2008 G-Day: News and Notes

ATHENS - Josh Kendall's news and notes from Georgia's G-Day.

FRESHMAN FUTURES: Freshman Ben Jones started at center for the second-team offense on Saturday, and, although Richt didn't get to see much of him in the game, he has seen enough to make a proclamation about the newcomer.

"I hate to predict this far out, but I would say right now the chance of him redshirting is not very good," Richt said. "We're going to have to have him ready to play. He's one of the guys I've kept a special eye on throughout the spring. He's progressing very well. He's strong, smart. He's tough. He's hungry to win. He's got a mean streak too, and you need that to play inside like that."

Richt declined to make the same statement about the team's other early enrollees, running backs Richard Samuel and Dontavius Jackson and wide receiver Tavarres King.

WHO'S THAT?: There was a new face in the game early for the first-team defense. Walk-on sophomore Justin Fields was at strongside linebacker on the game's first series.

Fields has worked in that position plenty this spring, defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said, but that's probably not a sign of things to come in the fall. Georgia made the move mostly to allow other linebackers to learn the other two linebacker positions.

"We've been playing more nickel this spring to look at different things," Martinez said.

Georgia's nickel package does not include a strongside linebacke.

VANCE LIMPING: Guard Vince Vance suffered a high ankle sprain in the second half of the game. He left the field on crutches but isn't expected to limited long during the offseason, Richt said.

ANOTHER COMMITMENT: Northside defensive end Abry Jones became Georgia's seventh commitment for the class of 2009 this week.

Jones told Scout.com that he pledged to the Bulldogs on Thursday. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is considered the nation's fourth-best defensive end by Scout.com and picked Georgia over Clemson and Miami.

Recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner "has been reminding me that I am their top guy at my spot for some time," Jones told Scout.com.

INJURY REVIEW: Georgia played without 13 of its regulars due to injury Saturday, but only one of them was a surprise absence.

Starting tight end Tripp Chandler suffered a minor hip injury this week that kept him on the sideline.

The other 12 – fullback Brannan Southerland (ankle), offensive linemen Clint Boling (mononucleosis) and Chris Little (ankle), linebackers Marcus Washington (shoulder) and Darius Dewberry (groin), wide receivers Demiko Goodman (hamstring), Tavarres King (knee infection), Mohamed Massaquoi (neck sprain), Tony Wilson (broken leg), defensive linemen Jeff Owens (shoulder separation), Jeremy Lomax (neck sprain) and Brandon Wood (Achilles) – had offseason surgery or were injured at some point during spring practice.

Washington is the only player of the group whose injury will affect the season. The senior plans to redshirt in 2008 to give his shoulder time to fully heal.

THIS AND THAT: Walk-on kicker Brian Behr, a Lexington, Ky., native, hit a 52-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Walk-on Andrew Jenson -- a Snellville native who was the best kicker in spring practice, according to Richt – hit a 47-yarder in the first half. … Safety Reshad Jones fielded the first punt for the black team.

Knowshon Moreno wore Wilson's No. 26 jersey in support of his teammate. "At first I thought somebody auctioned off all of Knowshon's jerseys, and we didn't have any more 24s," Richt said. "Then I realized he was doing it in honor of Tony."

Georgia planned to limit the play of linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Rennie Curran, but that didn't happen partially because Ellerbe wouldn't let it. Ellerbe kept going on the field without being told, he said.


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