G-Day arrives

ATHENS – Georgia head coach Mark Richt thinks his wide receivers have made strides this spring. He's also believes the 2007 linebackers will be faster than their 2006 predecessors, and that things are progressing nicely at safety and cornerback.

However, what he mostly knows about his football team as the Bulldogs play their annual spring G-Day game this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Sanford Stadium is going on in the trenches. (The game will be televised live by CSS.)

"I've been focused up front really the whole time," Richt said. "I haven't watched the perimeter like I normally do because I've been so interested about how all the young linemen on both sides of the ball are doing."

"I'm encouraged by what I'm seeing," he continued. "We've definitely got a long way to go, but if you look at the athleticism of our defensive ends and even some of our interior defensive linemen, it encourages you."

Sophomore offensive tackle Vince Vance has returned to practice this week from a knee sprain and will play today, giving the Bulldogs a true first- and second-team offensive line. Redshirt freshman Josh Davis may have to play guard and tackle today.

"It truly is a wide-open competition still, but it's been nice to have the first five pretty much stay intact and the second five pretty much stay intact," Richt said.

For the first time under Richt, Georgia will have former players on the sidelines as guest coaches for the spring game. Wide receiver Hines Ward and linebacker Will Witherspoon will work with the red team, which consists of the first-team offense and second-team defense, while David Pollack and Jon Stinchcomb will work with the black team, the first-team defense and second-team offense.

"I don't know if they'll be coaching per se," Richt said, "but I can't imagine Hines not getting in (offensive coordinator Mike) Bobos' ear and trying to get him to launch a bomb."

The Bulldogs also will have an eye to the future beyond 2007 today. The spring game has become one of the team's biggest recruiting weekends of the year and probably Richt's longest day of the year.

"To me it's just a big celebration of Georgia football," he said. "I want us to enjoy it as a bunch of coaches and players and hopefully our fans enjoy it, and then usually when prospects come and see everybody enjoying each other and enjoying our program, it gives them a good feeling."

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