Arkansas Week: Tuesday News and Notes

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

LINEBACKER CONCERNS

Georgia will be without senior linebacker Darius Dewberry for a second straight week, Richt said, and sophomore Nick Williams is questionable after sitting out last week's contest against South Carolina.

"It would be nice to have all those guys healthy," Richt said. "Dewberry was playing extremely well, and Nick was another one of those young guys who was getting better everyday at practice, and you hate to slow down that progress."

With Dewberry, a Peach County alum, and Williams sidelined, South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders found plenty of room to get open and finished the game with eight catches for 96 yards. Richt said Darryl Gamble will likely get the task of stopping All-SEC tight end D.J. Williams against Arkansas this week, but the linebacking crew will also get some help from a senior Marcus Washington, who had been moved to defensive end at the start of fall camp.

"Marcus is back at linebacker because we've lost a couple of guys there, but he could still be a swing guy in case of an emergency," linebackers coach John Jancek said. "We'll go into the game using him as a linebacker and possibly move him to defensive end as well."

READY BUT NOT READY

Safety Quintin Banks has had a hard time staying healthy for the past two years, so now that he's finally been cleared to start playing again after a knee injury last month, the coaches are taking it slow.

A year ago, the former Houston County standout played in just one game due to a myriad of injuries, and he missed Georgia's opener this season as well. Banks was dressed for last week's game against South Carolina but did not play.

"He's able to play, but he hasn't had a lot of practice reps," Richt said. "He hasn't done a lot of things full speed. I wouldn't say that he is 100 percent back to the best Quintin Banks can be."

STRONG START FOR JONES

Richt said one of the most promising developments from Georgia's first game to its second was the progress made by the freshmen on special teams. At the top of that list, Richt said, is former Northside star Abry Jones, who complimented an increased amount of playing time at defensive tackle with a strong performance on Georgia's kick return unit that tallied 252 yards last week.

"He has a lot of ability, but he has a ways to go on his fundamentals," Richt said. "He has a ways to go on every little thing that you have to learn, but we feel like he is going to get better in a hurry, which he is. Abry is moving very rapidly into a very fine player and I think the sky is the limit for him."


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