August 12, 2011

Dantzler bearing down

Freshman offensive lineman Watts Dantzler admits he was a little taken aback when he was told just prior to the start of preseason drills what position he would be asked to focus on - left tackle.

"It was like an hour before practice," Dantzler said Friday. "They said Zach (DeBell) you'll start at right, Watts you'll start at left. So, we just kind of went with it."

So far, Dantzler feels he's holding his own as he tries to pick up as many tips as he can from senior starter Cordy Glenn.

He knows he has to learn quickly.

"There's a lot of pressure," he said. "I'm just trying to learn as much as I can as fast as I can and get better each day. Left tackle is a tough position, but I'm being pushed and I'm trying hard to get better each day."

It remains unclear as to who would replace Glenn in the event of an injury.

Last week, position coach Will Friend said that senior Justin Anderson and sophomore Kenarious Gates have also received some reps at left tackle - just in case.

"I've got a long way to go, first of all, but Coach Friend has been working me hard, trying to get me to learn all the plays," Dantzler said. "The transition has been really tough, but I've worked hard to try and get better each day. I've been trying to learn stuff from Cordy, because he's a really good leader and is teaching me new things every day."

Dawgs enjoy 'spirited practice session'

Head coach Mark Richt said the Bulldogs enjoyed a 'spirited practice' Friday morning leading up to the team's two practice session on Saturday.

"This was what I could call a very spirited practice with some great competition," said Richt of the full-pad workout. "Guys were hustling, competing and trying their best to finish the drill."

During the session, the team took part in a series of competitive drills before wrapping up the day with an 11-on-11 series which pitted the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense.

"Going into the final 11-on-11 it was tied going into the last four plays and the offense won 10-8," said Richt, who singled out freshman receiver Malcolm Mitchell for making "several plays in crunch time," including the winning touchdown catch. "It was a great day; we got better."

Jenkins staying low-keyed

As hard as it may be for a 340-pound man to keep a low profile, that's just what nose guard Jonathan Jenkins said he's going to try and do.

"I'm going to try to stay low," Jenkins said. "I'll just stay with the fellas; I try to stay away from a lot of things."

Jenkins added that it's an honor to be recognized by classmates and fans whenever he's walking around campus, but does not plan on doing much mingling while football season is going on.

"If you go somewhere you have to expect certain things, so those kinds of areas you try to stay away from," Jenkins said. "With me it's just the fact I want to stay focused. I don't want anything to draw me from my focus."

Richt thrilled to hand out schollys

According to Richt, walk-ons John Bodin, Brandon Harton, Blake Sailors, Taylor Bradberry, Matthew DeGenova, Eric Elliott, Wes Van Dyk and Jason Veal had no idea what was going on when they were asked to line up in front of the rest of the squad following a team meeting Thursday night.

They soon found out when Richt announced the eight would be receiving scholarships for the upcoming year.

"I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, but I ended up lining the eight guys up in front of the team and then said something about all of them receiving their scholarships," said Richt. "The place went nuts and everyone came down to celebrate with them. I know there were some other walk-ons who were also worthy of getting one and those guys were probably hurting a little bit, but they were still down there congratulating these eight guys."

Injury Update

Georgia received some good news Friday as cornerback Brandon Boykin (hamstring), outside linebacker Cornelius Washington (hamstring) and cornerback Derek Owens (neck) were able to return to practice.

Sophomore linebacker T.J. Stripling was also able to return after leaving Thursday's drills with a minor injury.

However, the Bulldogs were once again without running back Harton along with Ken Malcome who missed his second straight day after getting banged up in Wednesday's scrimmage.

"Ken just does not feel very good," Richt said. "He does not have a concussion, but he doesn't feel well."

Harton and Malcome weren't alone. Freshman running back Isaiah Crowell (groin) was held out with a sore groin while junior Richard Samuel suffered an a strained quad later during workouts Friday. Richt did not mention the junior's condition during his post-practice press conference.

Also, offensive tackle Austin Long appears to be closer to returning from his bout with mononucleosis. The redshirt sophomore attended practice for the second straight day, and Friday was able to jog around the perimeter of the practice field.

Big challenge for Andrews

Talk about a big challenge.

That's what freshman center David Andrews has been facing as the Bulldogs' backup center to starter Ben Jones.

The challenge: having to go against 350-pound Kwame Geathers, the first-team nose.

"Kwame is big - very big," said Andrews, pausing for effect. "You can't overpower a man like that, nobody can. You've just got to use your double-teams, use your help and use your angles. That's one of the biggest things I have to work on. That's the biggest thing for me."

This and that

Richt said that defensive tackle Derrick Lott (leg) returned to practice Friday and took part in position drills. … Before his injury, Richt said Samuel "ran over" a cornerback during a 30-yard run during Friday's competitive drills. … Jay Rome's father Stan attended Friday's practice session.

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.