Dawgs Back to Practice: News and Notes

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

NO NEWS MIGHT BE GOOD NEWS

While rumors spread quickly throughout the past few days that new Auburn head coach Gene Chizik would like to raid Georgia's coaching staff to fill assistant jobs with the Tigers, Richt said Wednesday he had not been contacted by the school for permission to talk to any of his coaches.

Offensive line coach Stacy Searels and defensive line coach Rodney Garner are both Auburn alums and have been rumored for jobs with the Tigers, but Richt said he was confident he would be informed if either coach was interviewing elsewhere.

"They have not (been in contact), but I wouldn't doubt it happening," Richt said. "Who wouldn't want to talk to those guys. Just our staff in general, it's not shocking to have anyone want to talk to your coaching staff."

Garner interviewed for the Auburn head coaching vacancy before Chizik was hired. Running backs coach Tony Ball interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy at Chattanooga, but he is not among the three finalists for that position, Richt said.

SETTING A STANDARD

Like Stafford, junior cornerback Asher Allen hasn't made up his mind whether he'll head to the NFL a year early, and he said he likely won't have a final decision until close to the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare their eligibility.

Allen said he has already begun receiving letters from potential agents hoping to represent him, however, and he has turned in paperwork to the NFL advisory committee/ He hopes the committee wil provide him with some good news about his potential draft stock – which he said will need to be impressive for him to leave school early.

"I would say second and up would be reasonable," Allen said. "But overall, it's just a projection, and you can only use those as just a resource."

Richt confirmed Wednesday that, in addition to Allen, Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno had also submitted papers to be evaluated by the NFL advisory committee, adding that "a few of them have." Defensive tackles Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins are Georgia's two other players with remaining eligibility tentatively considering entering the draft.

HEALING UP NICELY

Impressive NFL scouts this season didn't come easily to Allen, who broke his hand against LSU in October, but didn't reveal the injury to the public in hopes of keeping other teams from exploiting it.

"The third of the year, I just had to use my quickness more than anything," Allen said. "I knew I couldn't be as physical as I normally am, but I don't think it hurt that much."

There were only a handful of plays – including a run by Auburn's Ben Tate – that Allen said the injury affected his ability to tackle or make a play on a ball, but the little thing often became a bit more difficult due to the injury.

"There was like two or three times every game where I would just bang it, and I would just have a glazed look and would have to be like, ‘OK, come on,'" Allen said. "You do things without thinking, and you're so used to using your hand, and then you remember that you hurt it when you're falling and catch yourself and say, ‘Oh, man.'"

Allen said the hand is healing well, however, and he expects to be 100 percent by the bowl game on Jan. 1.

"It's feeling good. It's a little weak, but I'm getting it back to normal. The wrist is a little weak, but it'll be back to normal for the game, most definitely."

MAKING THE GRADES

Georgia finished up with finals Tuesday, and while the grades aren't all in yet, Richt said he was not aware of any players who would be academically ineligible for the Bulldogs' bowl game against Michigan State.

"Right now, there's been no alarms set off," Richt said. "Everything that has poured in so far, which is not a lot, has been good. There's always some surprises at the end, but we're in good shape."


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