Monday, December 27, 2010

Dawgs Arrive In Memphis


The University of Georgia football team and staff arrived in Memphis throughout the day on Sunday to start preparations for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Friday.

Although inclement weather in the region slowed the arrival of some, most of the players, coaches and staff checked into the Peabody Hotel on Sunday and began preparations for Monday’s practice at 10:30 a.m. ET. This is the first of three practices for the Dawgs while they are in Memphis.

“We don’t have everyone here yet,” said coach Mark Richt. “Saturday night we called everybody and told them don’t leave until it’s safe. We had a 6 p.m. central time team meeting and we pushed that to 9:30 p.m. So we hope to have 95 percent of the guys here by then.”

A trio of Dawgs will not be making the trip to Memphis for the bowl game. Freshman cornerback Derek Owens and redshirt sophomore offensive tackle A.J. Harmon will not be at the bowl game because of academic reasons. Junior tailback Caleb King did not adhere to UGA Athletic Association policy after missing his fifth academic-related meeting and will also not be making the trip. All three players are eligible to participate in spring practice.

“We have three players that will not be here,” Richt said. “They lost their opportunity to play in the bowl game.”

Senior fullback Shaun Chapas elected to have surgery on his ankle last week and will not play, senior defensive end Brandon Wood will also miss the game due to an injury.

Sophomore split end Marlon Brown is one of two Memphis natives who is returning to his hometown to play in the bowl game. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Austin Long is the other Dawg who hails from Memphis.

“I’m looking forward to playing in a real college game at home,” said Brown. “It is going to be fun. UCF is a very good team. They’re 10-3 this year and used to winning. I’ve got tons of family and friends coming so that’s really cool to me. Some of them couldn’t get to my games in Athens and other places because of their jobs but now that we’re playing in Memphis, there are no excuses for them.”

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