2006 Spring Football: Day 2 News and Notes

ATHENS - News and notes from Georgia's spring practices.

CHANCE TO SHINE: The misfortune of Georgia linebackers Danny Verdun Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe, who are out this spring due to injury, has worked out for Statesboro's Tommy Watkins.

The rising redshirt freshman, a walk-on who was a Class AAAA first-team all-state selection at Statesboro High School in 2004, is the Bulldogs' second-team weakside linebacker this spring.

"You have to take advantage of every opportunity," said Watkins, who was a member of the Bulldogs' scout team last year. "When you're out there, you have to do something. You have to show out. You have to get the coaches' attention. Spring is when you earn your spot, that's especially true for walk-ons."

Watkins had a partial scholarship offer from Georgia Southern when he decided to come to Georgia.

"It's always been a dream to play up here," he said. "You can't reach your dreams if you don't go for it."

Linebackers coach John Jancek has been impressed with Watkins, he said.

"He's stepped in and done a great job, and I think he can help this football team," Jancek said. "This is going to be a great learning experience for him and an opportunity for him to show what he can do." Watkins is backing up Tony Taylor on the weakside. Taylor was Georgia's starting middle linebacker last year but has been moved back to the weakside, where he played in 2003, on an experimental basis this spring.

QUARTERBACKS, DAY 2: Joe Tereshinski III is a permanent fixture with the first unit so far this spring, true freshman Matthew Stafford said. The other three quarterbacks are rotating in with the first team. Rising sophomore Blake Barnes worked there Saturday, rising redshirt freshman Joe Cox worked there Monday, and Stafford will get his turn Wednesday.

"All the QBs have made some good throws here and there," Coach Mark Richt said.

PRACTICE REPORT: For the second time in as many spring workouts, Richt was very pleased Monday.

"I thought it was just about as good as the first day as far as the effort and energy," he said.

Richt singled out cornerback Paul Oliver, Taylor and wide receiver Mario Raley as players who have looked particularly good. Georgia will take today off and practice in pads for the first time Wednesday.

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