09 01 2004 Notebook

ATHENS -- Starting split tackle Daniel Inman will play this weekend against Georgia Southern, Coach Mark Richt said Wednesday.

"I can tell you Inman will play in the ball game," Richt said.

Inman's status had been the source of speculation after Richt acknowledged he was looking into "wheter or not" the sophomore was involved in a fight. Richt did not rule out a possible suspension in the future for Inman but indicated that wasn't likely.

"He's not in big trouble as far as I know," the coach said.

Inman wasn't made available to the media.

The Bulldogs still will be missing three starters due to suspention on Saturday. Linebacker Odell Thurman is out of the first three games; fullback Jeremy Thomas will miss the first two games, and punter Gordon Ely-Kelso will sit out against Georgia Southern. Resever cornerback Mike Gilliam also has been suspended for the Georgiaz Southern game.

TAILBACKS SET: Richt announced the team's tailback rotation for the first time Wednesday. As expected, Danny Ware will start. After that, it will be Michael Cooper second and true freshman Thomas Brown third. That assures that Brown will play this week, Richt said. Brown will also be on the first-team kickoff return unit along with Bryan McClendon.

Veteran running backs Tony Milton and Tyson Browning still aren't 100 percent, Richt said, but will be ready to play if needed Saturday.

"If those freshmen struggle, they'll be ready to go," Richt said.

EARLY PLAYING TIME: True freshmen Brown, Ware, A.J. Bryant (wide receiver), Brandon Miller (linebacker), Kelin Johnson (safety) and Antonio Sims (safety'cornerback) will play against Georgia Southern, Richt said.

Offensive tackle Chester Adams probably will join those six on the field, Richt said.

Linebacker Josh Johnson, who was expected to be among that group, has a "50/50" chance or less to play, Richt said. That would mean that Mary Persons graduate Jamario Smith would be the second-team linebacker behind Derrick White.

"Jamario has been around a little longer," Richt said. "He's more mature, more ready to play."

Freshmen wide receivers Kenneth Harris and Demiko Goodman have a "50/50" chance to play this year but probably won't play this week, Richt said.

PRACTICE REPORT: Richt gave his team a break Wednesday, letting them practice with no pads or helmets. The offense didn't even use a ball as both units walked through all their plays.

"I felt we were a little leg weary as a group," he said. "I'm concerned about that. I wanted them to have as fresh of legs as possible for this ballgame. If we don't slow them down, they won't slow down."

Starting wide receiver Fred Gibson missed practice to be with his very ill grandfather. He is expected to return today.

CAPTAINS NAMED: David Greene (offense), Will Thompson (defense) and Reggie Brown (special teams) will be the captains for Saturday's game.


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