Practice update 8-18-2003

Athens, Ga. --- The Georgia Bulldogs practiced for approximately two-and-a-half hours in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the day, the Georgia players began Fall Semester classes.

"Today seemed very hot to me," head coach Mark Richt said. "It was nice and warm out there. Considering it was the first day of classes, I believe we got more out of them than I thought we would."

The Bulldogs also spent a small portion of Monday's workout breaking out in scout team drills for the first time this fall in preparation for the season opener on August 30 at Clemson.

"We spent about 15 minutes focusing solely on Clemson," Richt said. "We began to break into scout teams for a little while. We still have a few walk-ons to pass physicals so we really don't have the numbers to go to complete scout teams yet."

Richt also announced the projected starting outside linebacker Thomas Davis has moved back to free safety, the position he played most of last season. The shift was made after reserve free safety Greg Blue suffered a slight tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee late during Friday's practice. Blue is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Kentrell Curry, the Bulldogs' returning starter at free safety, also is out of action due to a stress fracture in his right foot.

"I don't think it's a permanent move," Richt said. "We hope Kentrell won't be out too long. With Blue, sometimes it's six weeks instead of eight."

With Thomas moving to the secondary, junior Arnold Harrison is now at first-team linebacker.

"Arnold has been a super special teams player for us." Richt said. "It's probably going to hurt us the most there. Arnold was going to get a good bit of playing time already. Now he¹s just going to be a starter."

Georgia is ranked No. 9 and No. 11 in the pre-season ESPN/USA Today coaches and Associate Press top-25 polls, respectively. The Bulldogs will open their season on August 30 at Clemson. Kickoff is set for 12:00 p.m., and the game will be televised to much of the nation on ABC.

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