Dawgs open Spring: News and Notes

ATHENS – Georgia's spring practices started Saturday and the Bulldogs practices in shorts with no shoulder pads.

The Bulldogs are being ranked as low as fourth in the SEC and 20-25 in the nation in some pre-spring polls. Mark Richt pointed that out to his team for motivation.

"I mentioned it to them," he said. "Now we'll see what we do about it. I know we have our hands full with Boise State – who scheduled that game?"

Richt specifically said Coleman Watson was the player who caught his eye on the first day. "He really looks like he wants to compete. He's down to about 250," said Richt.

Richt also added that returning offensive linemen Josh Brock and Bartley Miller "really looked in condition."

NOTES:

Green Jersey report (Injured players and all quarterbacks) – Marcus Jackson (DNP), Jarvis Jackson (DNP), Jemario Smith (back), Steve White, Olaolu Sanni-Osomo, Kregg Lumpkin (Knee)

The offensive line used bands to tie their hands together during drills in what appeared to be an attempt to prevent holding. Neil Callaway was all over the offensive linemen today, as usual. Chester Adams and Bartley Miller were the target of much of his coaching today. Miller and Josh Brock participated in drills at least until the media left practice. Adams did his George Foster impersonation today – Adams has a club-like cast on his arm. Adams broke his hand in mat drills. He is not being called "Big Foster" by his teammates.

Kregg Lumpkin, who participated in passing drills with the quarterbacks, was also in on punt block practice.

Thomas Brown and Tyson Browning both worked at punt returner. The pair also split outside to the slot during passing drills. Andy Bailey was also punting during the practice, but that does not seem like a likely destination for him by the end of the spring as he is in a battle for both the kickoff job and the field goal position.

The starting linebackers at the start of spring are Danny Verdun-Wheeler, Tony Taylor, and Brandon Miller. Derrick White is listed as the number one sam linebacker in the official depth chart, but Miller was with the first unit today. Dannell Ellerbe lined up with the linebackers today and switched his number to 33 – something former linebacker Odell Thurman encouraged.

Marquis Elmore is listed as the number four defensive tackle behind starter Kedric Golston, Ray Gant, and Richard Cook, but he is playing at the number two spot right now. Jeremy Lomax, who is listed as co-number two with Steve White, is playing at the number two defensive end behind Quinton Moses.

On the passing game front, Georgia's quarterbacks looked rusty in their throwing drills today. D.J. Shockley, the starter at that spot, had difficulty timing a few passes today as did Joe Tereshinski III and Blake Barnes. Richt said Tereshinski looked more comfortable in team drills today compared to Barnes. "Blake is still learning," said Richt. "But he's a quick learner. I hope during the middle of spring that he is more fluid and less robotic."

Richt added that Tereshinski will likely be pulled off special teams in place of Des Williams.

A few wide receivers struggled as well. Demiko Goodman, who is surprisingly the number two flanker, dropped several balls today during practice. Goodman will miss Thursday and Friday practices for a track obligation. He has a slight groin problem that is not thought to be serious.

Richt said A.J. Bryant had the best catch of the day for the wide receivers.

THHURSDAY PADS – Georgia's first day in pads will be a night practice on Thursday night. The Bulldogs will host a coaching clinic that day and Richt said that night's practice will be "shorter and sweeter" so coaches can watch many different drills.

HE SAID IT:

Josh Brock – "It felt awesome to get back out there. It was a long time coming. We worked a lot on footwork. I do have a special brace for my knee."

John Jancek – "I was happy to get one practice under my belt, but I'm not starry-eyed about coaching at the University of Georgia – football is still football. I'm not happy with the leadership of some of our older guys. We didn't get leadership from them today, and I let them know about it. This is an opportunity to establish yourself as a player"

Kirby Smart – "There is no easing into things with these running backs. They break you in," Smart on how talented the running backs are at Georgia.

D.J. Shockley – "When Coach Richt said ‘Ok number ones, let's go' I realized that was me. I found it a lot easier to get out of bed early this morning."

Quinton Moses – "I am not going to try to be the next David Pollack"

Moses on Jon Fabris leaving Georgia and then returning – "He had to do what he had to do for his family. We are all adults. He might he a little wild, but he's a great coach. He thought that was the best thing for him to do, but when he came back it was great."

Richt on Fabris' return – "I was disappointed, but when something bad happens I try to stay optimistic. You try to stabilize everything. It certainly was not fun, but after talking with him we knew he belonged at Georgia."


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