August 4, 2009

Much to discuss after first day of practice

The thermometer reached 95 Tuesday afternoon and Caleb King said he felt every sweltering degree.

Georgia's redshirt sophomore joked that he took the field at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility for the Bulldogs' weighing a svelte 215.

But the time he appeared for his post-practice interview he melted down to 210.

"It was all water," King smiled. "It was hot out there."

Cornerback Brandon Boykin wasn't complaining.

"We knew that the heat was going to be there but we were prepared for it," Boykin said. "The tempo was real good for the first day and I'm just looking forward until tomorrow."

Head coach Mark Richt was pleased with what he saw.

The Bulldogs practiced for almost three hours in helmets and shorts, and although he could not gauge too much about his squad from one workout, the effort he saw certainly was pleasing to the eye.

"We fought through it, and overall it was a good day," said Richt. "It was very hot and humid on the field turf, and that's what it's going to be like at Oklahoma State."

The workout almost marked the return to the field for offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant and defensive tackle Jeff Owens, both of whom missed all of last year with torn ACLs.

Owens said he was happy to be back and practicing after a knee injury in the 2008 season opener ended his campaign.

"It feels great to be out here again, my knee held up pretty good today although it's a little sore," said Owens. "I'm looking forward to us playing as a team and staying healthy, and if we do that, we'll be successful. We had a lot of season-ending injuries last year including me, and it's tough to be leader when you're not out there practicing and playing. Without leaders, you don't have a team. It's like an army without generals."

On Tuesday, the team will again work out in in jerseys, shorts and helmets before donning shoulder pads on Thursday and Friday. After a Saturday practice in shells, the first two-a-day practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 10 with a full-pads practice during the morning session.

Georgia's first five practices will serve as the NCAA-mandated acclimation period. The acclimation period went into effect in 2004 with the intent to reduce injuries and heat-related illnesses.

First look at offensive line

Although the Bulldogs are a long way from determining what players will line up at what spot on the offensive line, Tuesday's first day of fall practice offered a couple of hints.
To no one's surprised, Sturdivant lined up at left tackle, with Vince Vance at left guard, Ben Jones at center, Cordy Glenn at right guard and Clint Boling at right tackle.

The second team consisted of A.J. Harmon at left tackle, Chris Davis at left guard, Kevin Perez at center, Justin Anderson at right guard and Casey Nichols at right tackle.

Injury update

Not every injured Bulldog was back on the field for the first day of preseason practice.

Defensive tackle Brandon Wood (shoulder, wrist), defensive end Jeremy Longo (shoulder) and defensive end Neland Ball did not dress out.

Richt still expects the players to be available at some point in the coming weeks.

Picture Day set

Georgia's annual Fan Picture Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at Sanford Stadium and will feature Bulldog football coaches and players, other UGA athletic teams and Uga VII.

Uga VII and the other University of Georgia sports teams will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. The Georgia football players and coaches will be on hand for photographs and autographs from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Concessions and merchandise sales will be available throughout the event on the 100 level
concourse of Sanford Stadium.

All activities associated with Picture Day will take place only on the 100 level between Sections 101-125. Signage will be displayed throughout the concourse directing all fans to the team locations and concession and merchandise stands.

The Georgia offensive unit and Richt will be located throughout the North side concourse of Sanford Stadium between Sections 101-109, while the defense will be located on the Gate 6 Plaza between Sections 121-125.

Beginning at 9 a.m. that morning, fans can pick up a ticket at the East End Ticket Windows located off East Campus Road to reserve their place in line for the Uga VII photo opportunity. The first 150 fans will receive a ticket and guaranteed opportunity for a photo with Uga VII.

Also beginning at 9:00 a.m. that morning, fans can pick up a ticket at the East End Ticket Windows located off East Campus Road to reserve their place in line for a photo opportunity with Coach Richt. The first 250 fans will receive a ticket and guaranteed opportunity for a photo with Richt.

This and that

•Walkon receiver Marquise Browne made a couple of nice catches.

•Georgia's offensive line had no reason to complain about the 95-degree heat. Position coach Stacy Searels wore a full-length gray sweater throughout the afternoon.

•Maybe it was the heat, but wide receiver A.J. Green appeared a ticker taller than his listed height of 6-5.

Orson Charles got some snaps with the first team at tight end.

Caleb King, Carlton Thomas, Richard Samuel, Dontavius Jackson and Washaun Ealey each got carries with the first team.

•Quarterback Aaron Murray threw a beautiful 45-yard strike to wide receiver Mike Moore that the senior caught over his right shoulder.

Darius Dewberry (shoulder) competed at full speed.

• Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he won't take long to decide who Georgia's No. 2 quarterback will be. "It might be after the first scrimmage but no later than the second," Bobo said. Redshirt sophomore Logan Gray is trying to hold off true freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger for the spot behind starter Joe Cox.


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