Georgia Continues Bowl Practices

ATHENS - David Hale's news and notes from Georgia's fall practices.

Linebacker Rennie Curran said he will be watching the SEC championship game on Saturday, but it won't be easy for him to sit through. Watching Florida and Alabama – two of the three teams Georgia lost to this season – play for a berth in the national championship game simply serves as a reminder of how different this season could have unfolded for the Bulldogs.

"It's probably going to be hard to watch knowing we could have been there, but we missed out on it," Curran said. "But just watching it will encourage me to work harder to be able to help my guys and hopefully we'll be there next year."

Having gotten an up-close-and-personal view of both teams this season, Curran is also uniquely qualified to predict a winner, but he's not ready to go out on a limb for that. All he will say is that beating Florida won't be an easy task for the Crimson Tide.

"I think if ‘Bama wants to win, they have to pretty much play flawless and not make any mistakes," Curran said. "That's what killed us. Florida has so many homerun hitters that can kill you if you make a mistake. But I think if ‘Bama plays tough and doesn't make any mistakes, they can do it.

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

Georgia's two biggest needs in this year's recruiting class look to be wide receiver and defensive end, but it may be the work of a trio of linemen that helps fill that void, head coach Mark Richt said.

Prior to landing offensive lineman Vince Vance and defensive linemen Corvey Irvin and Jarius Wynn from Georgia Military College, Georgia shied away from recruiting junior college players. The three transfers, however, have proved so successful, that Richt is hoping to land another group of stars this year.

"After our experience with Jarius, Corvey and Vince Vance, that was a very positive experience with those guys," Richt said. "We went there as kind of a desperation situation, and not to say that we're going to spend the rest of our lives there, but there are some very quality players and quality people, and we found three of them."

Georgia is recruiting three junior-college players this season: wide receivers Cameron Kenney from Garden City (Kansas) Community College and Leon Berry from East Mississippi Community College, along with junior college All-American defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.

Richt said the recruiting doesn't mean a complete change in Georgia's philosophy, but the Bulldogs will continue to go after the players he thinks fit the program's philosophy.

"It's not to say we're going to make a wholesale move in that direction," Richt said, "but if there's a special player out there, we'll keep doing that."

SEARCHING HIGH AND LOW

One other position Richt said he might look to the junior college ranks for is kicker. He joked after the Georgia Tech loss that he would be willing to go to Poland to find a kicker who could boot the ball through the end zone on kickoffs, but he said Thursday it might be easier to stay closer to home.

"If there's a JC kicker out there who can boom it – if he's in high school, prep school, if he's in Poland and wants an American education," Richt said, "if I knew that he could literally knock it out of the end zone, I'd scholarship him."

Asked if he might consider a tryout among the Georgia student body for a good kicker as teams like Texas Tech and Boston College have done in recent years, Richt said he might consider it.

"I think we have some club soccer here," he said. "There might be a guy who can just knock it."

DOGS ARE WELL REPRESENTED

Ten Georgia players were named to Phil Steele's 2008 All-SEC team, it was announced Thursday.

Sophomore tailback Knowshon Moreno, freshman wide receiver A.J. Green, sophomore linebacker Rennie Curran and senior punter Brian Mimbs were all named to the first team while the second team included junior quarterback Matthew Stafford, senior wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, sophomore offensive lineman Clint Boling and sophomore safety Reshad Jones. Junior defensive tackle Geno Atkins and junior cornerback Asher Allen were named to the third team.


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