Spring Notebook: What position will Ellerbe play?

ATHENS - Spring football often is a time for experimentation with old players at new positions, but Georgia doesn't expect much shuffling as it begins drills today.

The most intriguing position watch will involve redshirt freshman Dannell Ellerbe, a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder who has physical tools similar to former Bulldog Thomas Davis.

"He can run extremely fast and play extremely physically," Coach Mark Richt said.

Like Davis, Ellerbe could play either linebacker or safety. He will start at linebacker, defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said, but he would be moved.

Tyson Browning will remain at running back. There had been speculation from both Browning and the coaching staff that he might move to wide receiver.

Offensive tackle Chester Adams could switch to guard if that helps get the Bulldogs' five best offensive linemen on the field at the same time, offensive coordinator and line coach Neil Callaway said.

INJURY UPDATES: Two of the most closely watched players this spring will be offensive guards Josh Brock and Bartley Miller, who return after missing 2004 due to chronic shoulder problems. Both were starters in 2003 but it's unclear how much, if at all, they can contribute this season.

"I want to be optimistic," Callaway said. "I think Josh probably has a better chance realistically."

Running back Kregg Lumpkin, who missed last season due to a knee injury, will work his way slowly into practice. He should be able to participate in full speed pass skeleton drills at some point, Richt said.

Linebacker Tony Taylor, who also missed the season due to a knee injury, will go full speed from the beginning of practice.

The Bulldogs are still unsure if or when Marcus Jackson will be able to rejoin the team. The junior defensive lineman missed the 2004 season due to a blood clot in his brain.

Safety Olaolu Sanni-Osomo, who has been limited by a knee injury almost since he arrived in Athens, is able to run full speed straight ahead but still has trouble changing directions.

ANOTHER QB QUANDRY: Richt is relieved he doesn't have to answer any more questions about how he'll rotate quarterbacks D.J. Shockley and David Greene. Now the only question is: Who will back up Shockley?

Joe Tereshinski and Blake Barnes will enter the spring as co-No. 2s and battle for that spot. It's possible the Bulldogs could get to fall without deciding on a backup or even rotate backups each week of the season, Richt said.

"(Incoming freshman) Joe Cox will want to get in the battle in the fall, and he may very well do that," Richt said.

THIS AND THAT: Danny Ware and Lumpkin will both take snaps at fullback, Callaway said. ... The place-kicking competition will be open in the spring, Richt said. While Brandon Coutu and Andy Bailey are the frontrunners for the job, Ben Wilson and Dublin's Brian Mimbs also will get a shot, Richt said. ... Redshirt freshman wide receiver Demiko Goodman may miss some practices because he is participating with Georgia's track team.


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