Georgia Notebook: Redding, Bailey change position

<b>Quick Hits:</b> Position changes for Redding and Bailey. Richt comments on O'Leary situation. Grant and McMichael considering early entry to NFL. Injury update.

ATHENS, Ga. — Matt Redding may feel out of place in his first few practices after making the dramatic switch from quarterback to defensive end.

From the vantage point of the players he is leaving behind at the quarterback position, Redding already looks like a defensive end.

"He's a big strong guy,'' said quarterback David Greene. "I'm happy for him. I hope he's enjoying it.''

Added Greene: "He's got some new shoulder pads. He even looks different now.''

Coach Mark Richt also has moved running back Kenny Bailey to cornerback as No. 16 Georgia prepares to face Boston College in the Dec. 28 Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.

Of Redding (6-2, 225), Richt said Monday: "He's a fish out of water right now because he just doesn't know what to do or how to do it quite yet, but physically he's quite capable.''

Added Richt: "He's kind of been fighting to keep it under 230, so now he can go ahead and eat and lift and get big and strong and I'm sure he'll do very well.''

Bailey, a sophomore, also worked at cornerback during bowl practice last year, but he switched back to tailback in spring drills. This year, the move probably is permanent.

"Kenny made a few nice plays out there, as a matter of fact,'' Richt said.

"He's had a taste of corner before, so it wasn't quite as tough on him in the transition.''

Bailey netted 28 yards on 13 carries this season.

Richt not casting stones at O'Leary:
Richt expressed regret about the scandal that has cost former Georgia Tech coach George O'Leary his new job at Notre Dame. Inaccuracies in O'Leary's resume, including a false claim of a master's degree, forced the coach to resign less than a week after taking the job.

"The only thing I can say about that situation is I feel bad for everybody,'' Richt said. "It's a tremendous consequence for what happened. I'm sure it came as a shock to everybody.''

Added Richt: "Everybody makes mistakes, you know? I think everybody who makes a mistake has to live through whatever consequences there are. ... I know of myself, there are mistakes that are made. If everybody knew everybody's business, everybody probably has something they're not too proud of.

"I think the world of Coach O'Leary. I think he's a great coach and I've really enjoyed getting to know him and spending time with him.''

NFL decisions to be made:
Two juniors, defensive end Charles Grant and tight end Randy McMichael, are considering their options for next April's NFL draft.

Each player said Monday he is 50-50 on his decision, and each plans to make a decision soon after the start of spring semester. Each also said he was influenced by the dream of winning a Southeastern Conference championship in 2002.

Injury update:
Offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb has not yet joined practice but says he is on track to returning in time to play in the bowl game.

Stinchcomb, who missed two games with a sprained knee, plans to return to practice by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, starting free safety Terreal Bierria is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in the Houston game on Dec. 1, but he also expects to play.

Tailback Musa Smith, who battled a groin injury most of the season, has received a big boost from the two weeks off since the end of the regular season.

"I don't know if he's full speed, but he's closer than he's been in a while,'' Richt said.

Charles Odum can be reached at CEOdum@aol.com.


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