Freshman Josh Brock to make first start

ATHENS, Ga. - For only the second time this year, an outsider from the senior class will move into the starting lineup on the offensive line for Georgia this week.

In each case, the newcomer has been true freshman Josh Brock, who Saturday night against Mississippi will fill in for the injured Alex Jackson at split guard.

Brock, from Cartersville, Ga., was one of four freshmen to enroll early for spring quarter this year, and that has given him an edge over signees who reported for fall semester.  

When seniors Jon Stinchcomb, Kareem Marshall, Ian Knight, Kevin Breedlove, George Foster, Chris Hewitt and Jackson are gone after the season, Brock suddenly will change from the new kid on the line in 2002 to the most experienced veteran in 2003.

"Of everybody coming back, I've got the most starts,'' Brock said. "It's kind of weird. We're all going to be new to it.''  

Despite the wealth of seniors this year, offensive line coach Neil Callaway said he expected Brock to compete for a starting job this year.  

"You look back and he missed a lot of spring ball and two-a-days because of injuries,'' Callaway said. "I hoped he could compete for the starting job. Josh runs very well for an offensive lineman. He has good speed and good punch.''  Callaway said Brock played "pretty decent'' in the fill-in role against Florida.  

Brock and fellow freshmen Bartley Miller and Max Jean-Gilles will join redshirt freshmen Russ Tanner and Dennis Roland as sophomores on the line next year. Daniel Inman, Antonio Mercier and Randall Swoopes will be redshirt freshmen. Brock also started for Jackson against Clemson and he played most of the game against Florida after Jackson suffered a sprained ankle.  

"The experience is going to help me so much for next year as far as being cool and not going crazy,'' Brock said.  

Coach Mark Richt said Thursday that Jackson and linebacker Arnold Harrison will miss the Ole Miss game with injuries.

Slow start, good finish: Richt said "a little extra encouragement'' from coaches was needed after a slow start to practice Thursday. "I wouldn't say it was the best practice all year,'' Richt said. "We started out a little slow but picked up the pace.''

Gibson to play: Richt said receiver Fred Gibson continues to show improvement as he adjusts to the cast on his left hand. Gibson, who also has been returning kickoffs this week, will play against Ole Miss. "It's coming along well,'' Gibson said. "My hand is getting better every day. I'm just trying to make the best of it.'' Gibson has missed two games after having a torn ligament in the thumb repaired. He was in uniform for the Florida game last week but was held out. TV reminder: Saturday night's game, to be televised by ESPN2, is scheduled for a 7:05 kickoff.

War Memorial planned for Saturday: The University of Georgia Student-Athlete War Memorial monument will be dedicated Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Woodruff Athletic Plaza across from the new Rankin Smith Student-Athlete Center.  The memorial will contain the names of the 21 former Georgia student-athletes who lost their lives during war time. A committee chaired by athletics director Vince Dooley has researched the list.  "This is something we have wanted to do for some time, so I am very happy to see it come about,'' said former Georgia publicist and tennis coach Dan Magill, a committee member who was a Georgia classmate and friend of 11 who are named on the monument.  The list includes one Columbus native, James Turner Skipworth Jr., who played football at Georgia from 1939-40 and lost his life while serving in World War II.  One Valdosta native, Homer S. Passmore, who played football in 1940, also lost his life in World War II.


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