March 15, 2010

Dawgs and former Dawgs get back to work

Tuesday promises to be a busy day at Georgia's Butts-Mehre Practice Facility Tuesday.

Not only do Mark Richt's Bulldogs resume spring drills after getting a week off for spring break, but it's also Pro Day at UGA where former players like Jeff Owens and Rennie Curran will attempt to make big points with scouts prior to April's NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, current Bulldogs like Justin Houston will continue to try and make a positive impression on new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who got to see his troops on the field for the first time back on March 4.

"The defense was excited to get out there, but we got a long way to go and we're far from where we want to be," Houston said. "It's all brand new material out there."

At times, it wasn't pretty.

According to Houston, most of the players were still very unsure about specific alignments relating to the new 3-4 defense being installed by Grantham.

Richt agreed, but based on what he saw during that first practice, the effort to learn was there.

"It was good just to get out there and practice football again. I enjoyed the day a lot, but I think the thing I enjoyed the most was I saw a lot of energy out there. There was a lot of enthusiasm out there. I saw a lot of guys moving quickly, coaches doing a good job of barking out instructions and players working really hard to do what Coach says," Richt said. "The execution wasn't perfect by any means, but considering the volume of offense and defense we installed today, I thought it went pretty good. We actually threw and caught the ball a little bit better than we normally do on a first day. Overall it was a good day."

The battle for Georgia's starting quarterback will also resume. How redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger's status changes following his arrest on five misdemeanor charges last week in Remerton remains to be seen.

Richt has yet to publically comment on Mettenberger since his arrest, but is expected to do so following practice Tuesday.

The 18-year-old from Oconee County was arrested early Sunday morning by Remerton police near Valdosta and charged with five misdemeanors counts, including underage possession of alcohol and disorderly conduct.

Georgia's remaining spring practice dates are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, workouts on March 23, 25, 26, 27 and 30 followed by dates on April 1, 3,6,8, 9 and the G-Day game on April 10 which is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Pro Day gets underway at 10 a.m.

Among those expected to be in attendance are Owens, Geno Atkins, Curran and Reshad Jones, all four of whom took part in the NFL Combine earlier this month at Indianapolis.

Owens, who has come all the way back from the ACL injury he suffered two years ago, put up 44 reps at 225 in the bench press, the most among defensive linemen.

They won't be alone.

Former Bulldogs Kade Weston, Vince Vance, Mike Moore, Marcus Washington and Bryan Evans are also expected to be in attendance.

So will Roderick Battle.

Battle, whose Georgia career as cut short when he tore his ACL last year against South Carolina, is attempting to give the NFL one shot, and like his former teammates, hopes to make a big impression during Tuesday's Pro Day festivities.

The Atlanta native told UGASports that he has been working with team trainers for Georgia since the start of the year and is looking forward to proving to scouts that he's healthy and still able to play.

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