Pre-Spring Practice: News and Notes

ATHENS - News and notes from Georgia's spring practice media day.

WAIT AND SEE: Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe will miss spring practice due to a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery. The rising sophomore's future beyond that is unclear. Ellerbe was arrested in January on a felony charge of auto theft and misdemeanor charges of DUI, underage possession and giving false information.

He faces disciplinary measures from the student judiciary and from the team, but Richt has not announced the team's punishment yet. Defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said he hopes Ellerbe is given a chance to remain in school and on the team.

"I like to see guys rebound and given a second chance and an opportunity to come back," Martinez said.

SECOND TIME AROUND: Richt had no personal friendship with new assistant coach Tony Ball until last season, when the Bulldogs interviewed Ball the first time. Last year, Ball was in Athens to interview for the job vacated by Jon Fabris the night Fabris called Richt -- "at probably four or five in the morning," Richt said – to ask for his job back.

"We were all excited about how the interview was going," Richt said. "I was thrilled to have (Fabris) back, but it was a little bittersweet because we saw what Coach Ball had to offer also. This time around when a position became available I didn't need to do any interviewing."

Ball, who previously coached at Virginia Tech, was hired Feb. 14 to replace running backs coach Kirby Smart, who took a job with the Miami Dolphins.

SMITH'S STATUS: Rising redshirt freshman center Ian Smith won't face any additional team punishment for his Wednesday arrest on charges of giving false information and underage possession of alcohol. Smith was arrested Saturday on charges of intoxication and was suspended for the first two games of the 2006 season. At the time, he indicated to a policeman that he was old enough to drink.

When Athens-Clarke County police learned Smith was underage, he was jailed again, but Richt knew the entire situation when he initially suspended Smith, he said Thursday.

THIS AND THAT: Junior backup linebacker Olaolu Sanni-Osomo, who struggled with injuries his entire career, has given up the sport and will take a medical disqualification. … Fullback Des Williams, who missed 2005 due to a chest injury, is in "tremendous shape" and will have no limitations this spring, Richt said. … The Bulldogs have finished seven of their 10 mat drill sessions.


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