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August 15, 2007
Two-a-days end in Athens
ATHENS - Georgia broke camp Wednesday without many answers on its offensive line.
Classes start Thursday for University of Georgia students, ending the Bulldogs' preseason schedule of two-a-day practices. Saturday begins the two-week countdown to the Bulldogs' Sept. 1 opener against Oklahoma State, and still coach Mark Richt can't say who will start on the line or even what positions potential starters will play.
Richt and offensive line coach Stacy Searels are still evaluating freshmen, redshirt freshmen and transfers on the line.
``We're still experimenting up front offensively with the line,'' Richt said Wednesday. ``I'm still not sure where everybody is going to fit. We've got a few different combinations that hopefully we can settle on here pretty soon because we need to get those five guys working together.''
Richt said freshman Clint Boling and senior Chester Adams could play guard or tackle. If Adams, currently the starting right tackle, moves to right guard, Scott Haverkamp might move from right guard to left guard.
Richt said he'd like to know his starting five by Saturday and said ``we absolutely have to have it done'' within a week.
Injuries may have delayed the decision process.
Haverkamp and Adams returned from ankle injuries on Wednesday.
Richt moved redshirt freshman Kiante Tripp from defensive end to right tackle on Tuesday.
A decision on Adams could lead to other starters being named.
``That's kind of the big thing now,'' Richt said.
Adams could move to right guard, where he started last season, if the coaches believe Boling and Tripp are ready to play at right tackle.
``That's what we'd like to do,'' Richt said.
Adams says he has no preference between tackle and guard.
``Right now we're just trying to put in the best five who are going to win games,'' Adams said. ``If I have to play guard, I'll play guard. If I have to move at midseason, that's what I'll do to help us win.''
Tripp has much to learn, but he could catch up quickly when competing against other newcomers on the line.
The only experienced players on the line are Adams and another senior, center Fernando Velasco, who also moved from guard.
A freshman, Trinton Sturdivant, could start at left tackle. Left guard Chris Davis is a redshirt freshman. Haverkamp is a junior who is in his first year in the program following his transfer from Butler Community College. Redshirt freshman Josh Davis is another option at right guard.
Sophomore left tackle Vince Vance also is in his first year in the program after playing last year at Georgia Military College.
``They're going to throw the cards up and it's how they fall,'' said Chris Davis. ``That's how it's going to be. You've got to bust your tail.''
Davis said the starters will become more established by playing in the first game.
``I'm excited about it,'' Davis said. ``It's a big opportunity for me. I'm just ready to get out there and bust some heads with Oklahoma State.
``It's going to be a good game. It's going to challenge us on the line. I'm ready for it. I think we'll have it after the first game, our set offensive line, and we'll be ready to roll with it.''
Notes: Remarcus Brown, a backup cornerback and special teams player, has been suspended for two games for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Brown started nine games last season. Starting tight end Tripp Chandler and backup quarterback Blake Barnes also are suspended for the Sept. 1 season-opening game against Oklahoma State. Backup center Ian Smith was suspended for six games, including last season's bowl game, before he left the team. ... Richt said freshman Drew Butler, the son of former Georgia kicker Kevin Butler, has the ``slight edge'' over Brian Mimbs to win the punting job.