August 4, 2011

No mercy given

Monday figures to be a red-letter day for Georgia's "Dream Team."

As senior cornerback Brandon Boykin smiled, that's when the full pads come on.

"Oh yeah; I CAN'T WAIT to get those pads on and break them into SEC football," Boykin said Thursday afternoon. "When we put those pads on, we'll definitely see what those freshmen are all about. We'll teach them so they can be ready for September."

Freshman Isaiah Crowell figures to be in the cross-hairs.

According to junior linebacker Christian Robinson, he and the rest of the defense is very anxious to see what the five-star recruit can actually do.

"We're not going to mess with him; we need him. But we're going to test him. That's what practice is all about to test these guys once we get out there. He has a lot hype, but a lot of physical ability and I'm hoping he can live up to that, but it's not going to stop us from trying to make plays and use those freshman mistakes to get him (Crowell) out of them now," Robinson said. "The other guys who haven't been hit yet...it changes a lot of stuff. It humbles you, (getting hit) but we also want to send them back to the chalkboard and make them realize they've got to learn their craft so they can play full speed."

Tight end Orson Charles said he and the rest of the vets on offense plan on testing Georgia's defensive freshmen as well.

In fact, Charles smiled that he's already singled out one or two Dream Team defenders. He's just not saying who.

"I can't tell you that," said Charles, breaking into a wide grin. "I can't tell you that."

But when it comes to practices, Charles is dead serious about what he wants to see.

"I want to see what they have and just to let them know this is how we practice, this is what we expect from you," Charles said. "We'll tell them we love them. We'll talk in the lockerroom. But when we go out on the field it will be all business."

Boykin echoed Charles' remarks that the freshmen had better get ready.

"If they're not, they better hurry up and get ready, because it's coming quick," Boykin said. "I know last night when we were installing plays a lot of them were like 'Wow.' It's a lot of stuff to get in their head, but they'll pick it up once they get on the field."

Boykin ready for some offense

Although his exact role has yet to be determined, Boykin said he's ready to play whatever offense the coaches will let him do.

"I feel like it's a good possibility. There really hasn't been a lot of discussions about it because camp is just getting started, but I'm sure throughout the camp I'll practice a little of whatever they want me to do," Boykin said. "But as far as what I'm going to do, I don't know. But whatever it is, I'm definitely ready to have the ball in my hands."

It's not like Boykin is a novice to the offensive side.

As a senior at Fayette County High, Boykin played quarterback in that program's option attack, passing for 416 yards and rushing for 600 more.

"I did a little bit of quarterback," Boykin said. "I was a running back basically. But whatever they'd like me to do, I'll try."

Richt says freshmen have been warned

With the social media being what it is today, head coach Mark Richt said steps have already been taken with his freshmen class to remind them to watch what they tweet or say on Facebook.

"There's so much to learn. We try to tell them the minute that they sign with us that they are now a Georgia Bulldog; really, in my mind when they commit to us they are a Georgia Bulldog," Richt said. "But until they start living it out they don't really get it. We've had many people impersonate some of our players on the Internet, saying they're so and so."

Although Richt did not mention any players by name, he claimed it's a situation he knows about first-hand.

"I know I deal with it all the time. I get people all the time come up to me and say thank you very much for letting me be your friend. I told them I had no idea what they were talking about. When they said Facebook, then I said I don't have a Facebook. So we looked and there were five or six Mark Richt Facebooks," Richt said. "But yeah, there's been some Facebooks, twits, tweets or whatever from some of our players that are not theirs, so they've had to learn the hard way on that."


Richt on Turene and Jones

Richt said the school is now waiting to hear from the league office regarding the situation involving linebacker Jarvis Jones and the allegations that his former AAU basketball program paid for flights to Los Angeles.

"The only thing I know is we have submitted what we found to the SEC office and we're waiting to hear from them," Richt said. "That's really all I know and all I'm able to say."

As for Turene, who is waiting to get final word from the NCAA Clearinghouse, his status remains the same - no news yet.

"We're still waiting on Turene," said Richt, who added he will not bring him to campus until his situation is resolved.

"We wouldn't bring him in unless we know he's going to be in school," Richt said. "We won't bring him in unless we know."

Only a number for Crowell, Smith

There's been a lot of consternation in the Bulldog Nation regarding Crowell and junior cornerback Branden Smith, both of whom wear No. 1 on their jerseys.

What would happen if Smith - who is also expected to play some offense - were to be in the game alongside Crowell?

Richt said not to worry.

"We're going to go through camp and see how much offense Branden might be involved in and if it looks like we'll need them on the field at the same time, I'm certain we'll do something (change a number) in that regard," Richt said.

Richt hinted that either Smith or Crowell could wind up wearing No. 3 or No. 4, the numbers of former Bulldogs Washaun Ealey and Caleb King.

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