing attempts, 4 of them resulted in touchdowns. Like Chapas, he is a devastating lead blocker and relishes his role in the running game.

Junior Charles White, 6-1, 230 switched from linebacker to fullback last year and has yet to see any action other than on special teams. He is being counted on to be ready for next year.

Junior Josh Sailors, 5-9, 240 was awarded a scholarship during the summer, the former walk-on’s work ethic and tenacious attitude continues to move him up the depth chart.

Walk-on sophomore Kevin Lanier, 5-11, 216 was a standout on special teams last season and continues to impress the coaching staff at the fullback position, he is typical of prior walk-ons at UGA that eventually earned a spot on NFL rosters.

Freshman Alex Ogletree, 5-9, 205 seems a likely candidate to redshirt this year but the coaching staff has already mentioned that he may earn some playing time on special teams.

Depth Chart:

Shaun Chapas, Senior, 6-2, 246, 13 starts

Fred Munzenmaier, Senior, 6-2, 242, 1 start

Charles White, Junior, 6-1, 230

Josh Sailors, Junior, 5-9, 240

Kevin Lanier, Sophomore, 5-11, 216

Alex Ogletree, Freshman, 5-9, 205

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Practice Report

FOOTBALL

G-Day 2010 086 The Dawgs used their fourth straight practice of the week to complete a 90-minute kicking scrimmage today at the Woodruff Practice Fields.

With the completion of Thursday’s practice, the Dawgs now have six more practices before their 2010 opener, including a session on Friday and Saturday morning.

Defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach Todd Grantham will be back on the college sideline for the first time since 1998 when his team faces Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 4.  Grantham joined the Dawgs after spending the last 11 years on the NFL sidelines.

“It’s been a long time since I have been on the college sidelines, but once the game starts, it’s still the familiar game that I know out there,” said Grantham, adding that he has never been to a game at Sanford Stadium but watched some on TV.

Grantham also gave his analysis on Wednesday’s scrimmage.

“I thought we had good communication out there and our group knew what to do,” Grantham said.  “We still have to do it in a real game so we’ll see how they react.  I’m just ready to get to a game and I’m sure the guys are too.”

Grantham added that senior defensive end Demarcus Dobbs “should be practicing Friday” after an ankle injury and that senior inside linebacker Akeem Dent is “on track” to be able to play next week after his toe injury.

From the other side of the ball, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo said he was “pleased with the overall effort.”

“The team’s intensity from the beginning of the scrimmage pleased me,” said Bobo.  “I knew from the first snap that any scrimmage that you’re excited to see has the potential to disappoint.  But the guys treated this like a football game.  I was really pleased with how they reacted to this scrimmage compared to some others.”

Bobo complimented the play of senior split end Kris Durham, who is returning to the lineup after redshirting the 2009 season with an injury.

“He showed a total unselfish effort and made some extremely tough catches,” Bobo said.  “He made some (touchdown) blocks and just played awesome.  It will be a big bonus to have someone like him coming back who has SEC experience and was productive at that level.”

Basketball Schedule Released

BASKETBALL

As many as 17 of the Dawg’s 30 regular-season games will come against teams that played in the 2010 postseason, according to the complete
2010-11 men’s basketball schedule, announced today by head coach Mark Fox.

Additionally, the Dawgs are slated to make several national television appearances, including once on CBS and at least five others on either ESPN or ESPN2.  More TV dates will follow upon completion of the non-conference broadcast schedule.

“I’m very excited about the schedule we have put together,” Fox said.  “We created it to position ourselves for post-season play and I think we were
successful in that goal.  The competition within the SEC will be tremendous. I believe we will have the toughest league in the country this season.”

“I’m also pleased about the national exposure that we will get throughout this schedule.  I think it speaks well, both for our program and our league.”

The Dawgs tip off their SEC slate Jan. 8 at home against defending champ Kentucky, the first of seven straight games against post-season participants. UK also completes the 7-game stretch Jan. 29 in Lexington.

