Georgia notes: Gibson moves into playing rotation

<b>Quick Hits:</b> Freshman Gibson expected to play more this weekend. Hoage, Ellis, and Crowe to be honorary captains. Fleming is doubtful for Arkansas game. Kirouac should kick off.

ATHENS, Ga. — Expect to see more of freshman receiver Fred Gibson against Arkansas.

Coach Mark Richt said he told receivers coach John Eason Tuesday that it's time to move Gibson into the playing rotation for Saturday night's game against Arkansas.

Gibson may be the freshman who has taken the best advantage of the last three weeks of practice time to move up on the depth chart.

Richt is determined to substitute more players at all positions, but especially at receiver. That could lead to Gibson being one of the first receivers used behind Terrence Edwards, Damien Gary and Reggie Brown.

The 6-foot-4 Gibson played in the season opener against Arkansas State but did not catch a pass, and he did not play against South Carolina. Since the Sept. 8 loss to South Carolina, Gibson has consistently performed in practice as one of the team's most reliable receivers.

"I think Fred has really made a lot of improvement,'' Richt said. "I told Coach Eason (Tuesday), let's get him in the rotation because he's played that well in practice.''

Added Richt: "Not only is he tall, but he is fast. He's been catching the ball in practice as good as anybody we've had. In the last week, I think he dropped one ball. We keep the percentages of everybody's catches, and he's right up there in the top three or four, maybe number three, in the race they have.''

Richt also said he was impressed with the performance of Edwards in practice after Edwards' struggled with crucial dropped passes against South Carolina.

Injury update:
Backup linebacker Ryan Fleming is listed as doubtful for the game with a sprained knee. Starting linebacker Boss Bailey will play with a cast to protect a broken bone in his right hand. Bailey suffered a hairline fracture in a bone on top of his hand last Wednesday.

Kirouac on kickoffs:
Punter Jonathan Kilgo has served in dual duty as the kickoff specialist in Georgia's first two games, but Brett Kirouac may return from a hip-flexor injury to reclaim the job against Arkansas.

"I think either one of them will be ready,'' Richt said. "Kirouac has been impressive, from what I've seen.''

Who's No. 2?
Cory Phillips and freshman D.J. Shockley continue to fight for the job as the top backup to starting quarterback David Greene.

"I think they're equal in practice,'' Richt said. "We'll wait until the end of the week to decide who would go into the game first.''

Shockley has not played this year and so is on course for a redshirt season.

If Shockley does not play this week or next week at Tennessee, then he likely will be held out the rest of the year.

Honorary captains:
Former rover Terry Hoage, who will be inducted into Georgia's Circle of Honor Friday night, will serve as scheduled as an honorary captain Saturday night.

Due to the events of the last two weeks, Hoage will have company. Former Georgia defensive lineman Tim Crowe, now an Atlanta firefighter, and former Georgia fullback Alphonso Ellis, now a policeman in Dallas, Texas, will join Hoage as honorary captains.

Crowe started on Georgia's 1980 national championship team and 1980-82 SEC championship teams. Ellis played from 1987-90, starting every game in 1987-88.

Georgia plans a "Salute to America'' program in the pregame and halftime Saturday night.


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