Tennessee Week: Wednesday News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.

GRAD RATES STILL LOW: The NCAA released its annual Graduation Success Rate scores Wednesday, and Georgia still is lagging behind most programs around the country.

The football team's 41 percent rate is the lowest in the SEC, and the basketball team's graduation rate is 19 percent, also the lowest in the league. The numbers are based on data from 1997-2000.

"We like to concentrate on what we've been doing since we've been here," Coach Mark Richt said.

The APR, another academic indicator that measures more recent data, is more favorable for theBulldogs. They are second in the SEC and 10th among all BCS schools in APR, Richt said.

Georgia has graduated 95 football players since Richt arrived, and 14 more will graduate in December.

LITTLE BIG HOUSE: Two of Georgia's most vital offensive players will be experiencing something new Saturday – playing in front of more than 100,000 people. Neyland Stadium's official capacity is listed anywhere from 102,037 to 104,079, making it the second largest in the country behind Michigan's Big House, which holds 107,501.

Both sophomore quarterback Matthew Stafford and freshman tailback Knowshon Moreno will be making their first trip to Neyland this weekend.

"It's going to be outrageous," Moreno said. "I have never played in front of that many people ever. I heard it's a hostile crowd. I know it's going to be crazy."

"That's pretty cool," Stafford said. "It's why you come into the SEC to play in big stadiums in front of a lot of fans."

Tennessee has filled its stadium to above capacity in each of its first two home games and is averaging 104,340 this season.

ANOTHER COMMITMENT: At this rate, Georgia will be done with its 2008 recruiting class before the 2007 season is through. Xavier Avery, a running back and cornerback from Cedar Grove High School, made a verbal commitment Wednesday to play for the Bulldogs, he told Scout.com

Avery, 6-0, 190 pounds, is rated the No. 68 running back in the country by Scout.com. He also was being recruited by Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Kentucky, but the biggest threat to Georgia could be another sport.

Avery plays on a traveling baseball team and could be a high-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

He is the 21st player to commit to Georgia. Teams are allowed to bring in 25 new scholarship players each fall.

INJURY UPDATE: Defensive tackle Jeff Owens sprained his ankle this week and didn't practice Wednesday, but he will play Saturday, Richt said. Offensive lineman Scott Haverkamp (ankle) remains doubtful.

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