Sugar Bowl Week 2: Friday News and Notes

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

UNDERCLASSMEN CONSIDERING: Juniors Dannell Ellerbe, Jeff Owens and Brannan Southerland have submitted paperwork to the NFL's underclassman advisory committee to see where they might be picked if they enter the NFL draft in April.

Ellerbe, a linebacker, is Georgia's leading tackler with 85 stops, 30 more than Asher Allen, who is second on the team. Owens, a defensive tackle, has started all 12 games and has 26 tackles. Southerland, a fullback who is one of the SEC's best blockers, has 20 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards.

PROUD DAY: Fourteen current Georgia players and former Bulldog Mitch Davis will graduate this morning. For running back Thomas Brown, it marks the end of a long semester. Brown took 21 hours this semester so he could devote all his attention this spring toward preparing for the NFL Draft.

When Brown walked into Stegeman Coliseum on Friday and saw the floor set up for graduation ceremonies, he got a chill, he said.

"My heart started beating a little faster," he said. "I have been anticipating it all week long, but I have been trying to downplay it and focus on finishing up strong. I was talking to my mom about two or three days ago and telling her that feeling I have of joy doesn't compare to anything I have ever done in my life, including athletics."

The graduating players will have the entire day off. Georgia will use this afternoon's practice mainly to work out its young players.

TECH REACTION: Richt doesn't know quite what to expect from new Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. Most Georgia fans are expecting to see the former Georgia Southern coach install the triple-option offense he had such success with at Southern and Navy, but Richt is not so sure.

"We don't know what he's going to do," Richt said. "He's a guy who is going to look at his personnel and do what he thinks they can do best. He is a winner. Everywhere he's gone, he's won. Everywhere he's gone, he's won big."

BACK TO WORK: Georgia practiced Friday afternoon for just the third time since the regular season ended, and it jumped right back into full speed action.

"We have done a good bit of recruiting, but I told our staff that the best recruiting we can do is win this game," Richt said. "I made sure our coordinators were off the road enough to where they could get a plan. I told the staff that I expected them to by today when we met with our players for the first time in a while, to have a good bit of that plan ready to implement and not waste the day."

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