Even the Dawg’s so-called “bye” date in the league schedule ­the week of Feb. 7-11 has been filled with a stern, out-of-conference test. The Dawgs will play host to Atlantic 10 Conference foe Xavier on Feb. 8.  The Musketeers have averaged 27 wins over the past four seasons.

Season tickets, which include a reserved seat to all 16 regular-season home games, are $225 and on sale now to Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF)
contributors. Season tickets for UGA faculty and staff are also on sale and are $112.50.  Season ticket applications to all Basketball Enhancement Fund (BEF) donors and UGA Faculty/Staff were mailed earlier this week.

All renewable men¹s basketball season tickets ordered by September 15 will be assigned based on your Basketball Enhancement Fund cumulative score and all non-renewable seats will be assigned on best available and in the order they are received. For more information on the BEF, please contact The
Georgia Bulldog Club by calling 1-877-GA-DAWGS or logging on to: http://www.thegeorgiabulldogclub.com

Season tickets can be ordered either online at www.georgiadogs.com or by calling 1-877-542-1231.

2010-11 Georgia Basketball Schedule

All Times EST
Nov. 5 vs. Augusta State (Exhibition)
Nov. 12 vs. Mississippi Valley State
Nov. 16 vs. Colorado
Nov. 20 at St. Louis
Nov. 25-28 at Old Spice Classic (@Orlando, Fla.)
(1st round opponent:  Notre Dame, Nov. 25 @7:00 p.m. , ESPN2. Other
participating schools: Boston College, Cal, Manhattan, Temple, Texas A&M,
Wisconsin)
Dec. 3 vs. UAB
Dec. 7 at Georgia Tech
Dec. 18 vs. Arkansas State
Dec. 21 vs. High Point
Dec. 23 at Mercer
Dec. 28 vs. Charleston Southern
Dec. 31 vs. Eastern Kentucky
Jan. 8 vs. Kentucky (SEC Network) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 12 at Vanderbilt (SEC Network) 8:00 p.m.
Jan. 15 at Ole Miss (FSN) 5:00 p.m.
Jan. 18 vs. Tennessee (ESPNU) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 22 vs. Miss State (SEC Network) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 25 vs. Florida (ESPN) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 29 at Kentucky (ESPN) 4:00 p.m.
Feb. 2 at Arkansas (CSS) 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 5 vs. Auburn (SEC Network) 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 8 vs. Xavier (ESPNU) TBA
Feb. 12 at South Carolina (SEC Network) 4:00 p.m.
Feb. 16 vs. Vanderbilt (ESPNU) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 at Tennessee (CBS) 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 24 at Florida (ESPN or ESPN2) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 26 vs. South Carolina (FSN) 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 2 vs. LSU (SEC Network) 8:00 p.m.
Mar. 5 at Alabama (SEC Network) 1:30 p.m.
Mar. 10-13 SEC Tournament ­ Atlanta
Additional TV Dates & Tipoff Times TBA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dawgs Simulate Game

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs held a full-speed, tackle scrimmage today at Sanford Stadium that featured everything except a capacity crowd of 92,746 fans.

Coach Mark Richt wanted to simulate game conditions as much as possible, including the normal pre-game warm-up, a coin toss with the captains, kickoffs, Georgia players on the home sideline and a collection of Dawgs playing the role of the visiting Ragin' Cajuns, coaches situated in their normal spot either on the field or in the press box, along with SEC officials and a running clock.

"There was nothing earth-shattering on the depth chart, but it did have a game day feel for everyone, and everybody got a good taste for it," said Richt as the Bulldogs played for approximately 60 minutes. "It felt like a game, I know I felt it in the locker room, during our pre-game routine and during the scrimmage."

Richt provided an assortment of "unofficial, official statistics.” The defensive leaders included senior outside linebacker Darryl Gamble with eight tackles and two sacks while senior cornerback Vance Guff had six tackles. Sophomore safety Bacarri Rambo provided a key highlight with a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown.

"Vance was very active on defense and did a good job on special teams too," said Richt.

