2009 Fall Camp: Day Three Practice Report

ATHENS - Georgia stepped up the intensity of their pre-season preparations on Thursday, moving from shorts to shoulder pads for the first time. Following a two-plus hour session, head coach Mark Richt gave the team high marks...and also announced the completion of Georgia's 105-player roster for fall camp.

"Kwame is in," Richt announced.

And with that, Kwame Geathers, an All-American defensive linemen from Georgetown, S.C., became the final member of the Bulldogs' NCAA-allowed number of players on campus before school starts. Geathers, who is the younger brother of former UGA and current Cincinnati Bengal Robert Geathers, was notified by the NCAA Clearinghouse that he was eligible to join the Bulldogs earlier in the day.

"He's trying to get here this evening," Richt said. "It's about a five-and-a-half hour drive, I think. We found out about 10 or 11 this morning. He'll have to go through the five days of acclimation so he'll be about four days behind. He'll go in shorts, shorts, then shells, shells. On the fifth day, he'll be able to put pads on."

Richt was optimistic that Geathers would not be far behind his teammates.

"I think he's been working out," Richt said. "He's from a family with a lot of professional football players. They know what they need to do."

Richt was also pleased with his team's overall effort during Thursday's practice.

"Day 3 was better than yesterday," Richt said. "It was a tough, hot practice, but they fought. They seem to have a very good mentality. I think they know what it's going to take to get better. We didn't quite have the energy of yesterday, but yesterday it was cooler and the weather gave them a break."

Richt hopes Georgia's routine of beginning practice at 3:30 will prepare his team for the conditions it will face in the season opener at Oklahoma State, a consensus pre-season top-10 pick.

"We're going to kick if off at 2:30 their time," Richt said. "Out in Stillwater, it looks like it's 102, 102, 101, 90ish and they're working through it. They have to deal with it, and we will too."

While Richt complimented both sides of the ball and special teams, he was quick to rattle off names of several standouts on defense and he was enthused by the standards of his pool of tailbacks.

"(Darryl) Gamble scooped up another fumble," Richt said. "He makes plays. I love the way Rennie (Curran) has been practicing and preparing. Prince Miller is one of the players who has done the best job of getting out of a comfort zone and becoming a more vocal leader. It's great to have Geno (Atkins), Jeffrey (Owens) and Kade (Weston) all out there together. They know the ropes and are leaders.

"The running backs all seem to be very focused," Richt continued. "They're all practicing like they truly believe it's a wide-open competition, which it is."

The Bulldogs will work out again in shoulder pads on Friday and Saturday before moving to full pads with the morning session of Monday's two-a-day practices.

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