August 21, 2010

Richt optimistic about secondary?

Mark Richt isn't making any predictions, but the Georgia head coach said Saturday he's excited about what he's seeing from his secondary under first-year position coach Scott Lakatos.

"I like our secondary. I like what I'm seeing. I think we've got some quality depth at all positions, quality starters and we're still not even sure who is going to start everywhere because it's fine competition," Richt said. "I think we're going to have a comfort level too, to make some substitutions maybe more than we have in the past."

The numbers would certainly seem to indicate so.

Along with a strong group of safeties led by vets Bacarri Rambo, Nick Williams, Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams, Georgia's corps of cornerbacks that includes Brandon Boykin, Vance Cuff, Branden Smith and Sanders Commings has Richt feeling confident with the talent he has on hand.

Cornerbacks Jordan Love and Derek Owens, along with safety Alec Ogletree and perhaps Marc Deas could also figure into the mix.

"I'm not looking at them individually and trying to project who might go pro, but I just think we've got good numbers," he said. "The body types are what you're looking for, the skill base of the corners are what you need. Even if a guy is a little bit short, they're super fast, can jump and they're competing well. I just like what I'm seeing this year."

King ready for banner year

Count Caleb King as one Bulldog who wishes the season could begin today.

For the first time in his four seasons in Athens, the junior running back said he's actually 100 percent healthy to start a season and is ready to see the kind of impact he can make on the field.

"I can't wait. Yeah, I'm 100 percent healthy wise for the first time since I've been here and my confidence has skyrocketed," said King, who rushed for 594 yards and scored seven touchdowns last fall. "I couldn't be more ready."

Physically, King said he's never been in better shape.

At 212 pounds, King is a far cry from the 222 he weighed as a redshirt freshman. His speed has also improved.

"Ever since I lost the weight my speed has gotten a lot better," said King, who confirmed his combine time of 4.39 in the 40. "I'm just ready to go out and have a great year."

Cuff added to injured list; Gilliard back

Cuff, who tips the scales at 177 pounds was in green Saturday with a minor shoulder ding after a collision with 260-pound tight end Bruce Figgins.

"It looked like Cuff was delivering the blow, which he was because Bruce was catching the ball," Richt said. "Bruce had his back to Cuff who caught him pretty good, but Bruce is still in a red jersey while Cuff is in a green so it's easy who got the best of whom."

There was some good injury news.

Backup linebacker Mike Gilliard was back practicing with the team after missing the past two weeks with an injured hamstring.

Linebacker Akeem Dent (toe), wide receiver Logan Gray (ankle), offensive guard Cordy Glenn (mono), wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (knee), center Ben Jones (knee) remained in green non-contact jerseys though all are expected back to practice by next week.

Richt just happy to be ranked

Georgia is ranked 23rd in the preseason AP football poll.

"I am thankful that we are ranked," Richt said. "I think it's important to be ranked. I hope we play well enough to move up. That's the plan."

Boykin said the ranking only serves as motivation.

"The way I feel about our preseason ranking is, it's motivation for us," Boykin said. "Our goal is to be No. 1 at the end of the season. You can't put a lot into a preseason ranking because you still have to go out on the field and perform and prove yourself."

Georgia, which was ranked No. 21 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches poll, will begin the 2010 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Lafayette at Sanford Stadium. Kickoff for the opener against the Ragin' Cajuns is set for 12:21 p.m., and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network nationwide.

This and that

The first person to get in line for an autograph with mascot Russ for Saturday's picture day got in line at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon while the first person to get in line for Richt got in line at 8 p.m. … The Bulldogs will hold a full dress rehearsal and scrimmage Wednesday at Sanford Stadium.

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