Jones has varied experience

ATHENS - If Nick Jones does get a chance to play football at the next level, his varied experience at Georgia can only help, he figures.

After starting the final five games of the 2003 season at center, Nick Jones started all but one game at split guard last year. He's back at center this week in place of the injured Russ Tanner (ankle, knee). Tanner said Wednesday he'll be back in the lineup by the first of next week at the latest.

Until then, Jones will be at center rather than the guard spot he worked at in the first two weeks of Georgia's spring practice.

"I don't have a problem with it," Jones said. "I'll do whatever to get on the field. It just adds to the resume, playing two positions. If the opportunity (of playing in the NFL) arises, I can say I played guard and center. I guess it'll help me out."

Bulldog offensive line coach Neil Callaway made it clear this week that Jones will be on the field somewhere this fall since he is one of the team's best overall linemen, and Jones hopes his spot is at guard.

"I like guard better because I like pulling and stuff," he said.

POSITION CHANGES: Sophomore Marcus Howard has been moved from linebacker to defensive end for at least the rest of spring practice, and for the rest of his career if the moves works out, Coach Mark Richt said after Wednesday's practice.

"He got a lot of practice at that position today," Richt said. "He held up better physically than I thought he would."

Howard is small for a defensive end, but he never got a full grasp of Georgia's system at linebacker and couldn't break into the rotation. The Bulldogs will try to add weight to him to have him better prepared for his new position.

"He may not even be in the 230 (pound) range, but he's an exceptionally strong guy," Richt said.

Previously, this spring, Ray Gant was moved exclusively to defensive end, and he will remain in that spot even after Howard's move.

Also, walk-on John DeGenova moved from offensive line to defensive tackle to provide Georgia depth in the middle.

MORE WORKOUTS: Former LSU and current Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban was in Athens on Wednesday with several of his staff members to work out draft-eligible Bulldogs. Wide receivers Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown, defensive end David Pollack, quarterback David Greene, linebacker Odell Thurman and safety Thomas Davis conducted a private workout for Saban and his staff.

"They really did the receivers, man," said Thurman.

The Dolphins have the No. 2 overall draft pick, but Thurman said he thinks they are going to trade down. He'd like for them to trade down to the point where they might take him, he said.

"That'd be the place I want to be," he said. "Miami. It doesn't get any better than that."

INJURY UPDATE: Backup quarterback Joe Tereshinski missed Wednesday's practice for an unusual reason.

"He scrapped up his leg sliding into second base in a pickup softball game from what I understand," Richt said.

Walk-on running back Jason Johnson left during special teams drills with a left shoulder injury.

Along with Tanner, linebackers Tony Taylor (illness) and Josh Johnson (ankle), safety Tra Battle (back), defensive tackle Kedric Golston (turf toe) all missed their second straight practice. Defensive end Quent in Moses (hamstring) was limited again. Defensive tackle also was alsoslowed by a hamstring injury.

PRACTICE REPORT: Richt praised most of his players' work ethic during what was a very warm practice Wednesday afternoon. "Most of them fought through it real good and got a good day out of it," he said. "Overall, the offense really had a good day. If I had to give the edge to one group, it would be the offense." He singled out Demiko Goodman and A.J. Bryant for good catches. The offense scored on 6 of 8 goal line attempts, and safety Greg Blue made the tackles on both of the stops, Richt said.


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