Sophomore split end Marlon Brown made the top special teams play when he picked up a blocked punt and scored a touchdown. Sophomore cornerback Branden Smith had a pair of impressive returns including one on a punt that covered 63 yards.

Meanwhile on offense, redshirt freshman Aaron Murray went 9-for-17 for 127 yards and one touchdown to junior A.J. Green while freshman Hutson Mason went 5-for-10 for 69 yards. The leading rusher was junior Caleb King with 36 yards on five carries with one touchdown. Green finished with 40 yard receiving on four receptions while senior Kris Durham had three catches for 78 yards.

"I like the way we came out and played, we were physical," said senior fullback Shaun Chapas. "It was great to get out there in a game atmosphere. The team is putting in a lot of hard work, Aaron (Murray) is understanding stuff that only comes with experience. It comes with leadership, and he has a willingness to do whatever it takes for the team to succeed."

Richt announced the captains for the season opener. Chapas will represent the offense while Cuff and senior Demarcus Dobbs are the defensive captains and senior fullback Fred Munzenmaier is the special teams captain.

Sophomore offensive lineman Jonathan Owens is scheduled for knee surgery on the 31st to stabilize a chronic problem with his patella. He has been given a medical disqualification and will remain in school on scholarship but will not play football or count against the 85 limit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dawgs Prep For Scrimmage

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs altered their daily routine slightly today, spending the day primarily preparing for Wednesday's final live scrimmage of their preseason camp.

"I thought it was a good, productive day, and I'm hoping tomorrow will be even more productive," coach Mark Richt said.

The Dawgs practiced for less than 90 minutes in jerseys and shorts, walking through numerous offensive and defensive sets. Approximately every
20 minutes, the team broke from football drills and conducted brief conditioning runs.

"Today we decided to have a walk through to try to prepare them as we want them to look tomorrow for the practice game," Richt said. "We gave them a
little bit of a break from the hitting, but we did so in the heat and we did conditioning every 20 minutes to try to get them in condition for the heat.
Hopefully we allowed the special teams to learn how the looks we want them to give should look tomorrow."

Richt wants to emulate game conditions as much as possible on Wednesday.

"We don't get a preseason game so tomorrow is as close as we're going to get," Richt said. "We're going to play a half of football and do our normal
pre-game warm-up. We'll choose captains and simulate a coin toss. We'll kick it off like a regular game. We'll have our coaches situated up or down where they'll be during the season. We'll have the clock going. We'll have SEC officials. We'll have everything as close as possible except for the crowd
noise.

"We want them to get used to (game conditions)," Richt continued. "We haven't transitioned from kick off coverage to defense, from punt return or
block to offense, from extra point/field goal to kicking off."

While the Bulldogs are yet to release a depth chart for the opener, Richt expects the personnel representing Georgia in the scrimmage to most likely play early against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"The coaches are basically putting together the game utilizing everyone we think will play in the first half and everyone else goes to Louisiana-Lafayette," Richt said. "In cases, we'll be two-to-three deep. In some cases, that might just be two-deep. For instance, we have some sets that might have all three tight ends in the game on the goal line. The only thing that won't be first teams on the Georgia sideline will be some special teamers. They might play offense or defense for Louisiana-Lafayette and have to cross over and put on a vest to show that they're 'Georgia.'"

The Bulldogs' final scrimmage will be Friday.

"This is our last scrimmage that will be live," Richt said. "We'll have a situational scrimmage that will be 'thud.' If situations don't occur tomorrow, we may have to fabricate them on Friday."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Practice Report

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs kicked off another week of preseason practice with a 90-minute session today at the Woodruff Practice Fields.

Coach Mark Richt said the hot temperatures, which moved into the 90s again, were just fine with him.

“It was hotter today,” Richt said. “The guys had to push through it. Most of them did just that. We’re getting done what we need to get done. ... It’s good when it’s hot. It looks like it will be hot all week, and I’m glad about that. I hope it’s hot next week, too.”

