2009 Fall Camp: Day Eight News and Notes

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

NOT ALL GOOD NEWS

As impressive as Samuel's scrimmage stats were, the sophomore is still having some problems holding on to the football.

One of Samuel's most impressive runs of the scrimmage came on a third-down play in which he darted through the line of scrimmage for a first down and a long gain. The play ended with Samuel coughing up the football, however, and that's something Richt won't tolerate in a starting tailback.

Richt said the fumble may have been the first of the fall for Samuel, but after the tailback struggled with the same problem as a freshman a year ago, it's an issue he needs to resolve quickly.

"Right now I would think the incentive of playing time would really help him hold on to the ball," Richt said. "That's probably the only thing that will keep him from getting a substantial amount of playing time is just being a guy who fumbles."

DECISIONS, DECISIONS

After Georgia's coaches have a chance to break down the film from Wednesday's scrimmage, Richt said he expects the depth chart at tailback to be reshuffled a bit, with two or three of the top performers to be moved to the front of the pack. Although Richt cautions that his evaluations won't be all about the numbers.

"When we evaluate, we will put more on a scrimmage than we do on any other grading system," Richt said. "This is as live as we can get, as real as we can get. So the scrimmages mean a lot, but we do understand when one guy's got a lot of space and other guys don't."

While the new-look depth chart will likely be a hot topic among fans, Richt said he's not overly concerned with who has earned starting jobs just yet. The bigger issue for him is finding enough depth that Georgia won't have to worry about employing a back-up from time to time.

"I don't particularly care who's No. 1 today or tomorrow," Richt said. "I'm looking for guys that are ready to play. I'm not even looking for starters. I'm looking for guys that, if we put them in the game, they could function at winning football. That's really and truly all I'm concerned about right now."

PASSING GRADES

Beyond tailback, the biggest position battle on the roster may be for the No. 2 quarterback job, a position to which sophomore Logan Gray continues to stake his claim.

Gray was the top performer among Georgia's backup quarterbacks Wednesday, completing 6-of-12 passes for 93 yards and two touchdowns, going mostly against Georgia's No. 2 defense. While Gray has continued to impress, however, Richt said the second spot on the depth chart is still an open competition.

"He's done a nice job, and I would say he's still a solid No. 2 but Aaron (Murray) has done some nice things," Richt said.

Murray finished the scrimmage 5-of-16 for 52 yards and a touchdown, while fellow freshman Zach Mettenberger completed just 1-of-10 passing.

Starting quarterback Joe Cox completed nine of his 13 attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns.

INJURY UPDATES

A number of Georgia's usual starters sat out Wednesday's scrimmage nursing injuries, but Richt said none were serious. Aron White, Rennie Curran, Darius Dewberry, Akeem Dent and Darryl Gamble all sat out with soreness in their hamstrings. Receiver Marlon Brown skipped the scrimmage with an injured finger, and Tavarres King watched from the sidelines with a minor back injury. Caleb King participated despite hamstring soreness, Richt said, while Ealey scrimmaged wearing a protective brace on his elbow after hyperextending it last week.


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