August 22, 2013

'Not counting anybody out'


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If defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is worried about the injuries suffered by the members of his defensive backfield, he's not showing it.

"I'm not counting anybody out," Grantham said after practice Thursday.

Of course, time will tell if Grantham is proven correct.

Thursday's post-practice injury report still listed four Bulldog defensive backs - Devin Bowman, Shaquille Fluker, Tray Matthews and Corey Moore - as out and with eight days remaining before the Aug. 31 kickoff against Clemson, many Bulldog fans are getting more than a little bit nervous.

But Grantham remains upbeat.

"I think those guys can get healthy," he said. "We'll continue to treat them and get them out there when we can."

When pressed further on Matthews, the projected starter at free safety, Grantham had this to say.

"All I go by is day by day," he said. "Everybody is getting a little bit better. We're going to practice on Friday and Saturday so hopefully we can get some reps with those guys and get them ready for Clemson."

Freshman cornerback Brendan Langley continues to catch Grantham's eye.

The former Kell standout has three interceptions in Georgia's last two scrimmages, and Grantham said the youngster is ready to play a big role.

"I think Langley has done a good job. He's been very conscientious about learning the system since we signed him in February and has really made an effort to learn the defense," Grantham said. "He had a pick last night (Wednesday). He's got very good length and understands leverage. We've just got to keep developing him, but he's going to keep getting better the more he plays."

Injury update

Beside the afore mentioned defensive backs, Thursday's post-practice injury report featured a couple of new names - fullback Merritt Hall and wide receiver Tramel Terry.

Hall was listed as having a cervical strain (neck), while Terry apparently took a hit on his left knee, resulting in a contusion.

Other players on the list included wide receiver Rhett McGowan (right ankle sprain), wide receiver Jonathon Rumph (left hamstring strain), wide receiver Blake Tibbs (lumbar contusion), running back A.J. Turman (right knee sprain/right ankle sprain), linebacker Chase Vasser (left ankle sprain) and wide receiver Rantavious Wooten.

Being that Thursday's practice was a situational scrimmage, none of the players took part, although UGA sports information director Claude Felton indicated that some of the group will likely be listed as limited/running on Friday's report.

McClendon not counting out Douglas

Although Douglas has not practiced for the past four days, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said the Augusta native is expected to play against the Tigers.

"Oh yeah, definitely," he said.

Still, due to the setback, fellow freshman J.J. Green appears be the No. 3 tailback against the Tigers behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

"It's definitely down between J.J. and Branden for that third spot," McClendon said. "We definitely plan on those guys providing depth."

Friend with depth

Offensive line coach Will Friend says he's got eight linemen he feels are capable of being quality SEC performers this fall.

The eight - Kenarious Gates, Dallas Lee, David Andrews, Chris Burnette, John Theus, Kolton Houston, Mark Beard and Watts Dantazler - are all expected to play against Clemson.

Gates (left tackle), Lee (left guard), Andrews (center) and Burnette (right guard) will start, with Theus and Houston apparently still battling for the starting spot at right tackle.

"They've (Theus and Houston) have both worked with the ones and will continue to do that," Friend said. "We've still got the week of the game to see who performs the best, who's doing the best with his assignments and who is ready to go."

Apparently, there are no concerns over Burnette, who has been brought along slowly since undergoing shoulder surgery in February.

"He's ready to go," Friend said. "He's in good shape, he's practicing well; he's ready to go."

This and that

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said sophomore Quayvon Hicks has won the starting job at fullback, although he and Hall will both play. "Fullback's physical position and you need more than one," Bobo said. "But right now I'd say but Hicks is done an outstanding job." … Georgia practiced at Sanford Stadium Thursday for the second straight day. After holding a 90-minute scrimmage Wednesday night, the Bulldogs returned to Sanford Stadium for a 90-minute situational scrimmage as they continue preparations for the season opener. "We've gotten better each scrimmage, and that's what you want as you work on getting ready for the season," Bobo said. "You want to limit your first game mistakes, there will be some, but I think we've done a good job of testing our guys during camp."

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