Richt was asked if this felt like a bye week since the Dawgs will be in game mode next week.

“Yeah, a long bye week,” he said. “It’s time to play a game. I’m glad we’re blending in some scout work. Everybody is ready to play. It’s been a long camp, but we’ve gotten a lot out of it.”

Richt said end Demarcus Dobbs (ankle), center Chris Burnette (concussion) and end Dexter Morant (shoulder) missed practice today. He said receiver Logan Gray (ankle), center Ben Jones (knee), guard Cordy Glenn (mono) “are getting close.” Linebacker Akeem Dent (toe) was able to log some non-contact work for the first time on today. Said Richt, “We’re getting there.”

Tackle Clint Boling said the injuries to Jones and Glenn has meant valuable practice reps to several reserves. Boling said the depth should make a difference during Georgia’s first three games, all of which will kick off near high noon.

“They’ve all been playing well,” Boling said of the backups. “They’ve taken advantage of their opportunity to step in and get the job done. The good thing is, we’ve all been together for awhile, so we should be fine when everybody’s back. It’s going to be hot in the first couple of games, but it doesn’t matter when game time is; you’ve just got to be ready to play.”

Richt said the Dawgs will practice again on Tuesday, then will have a practice game on Wednesday and a kicking practice on Thursday.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Richt Dive On Sports Center

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs continued preparations for the 2010 season on Thursday with a two-hour practice in full pads.

Coach Mark Richt said a shift in the weather during the session benefited the Dawgs.

“We had a good practice,” Richt said. “When we went out to stretch, it was very hot, and it looked like it was going to be a rough day. But then we got some clouds and some rain, and that cooled it off. It remained relatively cool after that, and that helped them out.”

Richt said Thursday’s session included scout team work for the first game against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“We’re ready to start focusing on somebody besides our own team,” Richt said. “It’s always a tough day for some guys who were hoping not to be on the scout team, but what they do is very important. We appreciate the work they do to help us get ready.”

Richt was asked which true freshmen he expects to get playing time this season. He said defensive backs Alec Ogletree and Derek Owens and fullback Alexander Ogletree likely will see action, including on special teams.

Asked what he thought about being on ESPN Sports Center’s Top 10 for his Ramsey Center dive, Richt said tongue in cheek, “You don’t really want to be 10th, but at least I made it. Our own diving coach told me he’d give me about a 6.5 in a meet.”

Mid-Point Of Fall Camp

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs continued preparations for the 2010 season with a two-hour practice in jerseys, shells and shorts Wednesday.

Wednesday's session marked the 15th of the preseason for the Dawgs with 14 more scheduled before the season opener. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said the battle for starting spots and playing time is an ongoing process.

"We're getting close at some positions, but there's still some time in the next week and a half as we look at our depth," said Grantham. "Defense is about making plays and getting the best players out on the field. To do that, we're moving some guys around to develop depth."

At the nose spot, Grantham was asked about the development of redshirt freshman Kwame Geathers and junior Justin Anderson, who moved to defense after two seasons as an offensive lineman. Geathers is a 6-6, 325-pound native of Georgetown, S.C., while Anderson, a native of Ocilla, Ga., stands at 6-5, 326 pounds.

"Kwame and 'Bean' (Anderson) have done a nice job, I noticed them in Saturday's scrimmage and that's a good thing," said Grantham. "The closer you are to the ball, the faster things happen, and as the nose, you're right there. You have to react to the blocking schemes, and they've done well."

One injury update from Wednesday's workout, junior wide receiver Logan Gray did not practice due to a sprained ankle. He is listed as day-to-day.

The annual Fans' Picture Day is scheduled for this Saturday at Sanford Stadium. Interim mascot "Russ" will be available for photos from 1-3 p.m., while the 2010 Dawgs will be at the stadium from 3-5 p.m.

The Dawgs are ranked No. 21 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches poll.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Preview – Wide Receiver

FOOTBALL

It’s not much of a stretch to say that A. J. Green is the most talented player Dawg fans have seen in Sanford Stadium since a running back from Wrightsville left town. Green has the ability to change a game every time he touches the ball.

