Running back spot still not settled

With the exception of place kicker, the number one battle this fall could be at running back. Georgia returns several players that have started at least one game, and they will all get a chance to prove why they should be the starter.

But right now the job is sophomore Kregg Lumpkin's to lose. Lumpkin ran away with the number one spot in the spring when several of his competitors were not able to practice because of injury. Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt said that even though Lumpkin is the number one tailback right now that could change.

"I don't know if he has the number one spot locked down," said Richt. "Tony Milton may have something to say about that."

Milton was the starter at the start of last season but, like many of the players on the 2003 team, he suffered injuries that prevented him from playing. Milton will return to practice this fall.

"In the very first practice Lumpkin may be number one, but has got to keep battling for that spot," said Richt.

Another starter from last season's team, Michael Cooper is listed as the number three tailback going into fall camp. Cooper was sidelined for much of spring ball with migraine headaches.

"He was our leading rusher last season. We'll see how he comes back and what sort of year he has," said Richt of Cooper.

Danny Ware, a newcomer to Athens in the spring, impressed Richt with his big body and speed. Ware might start against Georgia Southern, but it might come at fullback rather than tailback.

"He is probably going to have to play a little bit of both. We'll have to see what he can do at both spots. With Jeremy Thomas not playing in the first ball game, you've got Des Williams and Brannan Southerland at fullback," said Richt.

Richt is not convinced that Williams and Southerland will digest all of the fullback information before the opening game.

"But you have to make sure that they are ready to play before we throw him out there. So we may end up cross training a couple of our big tailbacks. If you look at body types, Danny Ware's is the one that you can cross train the most, but he has the least experience," said Richt.

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