"It was hot and nasty out there today, everybody was in a little bit of a bad mood," said Richt. "Emotions were running high, and everybody is ready to put the pads on and start playing football," said Richt.
Richt began his post-practice media session Saturday by praising the team's academic accomplishments this summer. The team posted a grade point average (GPA) of 3.148 and 70 football student-athletes, including 20 freshmen, registered a 3.0 or higher GPA. A total of 22 Bulldogs were named to the Dean's List.
"We've been trying to get over the hump at 3.0, and it's outstanding to post a 3.148 GPA," said Richt.
In related academic news, Richt announced that junior offensive lineman Casey Nickels has been awarded a scholarship for the 2009 season. A 6-4, 274-pound offensive tackle from Tignall, Ga., he was a member of the 2008 SEC Academic Honor Roll and Director's Honor Roll for fall semester. He was named Most Improved Offensive Lineman and Outstanding Walk On for offense at the conclusion of spring drills. Currently, he is working with the second team offensive line.
"It's a lot of fun to award a scholarship to these guys, and Casey has worked extremely hard and earned it," said Richt.
Running back Washaun Ealey and defensive tackle Derrick Lott missed most of Saturday's practice due to a hyperextended elbow, according to Richt. Neither injury is considered serious, and Richt indicated they would be back at practice as soon as the swelling goes down.
When asked about the tight end position, Richt said it's good to have some healthy bodies, and he is looking forward to more production from them this season.
"Aron White has earned every pound he's put on, he's bigger and stronger, and Bruce Figgins is in good condition too," said Richt. "I like the young guys as well, they have a lot of energy. Overall, I like what I'm seeing from them.