April 10, 2010

Cuff grateful for coaches' confidence

It will still be at least a week before Georgia coaches release their post-spring depth chart. Nevertheless, senior cornerback Vance Cuff remains hopeful where he'll find his name.

Although nothing will be official until then, the fact that Cuff has been working with the No. 1 defense at cornerback at least has the Colquitt County native hopeful of what may lay ahead come fall.

"For me, it's knowing that I have a chance to be a starting corner in the SEC," said Cuff, who has been one of the Bulldogs' biggest surprises this spring and who started Saturday's G-Day Game. "Knowing that I could be out there on the first drive that the defense is on the field … it's just going to push me to work that much harder. Everything I did on second and third team, it's out the window. It's a new day. I know I need to step it up because I'm going to have to be even better than last year."

For much of his Bulldog career, Cuff has been mainly an afterthought in Georgia's defensive backfield, earning just occasionally playing in a backup role.

But with a new defensive coaching staff, Cuff earned a fresh opportunity to shine.

"I know it's taken me a long time to step up to the plate, but with these new coaches has come a new opportunity," Cuff said. "I felt like I was starting from ground zero, and if I wanted to make a good name with these coaches, I needed to go out do whatever I could to impress them. I wanted to show them that I could really play ball"

Cuff appears to have done just that.

Last week, head coach Mark Richt lauded Cuff for an interception he made in the end zone and Saturday was in the starting lineup for the first-team defense during Saturday's G-Day Game.

"I'm just going to go out and do my best," Cuff said. "When or if I mess up, I'm going to do it full speed. That's the only way I'm going to play."

Davis leaves with injured shoulder

Right tackle Josh Davis had to leave Saturday's game with a shoulder injury, although Richt said he did not believe it to be serious.

"Josh banged his shoulder, somewhat," Richt said. "I don't think it's a big deal, but time will tell."

Also, Sam linebacker Cornelius Washington also left with an undisclosed injury, although Richt wasn't aware of its extent during his post-game press conference.

In other injury news, linebacker Richard Samuel did not play due to a concussion he suffered during last week's scrimmage while running back Caleb King did not play to rest a sore knee.

Richt says he expects King will be 100 percent next week and be ready to begin summer drills.

Would Walsh try another 61-yarder?

Richt allowed kicker Blair Walsh to try a 61-yard midway through the second quarter. Walsh's kick fell way short, but the attempt begged the question:

Would Richt let Walsh attempt another kick of similar distance?

"If he had a good enough breeze behind him, I'd consider it," Richt said. "He can make it."

Although Walsh's kick would not have counted from a historical standpoint, it would have broken Kevin Butler's record 60-yarder against Clemson in 1984.

Durham happy to be back

Wide receiver Kris Durham may have been the happiest Bulldog back on the field Saturday.

The Calhoun native missed all of last year with a shoulder injury and made the most of his time back by catching three passes for a team-high 54 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass from Logan Gray.

"It's just great to be back," said Durham. "It wasn't much fun having to sit out last year, so hopefully I can be able to come back and make an impact this year."

Richt is glad to have him back.

"Kris is so valuable because he knows every wide receiver position, he can be on the line of scrimmage and make sure everybody is lined up," Richt said. "He's a good blocker and a tough guy who you can throw a screen pass to. There aren't too many guys who like to catch the ball across the middle like that. He can play inside, he can play outside: he just knows what to do."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!