2008 Sugar Bowl: Monday News and Notes

NEW ORLEANS - Josh Kendall and David Ching's news and notes from Georgia's 2008 Sugar Bowl practices.

HOMETOWN BOY: No one on Hawaii's team was more excited than defensive back Spencer Smith, a freshman defensive back from Kell High School in Marietta, to see the Warriors matched up against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

"It was crazy when the G came up on the screen," Smith said. "My phone didn't stop ringing – texting, phone calls, messages. It's a BCS game, but playing Georgia, for me, just makes it that much better."

Smith, who grew up a Florida State fan, has seven tackles in nine games this year.

POINT MADE: If June Jones never coaches again in the NFL, he'll be fine, he said. He feels no need to vindicate his three-year tenure with the Falcons or his run-and-shoot offense, he said.

"I proved that the offense works in the National Football League," Jones said. "I don't have a problem with that."

Jones sees the offense's principles throughout the NFL now, he said, most noticeably with the New England Patriots.

"Everybody in the National Football League does what we do now," he said. "New England just happens to do it every play and is winning a lot of football games with it."

Jones has had calls from college and NFL teams about job openings since he got to Hawaii, he said. His current contract ends at the end of this year.

PARTY OF 120: Georgia's athletic department doesn't cut costs with its bowl traveling party. The Bulldogs, as they normally do, have brought all their walk-ons this week, meaning more than 120 players are on the practice field.

"They could just bring 85 or 90 and probably be able to make it if they really wanted to, but it's a nice reward for the guys that don't get to play too much or dress out too much," said walk-on lineman Justin Lyles, a Macon native.

Richt uses the bowl trip as motivation for his walk-ons during the season, he said.

"All year long, we talk about how everybody is going to the same bowl," Richt said. "Not every school brings every player. The first year I came here we were going to the Music City Bowl and everybody got to go. I think that's fantastic."

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