Hollis Cleared for Contact

ATHENS -- The moment Albert Hollis, and many of Georgia football's most diehard fans, has been waiting for for three years arrives Friday.

The running back from Sacramento, Calif., will compete in full contact, live tackling work for the first time since suffering a massive right knee dislocation three years and three days ago. Albert Hollis tore his ACL, LCL and PCL; tore the hamstring away from the bone, and, most significantly, suffered severe nerve damage on March 23, 2001.

Many people questioned if he would ever play again, but he will be on the field Friday in a full speed drill in which he will be expected to be tackled to the ground. The Bulldogs won't allow him to take part in 11-on-11 contact work during Friday's scrimmage to limit the chance of a player falling on his knee from the side, but, still, today's work is significant.

"I'm happy," Hollis said. "Me and (linebacker Odell Thurman) were doing the board drill today we were going at it. It just feels good to be competing.

"Definitely, this year I'm playing."

"I don't want to make too big a of a deal out of it, but for him to come through what he has has been really amazing," Coach Mark Richt said.

Although he has never played in a game as a Bulldog, Hollis is a favorite among the fans who follow the team most closely.

"I've been on three Bulldog Club tours since I've been here and every club, three years straight, every single time, somebody asks about Albert," Richt said. "It's good, people care."

Hollis said, " "It feels good to have so many people in your corner."

Hollis won't compete in any team work this spring in order to keep him out of harm's way, but what he will do today has to be considered a milestone.

"This kid wants to come back and play," Richt said. "We're not forcing him to come back. He knows his scholarship is good no matter what he does."

LESS OF POLLACK: After playing at 292 pounds last year, All-American defensive end David Pollack weighs 262 pounds this spring. Unless a position change is in the works, that seems light, but Pollack isn't concerned.

"Football is football," he said. "I don't think weight has the biggest impact. Strength is what matters. The strength is good."

GRAYDON MAY HAVE SECOND CHANCE: Linebacker Dana Graydon, who has been shipped to Georgia Military College, will have a chance to return to the team next year, Richt said.

"Graydon has a ways to go, but it's not out of the question at all," Richt said.

Graydon was dismissed from the team for "not behaving like he should," Richt said. Thurman and offensive lineman Randall Swoopes suffered similar punishments in the last two years and returned to the team.

PRACTICE REPORT: Richt singled out Pollack, Thurman, and quarterbacks David Greene and D.J. Shockley, running back Kregg Lumpkin, offensive tackle Max Jean-Gilles and safety Greg Blue for their good work in Thursday's practice. Third-string quarterback Joe Tereshinski III had one of the highlights of the day with a long touchdown pass to freshman T.J. Gartrell.

INJURY UPDATE: Russ Tanner (foot), Danny Ware (knee) and Sean Bailey (ankle) won't compete in Friday's scrimmage.

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