G-Day 2010 233 The 6-4, 205 pound All SEC junior is probably playing his final season between the hedges as he is a likely top 5 pick in next years NFL draft.

Green set a school record his freshman year catching 56 passes for a team-best 963 yards and eight TDs while rushing four times for 61 yards. He was named to every freshman All American Team in the country.

Green missed part of his sophomore year with a shoulder injury but still managed to make 53 receptions for 808 yards and six touchdowns. He was named a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award as one of the nations best receivers. Along the way, he blocked a field goal attempt against Arizona State in the fourth quarter with the game tied 17-17.

Sophomore Tavares King, 6-1, 182 is slated to start opposite Green but he will miss the season opener following an underage alcohol arrest that resulted in a one game suspension. King had 18 receptions for 377 yards and a TD last season and has the ability to stretch the defense with his speed.

G-Day 2010 131 Senior Kris Durham, 6-5, 212 missed all of 2009 as a result of a shoulder injury, he is healthy again and will provide a sure handed, huge target; especially in the red zone.

Junior Israel Troupe, 6-0, 210 had a great off season and is in the best physical condition since arriving on campus as a highly recruited two sport star. He is focused on having a break out year in 2010 and has all the tools to become one of the best in the conference.

Sophomore Marlon Brown, 6-5, 212 has adjusted to the size and speed of SEC defensive backs and is poised to show why he was one of the most recruited wide receivers in the country coming out of high school in Memphis. Brown has the size and speed to create constant miss-matches in the secondary.

Sophomore Rantavious Wooten, 5-10, 175 made three starts last year catching 10 passes for 197 yards and two TDs. Wooten is a small, lightning fast target that can turn a short pass into a long play. He will see plenty of action as a slot receiver this season.

True freshman Michael Bennett, 6-3, 186 has the size, speed and hands to see plenty of action this year. With only 7 wide receivers on scholarship, he will provide much needed depth.

Depth Chart:

Flanker:

A. J. Green, Junior, 6-4, 205, 19 starts

Rantavious Wooten, Sophomore, 5-10, 175, 3 starts

Israel Troupe, Junior, 6-0, 210

Split End:

Tavares King, Sophomore, 6-1, 182, 9 starts

Kris Durham, Senior, 6-5, 212, 7 starts

Marlon Brown, Sophomore, 6-5, 212

Michael Bennett, Freshman, 6-3, 186

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sailors Awarded Scholarship

FOOTBALL

Josh Sailors, a junior fullback from Athens, has been awarded a scholarship, according to an announcement today by head coach Mark Richt.

Sailors is a 5-foot-9, 230-pound junior who graduated from Oconee County High School. He is in his fourth year in the program, serving as a valuable reserve and member of the scout team during his career.

Sailors is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, majoring in Biology.

Sailors is the fourth walk-on to be awarded a scholarship this year. Earlier, Richt placed cornerback Chad Gloer, snapper Ty Frix and linebacker Reuben Faloughi on scholarship.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Preview – Tight End

FOOTBALL

If there is one position that has more quality depth than the offensive line, it’s the tight end position.

Coach John Lilly has two excellent receivers and two strong blockers to work with and likely will decide based on down and distance who is on the field.

Aaron White Junior Aaron White, 6-4, 237, started twelve games and finished with 13 receptions for 198 yards and four touchdowns last season. Two of his TD’s came in the bowl game against Texas A&M and earned him the Offensive Player Of The Game Award.

Sophomore Orson Charles, 6-3, 235, arrived on campus last fall as one of the most gifted and recruited athletes in the country. He started three games and finished the 2009 season as the third leading receiver on the team. His 23 receptions for 374 yards and two touchdowns earned him a spot on the Coach’s All SEC Freshman Team and the Football Writers Of America’s Freshman All American Team.

