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Although it remains to be seen exactly what kind of role Watts Dantzler plays on Georgia's offensive line, the Dalton native said Monday it's going to at least be a different person who takes the field and he's got the father center David Andrews to thank.
"I guess it started back in May. Me, Hunter (Long), Boss (David Andrews) we kind sat down and talked with Boss' dad (James Andrews) who we call Doc," Dantzler said. "Doc sat us down and told us to write out our goals. He looked at mine and said they were crap. He said 'Your main goal, you need to become a bad-%&$. He told me, you become a bad -%&$ this summer."
So, that's just what Dantzler attempted to do.
Apparently, the makeover is paying off.
Once considered by some to be an afterthought as far as contributors on Georgia's offensive line is concerned, Dantzler has worked himself into the regular rotation, where he's seeing most of his time at guard.
"Doc's been kind of like a father figure to me the past couple of years so at first that hurt to hear him say that, but then it became motivation. It made me look in the mirror to know I needed a good summer," he said. "I didn't take it in a bad way, but it was an eye-opener knowing that was something I needed to become. He told me you're one of the nicest people off the field but you need to channel a way to get some meanness on the field. So I took it to the weight room and I tried to find a way to pump myself up, to get more weight, run harder and then carry it out to the practice field. I think I learned a lot.
"Basically, he cut the B.S. and told me where I needed to be."
Position coach Will Friend has taken notice.
"I think I've proved that I can be accountable," Dantzler said. "Hopefully, I can do good Wednesday (during Georgia's next scrimmage) to earn his trust that I will be in the rotating group."
Dantzler dispelled the notion that he would redshirt due to Georgia's apparent depth on the offensive line this fall.
"No, they haven't said anything about redshirting. I came to camp with the goal that I wanted to earn a starting spot," he said. "If I came into camp thinking I might redshirt I wouldn't be able to perform good so I haven't even thought about that. There's been people saying, oh you should redshirt. If they asked me to I would but I really don't think that's too much of a question."
Georgia's post-practice injury report featured 14 names, including two new ones - wide receivers Reggie Davis (right knee sprain) and Rhett McGowan (ankle) - who were not on it before.
Neither player practiced during Monday's special team's workout at Sanford Stadium.
Others on the list included linebacker Davin Bellamy (left thumb fracture; limited running), safety Marc Deas (right elbow sprain; out), linebacker Tim Kimbrough (right knee sprain; out), safety Tray Matthews (right shoulder sprain, left hamstring strain; limited running), defensive lineman Chris Mayes (concussion; out), safety Corey Moore (right knee sprain; out); tight end Jay Rome (left ankle sprain; out, running back A.J. Turman (right knee sprain, right ankle sprain; out) , linebacker Chase Vasser (left ankle sprain; limited running and wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (right hamstring strain; limited running).
"If we had a game, probably five of those would have played," head coach Mark Richt said.
Richt still mum on Morgan
If Richt knows whether or not kicker Marshall Morgan will play against Clemson, he's not saying.
Without prompting, Richt commented during his post-practice press conference that reporters would know at halftime whether or not the sophomore would play against the Tigers following his arrest for boating under the influence.
"By halftime you should know what's up," Richt said.
When asked if the answer could be known by pre-game warm-ups, Richt said "It's possible. I don't know."
Richt also told reporters to ask about offensive lineman Austin Long on Wednesday. As of yet, Long has yet to practice with the Bulldogs.
Coaches to start finalizing depth chart
Starting Tuesday, Richt said he and his assistants will get together to start paring down the depth charts to finalize what players they'll be focusing on for the Aug. 31 opener at Clemson.
"Tuesday, we'll have a personnel meeting and talk about every player across the board, what each coach thinks about how he's done and maybe even give an idea if the game was tomorrow, how would you line up your units," Richt said. "We'll have a discussion like that tomorrow prior to the scrimmage and we'll have one similar to that after the next scrimmage before we have the practice game (Aug. 21) that we have for Clemson."
