Friday, December 17, 2010

Practice Reports


The Dawgs conducted a pair of practices in shoulder pads and shorts on Thursday as they continue to prepare for their New Year's Eve date with UCF in the Autozone Liberty Bowl.

The Dawgs concentrated on special teams play during a brief morning workout and then returned in the afternoon for a 90-minute session.

"I would say we're getting there," coach Mark Richt said following the second practice of the day. "It was mostly competitive work today, offense versus defense. We're gradually integrating the game plan, but we haven't gotten into a lot of scout team work yet."

Richt also commended tailback Washaun Ealey and linebacker Michael Gilliard for their efforts to assist a bus driver following an accident on campus Wednesday evening. Ealey and Gilliard helped the driver of a campus bus who was briefly trapped after the vehicle skidded off the road into a tree near the intersection of Cedar Street and Sanford Drive.

"Those two guys did a very good deed," Richt said. "They stopped and helped out and I'm proud of them. The assisted someone who was in distress, which is a good thing."

Ealey and Gilliard had just eaten at UGA's Oglethorpe House Dining Hall and were on Cedar Street behind the bus when it crashed. The driver was the only person on the bus at the time of the crash.

"We had just eaten at the 'O-House' and were driving behind the bus," Ealey said. "When it turned, I saw it start to skid and didn't think much of it, but it went off the road and went head-on into a tree. We got down there as quick as we could and helped the driver get out. She was pretty shaken up and there was a lot of broken glass. We just helped her get out and make sure she was OK."

"I've seen cars skid there other times so it really didn't surprise me at first," Gilliard said. "When I saw it skid off the road, it startled me and I thought 'Oh man. We better get over there and see if everyone it OK.' We didn't know how many people were on the bus. We didn't know it was just the driver until we got there."

Friday morning’s work out lasted approximately an hour in full pads.

Simultaneous to Friday's practice, 17 current and former University of Georgia football student-athletes received degrees at the annual December commencement exercises at nearby Stegeman Coliseum. The fall graduates bring the number of football student-athletes who have earned degrees during the Richt era (since spring, 2001) to 190.

Following the practice session coach Mark Richt addressed the workout as being an opportunity to get some of the underclassmen more repetitions than usual with such a large group at graduation.

"Today's the day we probably do that the most," Richt said. "We didn't have long practice at all with the seniors that our graduating gone. Actually, that was largest group that we've had (graduate) since I've been at Georgia. There were 17 of them with Fred Gibson and Andrew Johnson, so a lot of our guys missed this practice so we didn't do any kicking game. We did a little fundamental work, a little skeleton, a little 11-on-11, and then we scrimmaged for the rest of practice. It was a perfect day to do that."

Friday's practice also featured a group of special guests from Opportunity House in Lavonia, Ga., including James Robert "Radio" Kennedy and former T.L. Hanna High School football coach Harold Jones, for whom the 2003 film Radio was based upon.

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