Southerland knocking them down

ATHENS – Des Williams was set to begin the 2005 season as the starter, but that changed near the end of the summer.

When Williams suffered an injury in one of the Dawgs' final summer workouts of the season, it was redshirt freshman Brannan Southerland who leapt into the starting spot. He knew he was going to play this season, but he didn't know it would be as the starter. He admitted having butterflies in his stomach.

"I was nervous going into Boise State," he said. "The South Carolina game – I felt more prepared and less nervous because I had gotten the first-game jitters out of the way."

Southerland has gotten praise from Head Coach Mark Richt on his early-season performances.

"He had six knock downs against South Carolina, and was really blocking well," Richt said.

Southerland has only two carriers this season (one a game), but that's not what he's there for. Protection in the form of run blocking and pass blocking is where he will be judged. Considering the success of Georgia's running attack – the Dawgs are averaging 209 rushing yards per game – Southerland is doing well.

"For me getting the rock is not my main concern," said the fullback. "If I get the touches – I love that. My main concern is blocking so that the backs can go. I'd say I'm a decent runner, but I'm not the caliber of ball carrier of Danny Ware, Thomas Brown or Kregg Lumpkin, or even D.J. Shockley."

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