Richt said it's important that each of his assistants take part in the discussion together.
"You could go to the offensive room or the defensive room," Richt said. "But it's important for everyone to hear because there's a lot of different guys that are on special teams and special teams coaches need to hear about each guy so we're not talking about a guy who may not travel or may not play in a game this year.
"We won't make any bottom-line decisions on redshirts but we'll have a better idea of where we are."
Richt doesn't flinch on high dive
Even hip surgery couldn't deter Richt from taking his annual leap off the 10-meter board Saturday at the Ramsey Center pool.
"I didn't know if I was going to do it but I jumped off the 3-meter, then the 5-meter just to see and I decided to go right to the 10 and encourage some of the freshmen to go who were chickening out," Richt said. "Every year for whatever reason I'll tell a guy who's down to the moment of truth that I'll do a backflip if they jump. So I tell them, 'I'm 53 years old and I'll do a backflip if you jump.' They're like OK, so I had to go."
Richt admitted he was a little antsy before making the jump.
"I really was a little nervous this time because I didn't know," he said. "I was worried about the hip, to be honest, but after the first couple of jumps you get in the moment and you decide to do it. I think I'll keep doing it every year. I might do it till I kick."
Murray not fretting over scrimmage picks
Quarterback Aaron Murray said he's not worrying about the three interceptions he threw during last Wednesday's scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.
"I thought we (the offense) did great. We racked up over 500 yard of offense. Obviously, we need to cut down on the turnovers, but I wasn't stressed at all about them. Those were just little miss-communications that we're glad can happen now instead of later," Murray said. "We went back, talked about it and got it fixed which was great, so other than that I thought it went extremely smooth."
Murray was asked whether he wished Richt would not release stats from scrimmages, as unofficial as they might be, so not to cause any angst by hard-core Bulldog fans.
"I'm not worried, and I don't think anyone in this building is worried about any outside opinions," Murray said. "We know what we're doing here, we're working hard, and like I said as an offense we felt very good about the scrimmage. We've just got to keep working."
This and that
Richt said Nathan Theus and Trent Frix are battling it out for the long-snapper job. "Frix and Theus have been both pretty impressive," Richt said. "Snaps are good, both have run down the field and put themselves in position to make a good thud. I think the competition is bringing out the best of both."
Richt confirmed that both Malcolm Mitchell and Todd Gurley are among those being looked at for kick returner. Mitchell is also working at punt return and kickoff coverage.
Richt indicated that freshmen running backs J.J. Green, Brendan Douglas and Turman will all get to play this fall. "It's possible because they're getting a ton of reps on special teams. I'd say at least two and maybe all three of them, I'd say at least two and probably all three," he said.
Wide receiver Jonathon Rumph continues to receive praise. "He's a lot different than he was the first couple of weeks of spring ball," Richt said. "That mid-year enrollment for him was crucial. If he came in, this is his first shot learning everything it would have been hard for him to look as ready as he does know. He's really helped himself."
Freshman tight end Jordan Davis is being prepared to play.
Georgia had a kicking scrimmage for an hour and a half at Sanford Stadium late Monday afternoon after having an off-day on Sunday. "I thought we had a solid day in the kicking scrimmage," said Richt. "It was organized and the guys hustled. This is always a big day for the kickers, but it was also big for our runners, the guys who are the protectors, who are catching and running the ball and doing various other duties." Following practice, the Bulldogs enjoyed their annual watermelon cutting. This traditionally marks the end of the preseason camp.
The Bulldogs will take Tuesday off from practice to allow players to get their class schedules aligned. "We talked to our academic people and asked which day would be better, the first day of school or the second day of school as far as organizational stuff and all that goes," Richt said. "They felt it was better to do it the second day of school so we wanted to make sure we got everybody off on the right foot academically so we decided this would be best."
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