While linebacker Charles White has been moved to fullback, Mark Richt told the Touchdown Club of Atlanta on Monday that he’s not yet ready to shift tailback Richard Samuel to linebacker, the Athens Banner-Herald reports. But he didn’t rule out moving Samuel, an all-state linebacker in high school, after the season.
“I don’t know if we’re at the point right now where we’re ready to say that he should move and we really haven’t taken the time to try to evaluate that,” Richt said. “I think he’s still very valuable to us as a running back. … If you’re going to make that move, make it in the offseason, make it when he has the whole spring and summer to understand what to do. I still believe he’s a heck of a back and he can help us win at that position.”
What’s most surprising about all that is Richt’s willingness to acknowledge publicly that he might consider such a move. You’ve got to wonder whether he’s trying to light a fire under Samuel to improve his play at tailback, or whether it’s now pretty much a given that Samuel will move after the season.
Meanwhile, in comments made later Monday at the Columbus Quarterback Club, Richt deflected questions about calls for staff changes, the Macon Telegraph reports. “Right now, we’re in the middle of a season,” Richt said. “We’ve got games to win, and we’re a team. That’s what we are is a team.”
He referenced the 2006 and 2007 season comebacks, noting, “Everybody wanted this or that to happen. But we didn’t start firing [coaches] left and right. We didn’t start firing players left and right. We stayed true to what we believed in. We kept banging away. We stayed together, stayed loyal to each other.
“If something doesn’t go right, a lot of times people want changes immediately. … Sometimes, the best thing to do is to keep banging away, keep grinding and doing what you know you’ve got to do.”
ROUNDBALL DOGS PICKED FOR CELLAR
A media panel made up of those who cover the SEC and national media members overwhelmingly has picked Kentucky to win the SEC basketball championship this season. The Wildcats took 20 of the 25 first place votes. Mississippi State received three first place votes and Tennessee the other two.
In predicting the order of finish in the SEC East, Kentucky was followed by Tennessee, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida and, in last place, Mark Fox’s first Georgia team. The predicted order of finish for the West had Mississippi State followed by Ole Miss, Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn.
No Georgia player made the preseason all-SEC team.
EARLY BOWL PROJECTIONS
The latest bowl projections by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Bruce Feldman for the Dogs differ. Feldman sees Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta against Boston College while Schlabach thinks Georgia will face North Carolina in Nashville’s Music City Bowl.
MORE ON SANFORD RENOVATION
The Red and Black has more details on the plans to revamp and incorporate the Reed Alley area into Sanford Stadium. UGA Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning Danny Sniff says the area will be flattened out to turn it into a large concourse, and “we’re also building a concessions structure in the new concourse with a large jumbotron screen mounted on it so the fans purchasing concessions, using the restrooms, or just meeting up with friends in the new concourse won’t miss a second of Georgia football.”
The Sanford Stadium renovations will be under way by February 2010, Sniff told the R&B, and completed in August before the 2010 football season begins.
Work on expanding the Stegeman Coliseum concourses and expanding the rest rooms in the arena will begin after graduation and be completed before the 2010 basketball season.