Sugar Bowl Week 1: News and Notes

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

HONORS UPON HONORS: The awards piled up for Georgia's young players this week. Running back Knowshon Moreno was named the league's freshman of the year by the coaches and the media and was joined on the coaches' all-freshman team offensive linemen Clint Boling and Trinton Sturdivant.

Moreno and sophomore Geno Atkins were named to the Associated Press All-SEC first team. Senior offensive lineman Fernando Velasco, junior linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and senior place-kicker Brandon Coutu were named second-team All-SEC.

CLOSE TO HOME: Two coaching moves in the region this week held special interest for Richt. The first was the ESPN.com report that Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher will take over for former Richt boss Bobby Bowden when Bowden decides to retire.

"They were saying they were very interested in him as a head coach, but it really doesn't mean anything to me," Richt said.

Richt insisted the news doesn't affect him or how he feels about the Georgia job in the least.

"I really am not interested in our players reading about their coach or our coaches reading about the head coach or wives reading about the head coach (going anywhere)," he said. "I'm where I want to be."

The other news of note was the extension signed by Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden, who was wooed by Arkansas but turned down the Razorbacks. Richt's oldest son Jon has made a verbal commitment to play for Clemson.

"That's good news for big Jon," he said.

INJURY UPDATE: Senior tailback Kregg Lumpkin practiced with the team Thursday and is excited about his return for the bowl game. Lumpkin still has a slight limp from the knee injury he suffered in the Vanderbilt game but expects it to be gone in time for the Sugar Bowl, he said.

"I'm glad he's able to play this last game," Richt said. "I think it's going to be valuable for him. If he didn't play in this game, there would probably be some questions going into the next phase (the NFL). That will be one less question he has to answer."

Wide receiver Sean Bailey (knee) and place-kicker Brandon Coutu (hamstring) could return to practice on Dec. 14, the next time the Bulldogs take the practice field.


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