Jenkins Intent on Stopping Lattimore

ATHENS - When junior college transfer John Jenkins signed with Georgia in February, many immediately thought the addition of the nose tackle was explicitly in response to South Carolina.

More specifically, Jenkins' 6-foot-4, 342-pound frame was thought of as a way to stop Gamecocks' sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore, who rushed 37 times for 182 yards and two scores against the Bulldogs in 2010.

"That's the idea," Jenkins said. "I just want to get in there and make plays. I understand their key guys. I understand Lattimore being that guy for South Carolina."

Jenkins, who played at Mississippi Gulf Community College the past two seasons, was supposed to be the guy to change Georgia's defensive fortunes. But the emergence of sophomore Kwame Geathers in the spring changed the pecking order.

Geathers secured the starting role in fall camp and enjoyed a good start against Boise State last weekend. A stinger limited Geathers' play in the second half in the loss and has left him questionable for Saturday's matchup.

"We'll just have to wait and see," Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said about Geathers' status for the game.

So Jenkins may play the vital part against the Gamecocks some figured he would months ago.

While he didn't record a tackle against Boise State, Jenkins was able to get a taste for BCS football.

"It went good mentally, just in the fact of me getting used to the system and the way Boise State plays a fast-paced offense," he said. "Still being able to complete my assignments and stuff like that, it went good. As far as my technique, I feel a lot better. That's what I've been practicing on, trying to improve on my technique."

A connection formed at Mississippi Gulf may prove advantageous for Jenkins. Former teammate Jacob Bradley is now a defensive back at East Carolina. The Pirates led South Carolina at halftime last weekend before eventually losing 56-37.

"I've just been really watching clips on their past game," Jenkins said. "I talked to (Bradley) a little bit, just trying to network. I watched the past game and watched the nose guard. I saw how he played there and he did a good job."

Holding off the freshman

Although junior running back Richard Samuel was mostly ineffective during the Boise State game, he'll likely remain the starter against South Carolina.

While Samuel took the first carry in the season opener, freshman Isaiah Crowell received more carries and rushed for more yards.

Still, coach Mark Richt says Samuel and Crowell are on even standing.

"Those two, they will be the No. 1s," Richt said.

"Out there at practice from drill to drill, one person starts one and the next person starts the next," Samuel said. "It doesn't really matter."

Before his stint at linebacker last season, Samuel saw action twice against the Gamecocks at tailback.

He rushed 15 times for 65 yards and a touchdown in the 2009 victory.

That experience could be what's keeping Samuel ahead of Crowell on the depth chart.

"South Carolina's defense plays hard," Samuel said. "They play aggressive. Their front line and linebacker come downhill. They play hard and aggressive."

Willams is silent threat

Most of the recent talk about Georgia's safeties has been about Bacarri Rambo's status and the versatility of Sanders Commings.

Amid those storylines, junior Shawn Williams has played the steady, quiet role of a defensive back locked into the starting lineup.

There has been no drama with Williams. He entered fall camp the starter and played nearly every snap in the season opener.

"I feel like I did all I could do," said Williams, who had five total tackles. "I made plays to help the team."

Williams started three games in 2010, but inconsistent play left him on the sideline by season's end. He reclaimed his position in the offseason, but there hasn't been much buzz about the Early County native.

"I think a lot of people forgot about me," he said. "I'm not saying I was overrated, but I compete just as hard as whoever the top safety is."

While the other starting safety spot is still uncertain — Rambo or Commings could start — Williams is locked into the lineup.

"It makes me feel like I've accomplished a lot of things I wanted to accomplish," he said. "There are other things that I want to accomplish, too. I've just got to keep working hard. It shows that I can do the things that I want to do."

This and that

The university is holding the Bulldog Bash Between the Hedges in Sanford Stadium tonight at 8 p.m. Fans can enter Gates 2 and 10 beginning at 7:30 p.m. "Showing off our new video board and having the cheerleaders and Redcoat Band lead gameday cheers should be an exciting night for our fans leading up to the South Carolina game," said director of marketing John Bateman. "It will be a great opportunity for our students, alumni and fans to come together the night before the home opener."

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