Jenkins Pushing to Get Better

ATHENS - John Jenkins is still working with the second-team defense, but it's not like he expected coaches to automatically hand him a starting job.

"You can't take anything for granted," the transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College said Thursday. "It's the best of the best down here. I wasn't coming here thinking I was going to dominate. No. No, sir. I came here like it's not junior college. I know I'm not going to be able to dominate the guys like I did before and I've got to work. It's that simple."

Jenkins couldn't make it through his first Georgia practice due to the heat, but a week later coach Mark Richt is seeing signs that the player expected to be a difference maker on defense is progressing.

"I think I saw Jenkins begin to play harder, practice harder," Richt said. "I saw him push it and practice hard in the heat, which was a very good sign."

The 6-foot-3, 342-pound Jenkins, who has shed 15 pounds since arriving to campus in June, remains behind Kwame Geathers at nose, but there is a big benefit to the backup role for now in going up against perhaps one of the nation's top centers.

"It gives me an opportunity to go against Ben Jones and the first offensive line," Jenkins said. "Ben Jones is a heck of a player. Every time he gets me on a play, I get angry and I want to fight back, but I also go to him and ask him what I did wrong because he's been in the SEC for a while."

Getting up to speed with the playbook has held Jenkins back, he said.

"I've learned this is a hard defense," he said. "It's not like junior college. It's a lot of things to be accountable for. They want to make sure that I'm able to handle that pressure. … As I get acclimated to it, I'm able to go faster, I'm trying to go harder every snap. I'm trying to do everything the right way."

Richt can tell.

"Now I see him starting to really push," Richt said. "Push to play hard every down."

Another hard-hitting Ogletree

Alec Ogletree led the defense in tackles in Wednesday's scrimmage, and it was a good day for his twin brother Zander, too.

The sophomore fullback had a "great scrimmage," Richt said, especially in goal-line situations.

"A lot of physical shots all across the board," Richt said. "That isolation block …I would have to think it's the toughest one to do over and over and over, running down hill just two rams, just two bulls (colliding). Nobody's flinching. Zander got the best of it yesterday. He did his job better than the other guy."

Changes to injury list

A day after the scrimmage, some players went on the injury list while others came off.

The new injuries are to cornerbacks Nick Marshall and Jordan Love and tailback Ken Malcome.

"After a scrimmage, that's pretty typical," Richt said. "When you hit very hard for 125 plays I think it was, usually you'll have some of that. To this point, we've actually been pretty good on the injury front."

Marshall has a concussion, but there was no word about the others. Malcome has been bothered since the spring by a groin. Good news for the Bulldogs came when cornerbacks Brandon Boykin (hamstring) , who and Derek Owens (neck) "got a lot of work," in practice Thursday in non-contact jerseys, Richt said. Outside linebacker Cornelius Washington is being phased back in as he returns from a hamstring injury of his own and safety Jakar Hamilton also was in a non-contact jersey. They both also had hamstring injuries.

Tailback Brandon Harton also practiced in a non-contact jersey.

Showtime for freshmen

Freshman safety Corey Moore said the Bulldogs' newcomers will be performing a "little skit" for the seniors today.

"They've been on us," Moore said. "I'm not going to lie. … Ben said he's going to get me. I've just got to be ready for it."

Moore wasn't sure what the seniors had in mind.

"Whatever they want us to do," Moore said. "We can sing. Cartwheels. …We've got to dress up."


Jenkins is still practicing in jersey No. 66 while he waits for a jersey with his No. 6 on it that is big enough for him to arrive.

"Whenever it comes in, they're going to give it to me," he said. "I'm hoping it comes in soon."

Jenkins is going against convention for a lineman by wearing a single digit.

He said he had options of other numbers including No. 8.

"I'm not a No. 8 guy," he said. "If I was going to get a single digit number, I wanted to get a sloppy number because us linemen, there's nothing pretty about us."

This and that

Backup offensive tackle Austin Long will return to practice Monday after his bout with mono, said Richt, who likes what he's seeing from senior offensive linemen Cordy Glenn, Justin Anderson and Ben Jones. He said they are "playing with a great purpose." …Inside linebacker Christian Robinson has "had a very fine camp" in communicating and getting the defense lined up quickly, Richt said. …Richt on the team overall: ""Right now the thing I like the most is the overall spirit of the group, spirit of the team. I see them working hard, working with some enthusiasm."

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