2009 Fall Camp: Day One Practice Report

ATHENS - Under partly cloudy skies and sweltering heat of an early August afternoon in the Deep South, the Georgia Bulldogs opened their 2009 football camp Tuesday.

Prior to the first practice, Georgia coach Mark Richt and several student-athletes discussed the excitement of the upcoming season at the annual media day luncheon. Then, it was time to hit the field.

At 3:35 p.m. ET, with the summer sizzle hovering around 95 degrees, the 2009 edition of the Bulldogs began the first of 29 sessions before facing Oklahoma State.

"We fought through it, and overall it was a good day," said Richt on the team's initial workout. "It was very hot and humid on the field turf, and that's what it's going to be like at Oklahoma State."

Senior defensive tackle Jeff Owens said he was happy to be back and practicing after a knee injury in the 2008 season opener ended his campaign.

"It feels great to be out here again, my knee held up pretty good today although it's a little sore," said Owens. "I'm looking forward to us playing as a team and staying healthy, and if we do that, we'll be successful. We had a lot of season-ending injuries last year including me, and it's tough to be leader when you're not out there practicing and playing. Without leaders, you don't have a team. It's like an army without generals."

For the first two practice days, the team will work out in jerseys, shorts and helmets while on Thursday and Friday the squad will wear shoulder pads as well. After a Saturday practice in shells, the first two-a-day practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 10 with a full-pads practice during the morning session. Georgia's first five practices will serve as the NCAA-mandated acclimation period. The acclimation period went into effect in 2004 with the intent to lessen injuries and heat-related illnesses.

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