March 3, 2011

Pre-spring notebook

When Aaron Murray fell to the turf spraining his ankle during a pickup soccer game several weeks ago, the pain wasn't the first thought on his mind.

"I was a little scared that Coach (Mike) Bobo and Coach (Mark) Richt were going to rip me a new one," Murray said Thursday. "That was a little scary. I was lying on the ground and I was like 'Man, this isn't going to be good.'"

Murray was referring to his coaches, not his foot.

"I knew it was nothing serious," said Murray, who is no longer wearing a walking boot. "It didn't swell up too bad, so I figured it was just a little sprain. They weren't too upset."

Murray expects he'll be ready to go when the Bulldogs kick off spring drills next Thursday.

"I'm doing a little running so I'm doing great," Murray said. "I'll be good to go come practice time."

Murray rolled his eyes when asked about the furor the injury caused on the Internet, especially after initial reports by the student newspaper The Red and Black claimed the quarterback had broken two bones.

"When I looked at my phone, I must have had 50 texts," Murray said.

Richt said he actually heard the rumors before he actually had a chance to speak with his quarterback.

"Even when I heard the rumor of broken bones I thought everything would heal up and he'd be able to play the first game. You certainly don't want him to miss spring, sometimes it's a blessing for your program for guys to get more work and not the worst thing that would have happened," Richt said. "Now, if we would have lost him for the season that would have not been good but it turned out it was just a sprain. It was really an ugly-looking thing."

Murray said nobody has to worry about him playing soccer anytime soon.

"No more soccer, no more basketball, baseball, softball; none of that stuff from here on out. Just football," he said. "No, I've just got to be a little smarter when it comes to hanging out."

Glenn penciled in at tackle

Richt said that rising senior Cordy Glenn will play right tackle this fall after starting all 13 games at left guard a season ago.

"I don't think Cordy will be anything but a tackle," Richt said.

No stranger to the position, Glenn started four games at left tackle in 2009.

Trinton Sturdivant will start at left tackle and Ben Jones at center, leaving both guard spots open for competition.

"Both guard spots are really up for grabs," Richt said of the positions, which figures to get a boost with the decision to move Justin Anderson back over from the defensive line.

"(Kenarious) Gates, and there's lot of other candidates (Brent Benedict, Austin Long and Dallas Lee) that could possibly be the fourth and fifth guys for next season," Richt said. "As far as the other spots, I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but I'll be shocked to see any of the first three I mentioned get beat out. Those guys are going to be the starters unless something crazy happens."

Richt says Ealey learned his lesson

No, running back Washaun Ealey wasn't able to go through any drills with teammates during his recent suspension.

But Thursday, Richt explained what the junior was able to do in order to get back in good standing with the team.

"The only thing he was allowed to do was to handle all of his academic responsibilities. We have mentors who helped kind of organize these guys' weeks, months and semester, class-by-class and tutors who are specific to a certain class. There's class attendance of course, so there's those three things, so we're expecting him to show up and be there on time, be prepared, be engaged and have a good attitude; just take a real serious attitude toward that, which he has," Richt said. "He's done an exceptional job in that area. I just wanted to grab his attention in all areas though."

Richt said he also reminded Ealey, who led Georgia in rushing with 828 yards and 11 touchdowns, that playing football - especially tailback - was a privilege.

"I told him and I tell all our guys, especially those at that position that (tailback) is a position of honor, a position of tradition and it's a position you need to respect and be the very best you can possibly be. We want him to be the best in football, in the classroom, off the field, everything. We want him to be great," Richt said. "He can be if he takes the right attitude towards it. He did a very good job, everybody that I asked to keep an eye on him, kept an eye on him and reported back and felt he did a great job. I'm thrilled he's back and I hope he continues to do excellent work in all areas. Lesson learned, hopefully."

This and that

Richt said that new inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti will coach the team's kickoff coverage squad. … Wide receiver Tavarres King said he now weighs 196 pounds while Richt said wideout Rantavious Wooten has gained 15. Wooten is listed at 177 pounds in Georgia's preseason notes. … Senior cornerback Brandon Boykin said his body weight is a mere 2.3 percent. … Linebacker Christian Robinson, said he now weighs 230 pounds.

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