Charles Makes the Cut

ATHENS - Georgia has produced its share of NFL tight ends in the last decade including Leonard Pope, Randy McMichael and Ben Watson.

None made the cut as a finalist for the John Mackey Award for nation's top tight end like junior Orson Charles did on Monday.

"I was looking through the list (of semifinalists) and I was thinking there's no way I can be a finalist because all these people have better numbers than me," Charles said. "I'm just surprised, I'm very thankful."

Charles leads the Bulldogs with 35 catches for 435 yards and five touchdowns.

The other finalists are Clemson's Dwayne Allen and Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert.

Allen, a one-time Georgia commitment from Fayetteville, N.C., has 45 catches for 536 yards and five touchdowns. Eifert has 53 catches for 634 yards and five touchdowns.

Charles could jump to the NFL after this season. He said he'll make his decision after the season.

The Mackey Award winner will be announced on Dec. 8 during an ESPNU red carpet show that precedes the college football awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

The past two winners came from the SEC: D.J. Williams of Arkansas and Aaron Hernandez of Florida. The award has been presented since 2000.

Honoring Munson:

There are no plans for a "blackout" to honor longtime Georgia radio voice Larry Munson, who died Sunday night at age 89, but coach Mark Richt said a helmet decal is in the works as a tribute to him.

"We had a couple of neat ideas and if it could fit on a decal and really look like what it's supposed to be, I think it will be kind of neat," Richt said. "It's a little bit of a surprise."

Georgia's current players mostly know Munson's voice from watching highlight films from the past and motivational tapes put together for them.

"I know they would be familiar with the voice," Richt said. "Sometimes I don't know if they'd know the name. Shoot, if I told them stories about Jim Kelly, Dan Marino and all those guys, they'd look at me like `Who are you talking about?'"

Richt told the players Monday in a team meeting about Munson's history of calling Georgia games into his 43rd season, fullback Bruce Figgins said.

The fifth-year senior is one of the seniors on the team that was playing when Munson was still calling games before his retirement in 2008.

"Larry was a big part of my dad's career here and unfortunately he wasn't able to be a big part of my career," said senior punter Drew Butler, son of former Bulldogs kicker Kevin Butler. "He's been held dear to the Bulldog Nation and my family as well. Just keeping his family in our prayers. It's sad to see a damn good Dawg go."

Thomas and tailbacks update:

Carlton Thomas was listed behind Isaiah Crowell on the depth chart at tailback for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech, but there was no definitive word from Georgia on his status although players said he practiced on Monday.

Thomas was suspended for the third time this season against Kentucky for violating a rule.

Brandon Harton and Ken Malcome got first team practice work, Malcome said.

Leading rusher Isaiah Crowell, who got just two carries Saturday before spraining his left ankle, walked through a hallway in the Butts-Mehre building without a limp. He's considered likely to play Saturday.

This and that

Mark Jones and Ed Cunningham will call Saturday's game for ESPN. …Saturday's captains: center Ben Jones, defensive end Abry Jones, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and punter Drew Butler.

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