Some Saturday morning musings …
I LIKE THIS: Brandon Boykin, who has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns so far in his career, was among the Dogs fielding punts in practice Thursday, along with Branden Smith (last year’s main punt returner), Tavarres King and Carlton Thomas. Said Boykin of the prospect of adding punt returns to his duties as cornerback and kickoff returner: “If they want me to return punts, I’m definitely up for it. Anytime I can get the ball in my hands, you know I’m going to say yes to it.” Hey, might as well go for broke with ace returner Logan Gray gone!
I ALSO LIKE THIS: A lot of folks did double-takes at published shots of Kwame Geathers at practice this week and how huge and yet in great shape he looks. Geathers says he’s up to 344 pounds now (from a listed 325 before the bowl game) but maintains the added weight is muscle. “My body fat went down,” Geathers said. Of Joe Tereshinski’s new strength and conditioning program, the big boy says, “I buy into it.” I know everyone’s excited about big John Jenkins arriving at nose guard this fall, but if Geathers can provide a strong backup to him at that position and start commanding some double-team blocks, the Dogs’ defense is going to be in much better shape in the middle.
NOT THRILLED WITH THIS: Dawgs247 reports that after three practices, Mark Richt’s assessment of the battle between Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams to replace Alec Ogletree at safety isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of either: “They’ve still got a ways to go.” And despite this being the second year for them in the scheme, Boykin hints that neither the erstwhile “Hitman” nor Williams have a complete grasp of Todd Grantham’s defense. The problem, he says, is “maybe not knowing 100 percent what to do.” You’ve got to wonder when the light bulb finally is going to come on for one of those guys.
BYE BYE: ESPN’s Chris Low looked at the SEC schedule released this week and noted that Alabama still faces the most SEC opponents coming off a bye week, though it’s three this year, down from six last year. But of more interest to us is that Georgia is the only other team in the league that plays more than one SEC team coming off a bye. Florida and Auburn are both off the week before playing the Dogs this coming season. The good news, in that regard, is that both Georgia and Florida are off the week before the clash in Jacksonville, so there should be no advantage given there. Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee all face just one team coming off a bye and Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Vanderbilt don’t play any SEC games this season where the other team is coming off a bye.
Feel free to share your own thoughts about these or any other UGA topics …
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg