August 28, 2012

Is Morgan ready?



So, how ready is freshman kicker Marshall Morgan for Saturday's college debut at Sanford Stadium against Buffalo

Apparently, it depends on who you ask.

Head coach Mark Richt was asked that question during Tuesday's weekly press conference, offering an answer that may leave some feeling a bit unnerved.

"I don't know. I don't know how ready Marshall is," Richt said. "He's a talented guy, there's no doubt about that or we wouldn't have brought him in if he didn't have the talent base to do it. He's had enough success in his high school career to do that and do extremely well. How will he do his first kick? I don't know."

For his part, Morgan said after practice Tuesday he's looking forward to finding out and is already trying to take some steps to ensure he's mentally prepared for when his first opportunity comes.

"I think about it a lot. I watch the videos, I watch the YouTube videos so I think I'll be ready for it," Morgan said. "Once it hits me it will be reality, but I'll be ready for it. I love the pressure. That's what I thrive on."

Morgan certainly comes to Georgia with reputation for consistency.

As a junior, the 6-foot-3, 201-pounder converted 15-of-16 field goal attempts, before tallying 10-of-12 his senior year at Heritage High in Ft. Lauderdale. A school-record 59-yarder proves he has the distance.

Still, kicking in front a couple of thousand in high school doesn't compare to 92,000-plus at Sanford Stadium.

"Right now, I'm fine," Morgan said. "I'm not going to be nervous."

Ball hopes to "steal" Malcolm for a couple of plays

Malcolm Mitchell is listed as one of the two starters at cornerback against the visiting Bulls, but wide receivers coach Tony Ball said he'd still like to "steal" the sophomore for a couple of offensive plays.

"He asked me some questions about what I saw for this weekend," Ball said. "I'm thinking I'm going to look and see how many snaps did he play that last series. If he didn't play, let's get him over there, let's try to steal him. That's the way we've got to play it. We've just got to steal some time right now."

So far, Mitchell's only true practice time with the offense has basically been after workouts are done.

"He's been doing some things after practice, but that's just been a few specifics. What happens when he hears it all, what's going to be his thought process?" Ball said. "Does he have a good sense of all the signals? There are some new things, so he's got some learning to do. But we'll bring him along."

But for the time being, Ball conceded Mitchell will stay predominantly on the defensive side.

"Right now, we've really tried to limit how much he does because we want him to be able to help our defense and not be over there questioning what he's doing," Ball said. "For his sake, that's what we have to do."

Injury update

Tuesday's post-practice injury report remained the same as it was Monday afternoon, including nose Kwame Geathers and defensive end Cornelius Washington, who remain limited while recovering from respective injuries.

Geathers was limited with no contact with a left shoulder contusion while Washington was limited with no contact while recovering from a cervical (neck) strain.

Other injured Bulldogs still on the list include wide receiver Taylor Bradberry (right thumb sprain), backup punter Cody Johnson (right groin strain, out), offensive lineman Hunter Long (left foot fracture, out), tight end Jay Rome (right hamstring strain, limited) and tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion, out).

Dawgs get in a wet workout

For the first time all year, Georgia conducted drills on its FieldTurf practice fields as early rain and otherwise wet conditions made workouts on the grass a slippery proposition.

"I was hoping by practicing in the rain we would be able to handle the wet ball and all that kind of thing," Richt said. "It might rain on Saturday so we better get ready. The reality was we fumbled more and dropped more balls than normal even though the rain stopped."

The Bulldogs practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on Tuesday, a traditional Wednesday game-week workout that was pushed up a day since this weekend's contest is the season opener.

"This was the last day with any kind pads on other than helmets the next two days so we're getting close," Richt said.

This and that

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons will play a number of positions for the Bulldogs this fall. "He's be a nickel, a safety, he can do multiple things for us," Grantham, said. "We have a package for him when he's in the game; we're going to play him." Officially, Harvey-Clemons is listed as the third-team strong safety behind starter Shawn Williams and top backup Corey Moore. … Freshman Sheldon Dawson's name did not appear on the depth chart released by UGA Tuesday morning, but apparently that's not an indication of whether or not he will play. "Sheldon is in the two deep. He's probably not our most experienced corner just because he just got out of high school, but also because they played him at tailback, where he did a pretty good job," Grantham said. "But he's got good ball skills, he's quick and he's a tough guy. He's a guy we're going to continue to develop and he's going to give us some help down the road."