Junior Bruce Figgins, 6-4, 260, took a redshirt last year due to a shoulder injury and an off the field incident that resulted in a six game suspension. Figgins is the best blocker of the group and in 2007 became the first true freshman to start at tight end for the Dawgs since 1960. He has five career receptions for 56 yards and one touchdown. Expect to see Figgins as the primary tight end in run situations.

Sophomore Arthur Lynch, 6-5, 254, is more the prototypical blocking tight end. Lynch made only two receptions for 17 yards last year but he showed the speed and soft hands in the G-Day game that makes offensive coordinator Mike Bobo want to throw the ball in his direction.

It is entirely feasible that we see multiple tight end formations this season with Figgins and Lynch blocking while Charles or White line up in the slot position. Put A. J. Green at 6-4 or Marlon Brown at 6-5 out wide and very few defenses will have the size or speed to avoid the miss matches presented to them.

Depth Chart:

Aaron White, Junior, 6-4, 237, 13 starts

Orson Charles, Sophomore, 6-3, 235, 3 starts

Bruce Figgins, Junior, 6-4, 260, 3 starts

Arthur Lynch, Sophomore, 6-5, 254, 1 start

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Preview – Offensive Line – Right Tackle

FOOTBALL

Josh Davis returned from an injury and started the last half of 2009 at right tackle, there’s no questioning the fact that the offensive line played better with him than without. The 6-6, 310 pound senior is healthy to start fall camp but will still have to battle for the starting position.
With the return of Trinton Sturdivant at left tackle, Clint Boling has been working on the right side with the first unit and the potential All American will start at one of the two positions. Boling and Davis have played both positions and with three consecutive noon kickoffs, Coach Stacy Searels will have several options to rotate experienced players into the game.
Sophomore A. J. Harmon, 6-5, 310 is capable of playing both left and right tackle, if Sturdivant remains healthy and reclaims the starting job, Harmon will back him up on the left side. If Boling and Sturdivant rotate at left tackle, Harmon will backup Davis on the right side.
More options for coach Searels.
Incoming freshmen Kolton Houston, 6-5, 285 and Kenarious Gates, 6-5, 300 will get the opportunity to compete for a backup position, one of the two will likely take a redshirt. Gates has already caught the attention of both coach Searels and head coach Mark Richt with his effort the first week of camp.
It’s obvious that only five will play at a time but the Dawgs have more depth on the offensive line than they have enjoyed in many seasons, provided everyone stays healthy. It’s also possible that the final depth chart positions will not be settled until after the season starts. Since we had Boling penciled in on the left side, we’ll go with Davis as the starter.
Depth Chart:
Josh Davis, Senior, 6-6, 310, 9 starts
A. J. Harmon, Sophomore, 6-5, 310
Kenarious Gates, Freshman, 6-6, 300
Kolton Houston, Freshman, 6-5, 285

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dawgs In Pads Today

With temperatures hovering around the mid 90s and the heat index reaching triple digits, the Dawgs hit the field Wednesday for their third session of the preseason.

After a couple of days of working out in jerseys, shorts and helmets, the Dawgs added shoulder pads to Wednesday’s two-hour practice. The first session in full pads is scheduled for Saturday. This routine follows the NCAA’s five-day “acclimatization period” that all teams must follow at the start of preseason practice. The Bulldogs will have a total of 29 practices before their season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“It was definitely the hottest day for us, and everybody held up extremely well and I was really proud of them,” said coach Mark Richt. “We finished extremely well.”

Richt praised the play of senior linebacker Darryl Gamble and junior flanker A.J. Green, saying they are having an excellent camp.

Meanwhile freshman defensive end Dexter Morant, a 6-7, 240-pound native of Manning, S.C., has left the program, Richt confirmed Wednesday.

“Football is not for everybody, and Dexter has lost the desire to play,” said Richt. “We tried to convince him it was in his best interest to stay and fight through it because a lot of guys go through it, but in the end, he felt like it wasn’t for him. Right now, I’m not sure what he is going to do. I wish him the best, he’s a good kid.”

