"We did him pretty bad," Gilliard said. "As I was pushing him back on the ground somehow his elbow had hit my lip. Trust me, I knocked him back like three yards."
Gilliard said he couldn't remember which running back, but coach Mark Richt isn't forgetting what he's seen from Gilliard this preseason.
The 6-2, 220-pound junior from Valdosta has "flipped the switch," Richt said.
"He just got very serious about it doing it the Georgia way," Richt said. "You can see a tremendous difference with his body language, just his stature. He's stronger. …He wants to be a consistent player and hopefully a guy that plays a lot for us."
Gilliard certainly is in position to play more.
After seeing action in 10 games last year and making eight tackles, the he is the only experienced backup at inside linebacker where Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree are the starters.
"Definitely, definitely this year, I've got to make some plays," said Gilliard, who works behind Robinson at the "mike" position.
Last year's blue-chipper with advice
The only five-star recruit in Georgia's 2010 signing class has offered some words of wisdom to the highly-rated members of this year's recruiting class.
"I tried to tell some of the freshmen that I did talk to `Don't pay attention to that `Dream Team' stuff,'" said Ogletree, who moved from safety before spring practice. "'You've still got to come out here everyday and work just like the rest of us.'"
Ogletree and his class did not get nearly the amount of attention that this year's group is receiving, but the newcomers this year will have to adjust like he did.
"It's just you've got to learn the speed of the game," he said. "It's much more quicker here on this level in the SEC. You've got to come in and learn what to do and ask questions if you have questions."
Defense wins first full pads day
Georgia tackled to the ground for the first time this presason Monday when it donned full pads for the first time.
Before the walk-through, Richt said one freshmen noted: `We get to wear the silver britches for the first time.' I thought that was kind of neat."
Cornerback Branden Smith had one of the biggest hits. Ogletree said it came against receiver Taylor Bradberry on a bubble screen.
"The defense ended up winning the day," Richt said. "It was a very close competition, a very spirited competition, which was great."
Said cornerback Jordan Love: "It's different from just shoulder pads and helmets. When you go out there in full pads, it's physical. There's no more playing around."
Richt said a mild ankle sprain by an unnamed player was the only notable injury on Monday.
Georgia will practice twice today, one of two times this preseason it will have a "two-a-day."
Running back update
"Richard can't turn the corner quite as quick as Isaiah but Richard brings a bigger load," Richt said of the 6-2, 238-pound Samuel. "You can kind of hear the ground shake when he runs."
Walk-on tailback Brandon Harton did not practice after sustaining a mild concussion in Sunday's practice. Richt said he hopes he will be back by the end of the week.
Vasser holding his own
That could be significant if Jones has to miss the opener against Boise State because of possible improper benefits connected to his Columbus AAU program.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told Richt that "Chase is a solid No. 2 right now. A lot of it is because he knows what to do. He's in the right place at the right time. He's had a good offseason. He's done a nice job."
This and that
Freshman cornerback Chris Sanders joined the secondary's injury list on Sunday. "His shoulder got banged up a little bit," Richt said. Cornerback Brandon Boykin and safety Jakar Hamilton remain sidelined with hamstring injuries. So does outside linebacker Cornelius Washington. "I don't think any of them were just major blowouts, but they're usually 7 to 10 days type stuff," Richt said Cornerback Derek Owens has been sidelined with a neck injury, according to safety Shawn Williams.. …Gilliard on freshman inside linebacker Ramik Wilson from Tampa: "He's a hitter. I can tell." … Boykin was among 50 named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list for the most versatile player in college football.