2009 Spring: Day 9 News and Notes

ATHENS - David Hale's news and notes from Georgia's spring football.

A LOT TO LEARN

For most of the Bulldogs, the spring is about picking up where they left off after their bowl game. For Georgia's receivers, however, new coach Tony Ball has implemented some major changes from the program they were used to.

"He's not changing the system, but he's changing how we do a lot of the little things," wideout Michael Moore said.

Where former coach John Eason took more of a big-picture approach to coaching, Moore said Ball has gone back to the basics. Instead of learning a plays, the receivers are working on fundamentals like coming out of breaks and gaining leverage on a defender.

"(Eason) stressed more the play, while Coach Ball stresses how to run your route," Moore said.

That has made this spring more of a learning experience for the receivers than for many of their teammates at other positions, and Moore said he has had to put in a bit of extra time at the office just to keep up.

"For us, we can't have enough time," Moore said. "After practice, me and A.J. (Green), we're still out there working on the stuff that Coach Ball is teaching us."

MOVING ON UP

Nick Williams didn't figure on playing linebacker when he came to Georgia, but since making the move from safety late last season, he has quickly adapted to the new role.

Williams led all Georgia players with six tackles in Monday's first spring scrimmage, and linebacker Rennie Curran said the freshman from Bainbridge has looked right at home at his new position.

"He's looking good," Curran said. "He asks a lot of questions. He's real confident, but listens to what the coaches are saying. He's a great guy to have around.

While Williams adjusts to his new position, Curran said he has been adjusting to the role of mentor. He said he has taken Williams under his wing and tried to offer as much advice as possible.

One topic that has been a popular one for Williams is the issue of adding some bulk to his frame. Having arrived as a safety, adding some heft has been a top priority for Williams, and the weight room just so happens to be Curran's area of expertise.

"All of those guys when they come in as freshmen, they go through a transformation," Curran said. "I just try to let them know that it's more about making plays. Don't get stuck on gaining weight or anything like that. At the end of the day, it's about who gets to the ball and makes the tackle."

BACK SO SOON?

While the injuries at defensive end continue to mount for the Bulldogs, two other players who have spent the spring in green non-contact jerseys appear close to returning.

Running back Dontavius Jackson has participated in many of the non-contact drills this spring and Richt said he could be good to go at full speed by this weekend or early next week.

Richt also said linebacker Akeem Hebron appears ready to return to full participation by this weekend as well.


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