August 17, 2012

Friday post-practice update

Malcolm Mitchell admitted Friday he's not up on any of the new plays offensive coordinator Mike Bobo has drawn up since moving over to defensive back in the spring.

But there's still one he recalls and figures he can execute just fine - go deep.

"Oh yeah, I can do that," Mitchell joked with reporters. "We'd be all right, then. I know how to do that."

Although head coach Mark Richt has said that Mitchell will at some point see reps back on the offensive side, it remains unclear if that time will come anytime soon.

According to Mitchell, he's yet to see any practice with the offense, although he has run some plays after practice to try and stay sharp - just in case.

"I remember all the plays from last year so I'll be able to do all that," Mitchell said. "They just can't go with ones they recently made up."

Mitchell also said coaches have yet to really increase his responsibilities on special teams. At least not yet.

"Camp is a time when it hot so he didn't want to get me overworked," he said. "When it starts cooling down a lot more will be going on for me."

McDonald waiting for his turn

Former Appalachian State linebacker A.J. McDonald still has to sit out here to satisfy the NCAA's transfer rules, but he plans on making good use of his time.

"I'm just trying to learn what I can so one day I might be able to help the team," said McDonald, who played his high school ball at Peachtree Ridge.

At 6-foot and 230 pounds, McDonald is working at inside linebacker for the Bulldogs, where he says he's already learned a great deal from players like Mike Gilliard and Alec Ogletree.

"Both those guys have been a big help," he said. "As soon as I got here I started following Mike around, just trying to learn from him."

A member of Appalachian State's 2010 Southern Conference champions, McDonald left Boone, N.C. to attend school at nearby Gainesville College before transferring to Georgia in spring of last year.

Richt explains turnover frustrations

Richt said he believes his quarterbacks learned their lessons after fumbling the ball a combined four times during Wednesday's scrimmage.

"The biggest thing on the turnover were the quarterbacks basically realizing they were in green, or the black non-contact jersey, so I think some of that was relaxing a little bit," Richt said. "I think if it was a real game they would have had better ball security, but it just seemed like every time they got touched the ball was out. When you scramble, step up in the pocket or whatever it is you've got to have to hands on the ball regardless."

Otherwise, Richt said there was actually a decent amount to be happy with in the nearly two-hour session at Sanford Stadium.

"When the ball was snapped, guys were flying around pretty good. There were a few loafs, but not a lot. I think what kind of got me a little bit miffed was in between plays, guys weren't hustling off the field like they should, or hustling on the field," he said. "They just didn't seem as excited about getting in there and playing, which got under my skin a little bit. But when the ball was snapped, they did get after it pretty good and that's what's most important. You just want it to look sharper than it was."

Friday's practice was more to his liking.

"We had a very good practice today," Richt said. "We shortened it up a little bit and I thought the guys responded well. We did some live tackling as we felt like we needed to tackle a little more out in space. There was a lot of good energy today and a lot of good things happened. There were four interceptions and at least two others that should have been picked, so that's a good sign for the defense when they are putting enough pressure on the quarterback to cause those types of throws."

Andrews solidifies job

In what was certainly no big surprise, Richt said sophomore center David Andrews will definitely be the team's starter this fall.

"I think David Andrews has had a good camp," he said. "To me he's solidified that job."

Right guard Chris Burnette will be Andrews' top backup.

"I think the best combination for Georgia is for him to be the center and he's doing a good job," said Richt, who also had some good things to say about the overall play of his freshman class.

"The freshmen in general have done a nice job of competing, I'm not saying they're going to start or anything, but they really seem to care about their role on the special team as well," he said. "I think our veterans are doing a good job of treating them like a little brother and helping them along, teaching and I think a lot of them have responded them to the point where they're going to see some playing time."

Nothing new on Houston

Richt said there is nothing new to report on sophomore offensive lineman Kolton Houston, who remains ineligible following a positive test on April 13 of 2010 for Norandrolone, a performance enhancing substance, which despite a battery of tests, has yet to exit the his system.

However, if and when the former Buford standout gets cleared, Richt said he won't hesitate to tell the world.

"I would think as soon as we knew that he was cleared to play it would be something we wanted to tell everybody, that we'd be excited about to tell," Richt said. "We're still trying to work him enough to keep him as ready as we can without taking away from guys we know are eligible to play so it's kind of a touchy deal, but he's getting lots of good work with the No. 2 units, so it's good."

Picture Day set for Saturday

Saturday is Picture Day in the Reed Plaza area at Sanford Stadium with fans receiving the opportunity for autographs from their favorite Bulldogs.

The Georgia cheerleaders and Hairy Dawg will be available from 1-5 p.m. Russ and other University of Georgia sports teams will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Georgia football players will be on hand for photos and autographs from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Richt will also be available from 3-5 p.m. for those with ticket coupons.

U.S. Olympic gold medalists Allison Schmitt and Shannon Vreeland are expected to be signing autographs with the swimming & diving team from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Schmitt and Vreeland earned gold medals in the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay at the London Olympics. Schmitt also picked up gold medals in the 200-meter freestyle and the 4x100-meter medley relay, a silver in the 400-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay.

Other UGA teams scheduled to attend include baseball, men's basketball, equestrian, women's golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, track & field, cross country and volleyball.

Fans will be able to enter Reed Plaza through Gate 2 in the northwest corner of the stadium across from the Tate Student Center and Gate 4 through the East Campus Road entry into Reed Plaza. Both gates open at 1:00 p.m. Parking is available to the general public in all campus lots surrounding the stadium. Handicapped parking will be available in the Tate Center lots.

This and that

Richt said that freshman Sheldon Dawson recently received some looks at kickoff return "because we wanted to see what the young man could do in a live situation." … So far, the Bulldogs have not started any actual game preparations for the Sept. 1 season opener against Buffalo, but that will change starting on Saturday. … It doesn't look like the Bulldogs will be making the pilgrimage to the Ramsey Center for any swimming this year. "I don't know. They keep singing and humming that 'Going to the Ramsey song' but it's not working. Plus, it's not hot and we need to get better."