Fullback Brannan Southerland will make his first appearance on the field for a Georgia game Saturday, but it won't be at his normal position. He'll be handling special teams duties as the personal protector on the punt team, where he practiced Monday in a green non-contact jersey.
"I got in there, first day I was actually able to hit somebody, it felt good," Southerland said. "I've been waiting for a while to get back in there."
What Southerland would really like is to get back to his roll as the starting fullback for the Bulldogs, but that won't happen for a few more weeks, he said. He expects to return to the offense against Tennessee in two weeks.
"I want to be out there, I want to play, I want to play every snap," Southerland said. "We're just not to that point yet. I've already told myself and sat down with the trainer, and no matter how good it feels, we're sticking to the schedule."
Of course, it's also the job of the personal protector to call for a fake punt, so if Southerland gets too anxious for the football, he could decide to pull the trigger on the trick play.
"Shoot, who knows?" Southerland said. "That's one way to get a carry."
PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS:
Knowshon Moreno's highlight reel keeps growing by the week, including last Saturday's leap from the 4-yard line into the end zone. When asked about Moreno's style during his news conference Tuesday, Richt said the energy Moreno played with was obvious from the first tape he saw of the sophomore tailback in high school.
"Most high school tapes you watch, it's pretty bland," Richt said. "You see them playing, some kids will send music, but we turn it off. There's no commentators, there's no sound to it. But every once in a while, you will actually see the personality of a player jump off the screen, and he was one of those guys. You knew he loved to play the game. He had some flair to him. He's not a showboat, but he gets excited about playing the game."
Injured defensive end Rod Battle will not play against Alabama on Saturday as he continues to recover from a neck injury. Richt said Battle could return in two weeks against Tennessee.