In other personnel news, Richt said sophomore split end Tavarres King’s suspension would likely remain for just one game after King’s off-season alcohol-related incident.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Preview – Offensive Line – Right Guard

FOOTBALL

Chris Davis has started more games than anyone on the roster, in fact he has missed starting just one game since the 2007 season opener. The only question concerning Davis is if he is fully recovered from hip surgery and capable of playing every down. The 6-5, 300 pound senior can play either guard position as well as center.

Tanner Strickland is big, 6-5, 322 pounds yet athletic enough to play every position along the line. Strickland missed his sophomore season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery and his return will provide coach Stacy Searels the opportunity to have a solid two deep offensive line for the first time in several years. The rising junior may well be the starter if Davis is not 100%.

Sophomore Jonathan Owens has the size, 6-4, 300 and is quick enough to play tackle but seems more at home playing inside. He saw action in one game last season and could earn a back up role at one of several positions along the line this year.

It’s the dream of all walk-on’s to earn some playing time and while the Dawg’s offensive line has plenty of depth, redshirt sophomore Josh Parrish has worked his way onto the depth chart. The 6-4, 303 pound guard not only made the Dean’s List, his hustle and work ethic may have earned him the opportunity to play.

Depth Chart:

Chris Davis, Senior, 6-5, 300, 38 starts

Tanner Strickland, Junior, 6-5, 322

Jonathan Owens, Sophomore, 6-4, 300

Josh Parrish, Sophomore, 6-4, 303

First Day Of Fall Camp

The Dawgs worked out in jerseys, shorts and helmets for approximately two hours today to cap a busy first day, the first of 29 sessions before the season opener.

Earlier in the day, several Dawgs along with head coach Mark Richt participated in a media session at Sanford Stadium.  After Monday’s workout, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was asked to review how the Dawgs looked.

“There was a little rust from spring practice, but I was pleased with how they responded and with their attention and grasp of everything,” said Grantham. “It’s a start, and we’ll keep moving forward. Basically, we’re installing, then we have a walk-through, an individual period, a group period, a team session and review it all on video, so there’s six times to learn everything. There’s no excuse not to get it. They are learning the system and know what we want to accomplish.”

At the media luncheon before practice, Richt said the first few practices each year are about learning what to do, and that is evident among the quarterbacks.

“The quarterback room has got to be the youngest room maybe in the history of college football,” said Richt. “You got a redshirt freshman, a true freshman on scholarship and then two walk-ons, and that is all that is in that quarterback room right now so it’s scary in there. But the good news is Aaron (Murray) is really doing a very good job, and he knows the deal extremely well. I was in the meeting today, I thought all the young QB’s were pretty sharp and learning really quick.”

As part of the NCAA’s five-day “acclimatization period,” the Dawgs will be in shorts and helmets again on Tuesday and will add shoulder pads on Wednesday. The first session in full pads is slated for Saturday, Aug. 7.

Classes resume on Monday, Aug. 16. The annual Fans’ Picture Day will be Aug. 21 in Sanford Stadium. Interim mascot “Russ” will be available for photos that day from 1-3 p.m. while the 2010 Dawgs will be at the stadium from 3-5 p.m.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Preview – Offensive Line – Center

Football

G-Day 2010 204 In 2008 Ben Jones became one of those rare players that leave the state of Alabama when he signed with the Dawgs and by the fourth game was the teams starting center. The 6-3, 300 pound junior was named to the All-SEC freshman team that year. Coach Stacy Searels loves his work ethic and the fact that he plays with a nasty attitude.

Redshirt freshman Chris Burnette (6-2, 300) is another Dean’s List member that has quickly worked his way onto the two deep depth chart.

A number of other Dawgs have cross trained at center and could be called upon if an emergency arose, among those; Chris Davis, Tanner Strickland and Ben Harden.

Depth Chart:

Ben Jones, Junior, 6-3, 300, 23 starts

Chris Burnette, RS-Freshman, 6-2, 300