June 8, 2010

Richt gives Sturdivant healthy review

MACON - Junior offensive tackle Trinton Studivant may be closer to making a complete comeback than originally thought.

Sturdivant, who suffered the second ACL tear of his career in the 2009 season-opener against Oklahoma State, has seen his rehab go extremely well, so good in fact that head coach Mark Richt sees no reason he can't get back to former self.

"Trinton looks great," Richt said during Tuesday's Pigskin Preview at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. "If he can stays healthy he's going to be fine. He doesn't have any limitations for him right now."

Richt said that fellow offensive lineman Tanner Strickland (shoulder), Clint Boling (ankle) and A.J. Harmon (ankle) will each be ready to go, along with Justin Anderson (shoulder) will be ready to go once preseason drills begin the first week of August.

The coach added that freshman offensive tackle Brent Benedict continues to "make good progress."

A healthy Sturdivant would certainly be a boon for Georgia's offensive line.

At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, Sturdivant enjoyed a standout freshman campaign before suffering his first ACL injury prior to the 2008 campaign.

"ACL injuries, guys don't really lose too much. There's other injures that when a guy comes back it might not be the same, but if that one ligament heals, he's the same athlete he ever was," Richt said. "He hasn't played a lot lately, and I'm sure he'll be a little rusty but as soon as we hook it up that first game I'm sure he'll be fine."

Richt fine with early kickoffs

Sure, it's going to be hot, but overall, Richt says he has no real problem with the noon kickoffs scheduled that have been set for South Carolina and Arkansas.

"One thing about a home game at noon, you can actually get home with the sun still up, sit on the couch and watch a couple of games like a regular guy before cranking it up," Richt said. "So from that standpoint I don't mind."

He just hopes the weather cooperates the next couple of months to help his players get prepared.

"It's going to be hot, for sure," Richt said. "We're really going to be hoping for a really warm summer because we've had some mild summers then all of a sudden boom, that heat hits you so no matter how hard you worked all summer you're just not ready for it."

Richt said the majority of his players will conduct their summer workouts in the afternoon to help get acclimated to the heat.

No rush for expansion

Expansion has been the hot-button word in college football of late, with rumors of some big-time programs jumping ship to the Big Ten or Pac-10.

Although many have speculated whether or not the SEC would get involved, Richt said Tuesday he doesn't believe the league is in a rush to change.

"It's really interesting to hear that it's such a hot topic. On one hand I think that people are just looking for stuff to talk about, but on the other hand there seems to be some really serious stuff going on," Richt said. "I really feel like we've got a great league and we all believe that. We've got a tremendous SEC Championship game, we've got a TV contract, 98 percent full ever time we roll out the carpet, we've had a lot of national champions lately so I don't think we're in a rush to change anything. But I really do think Commissioner (Mike) Slive will make a good decision if in fact he's mulling it over. I'm sure he's got to be thinking about it."

Richt doesn't think anything will happen soon, although coaches were wondering amongst themselves at last week's SEC Meetings in Destin.

"We basically were just little bit curious about it but I don't think that anyone thinks anything will happen anytime soon," Richt said.

Will Anderson make an impact?

Richt said he's hopeful the addition of Justin Anderson into the mix at nose will pay big dividends for the Bulldogs this fall.

"That nose guard is a little bit different animal than what we had before in this scheme than what we had before," Richt said. "It's going to be a challenge to see if these guys can really control double-teams and that's probably the reason we put Justin Anderson there because he is a big, giant, powerful man. If he can take to it, I think he's going to be tough to block for just that one man. He's got a lot to learn, so does everybody else. We're just counting on younger guys and they're going to have to step up."

Anderson didn't practice this spring with a sprained shoulder but will be ready to start fall practice.

Georgia's post-spring depth chart listed DeAngelo Tyson and Kwame Geathers 1-2 heading into preseason drills.

Bulldog begin summer workouts

Senior wide receiver Kris Durham said he's helping quarterback Aaron Murray coordinate the summer workouts sessions, which kicked off earlier this week.

"I'm kind of communicating with the receivers, working around everyone's class schedule, study hall, tutoring, those types of things," Durham said. "We're trying to get out there two or three times a week, get out throw some passes, that kind of stuff."

The Bulldogs have held one workout session thus far.

"Everyone's still getting adjusted to their class schedule, workouts and everything but with Coach Richt's camp going on, it's kind of hard to get out there, but we're going to try to get out there at least once more this week," said Durham, who added the summer workout program is actually key to the team's success.

"It probably is. There's so much conditioning, so much time spent building unity together," he said. "We need to get our timing down. We started getting our foundation down in the spring, but need to continue to work hard together."

Dent says fans will like new D

Linebacker Akeem Dent said fans will like what they see when the Bulldog "unleash" their new attacking 3-4 defense against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"As soon as we unleash it it's going to be real exciting to see," Dent said. "Opening up that first game with Coach (Todd) Grantham, Coach (Scott) Lakatos and Coach (Warren) Belin, letting them see that atmosphere, it's going to be exciting."

Dent said he estimated the defensive probably showed only five percent of what it will employ once the season begins.

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