Still a little bleary-eyed from a long day yesterday updating the blog, interviewing football players, watching an inning or so of baseball through the fence on Rutherford Street (thanks, Diamond Dave) and covering the Georgia-Vanderbilt basketball game.
But we press on. And fresh off of soliciting your opinions on what you want from this blog, I’m here to give you what you want. First a little football.
I spent just a couple of minutes talking to quarterback Joe Cox, who is going to be real tired of the press by the time preseason camp opens in just over five months. But Joe is one of those guys you just have to get a few words with no matter what the scenario because he’s just so accommodating and really energized about the team and his role on it.
In what has become a constant (and perhaps a little overplayed) theme for this offseason, Cox talked about trying to create more energy in the 2009 team through vocal leadership. “Everything was just kind of flat last season,” he said. “I mean, not the whole season, just at times. We’re trying to change that this year. We’re trying to have everybody step up and have more vocal guys on the field.”
One telling story Cox shared was from the first day of off-season conditioning. “The first time we did mat drills I remember the linemen came down from their station and the skill guys and everybody came together in the middle of the mats and started jumping up and down and yelling and going crazy for about five minutes. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
On another subject, Cox was asked if he thought they’d put in some packages for his fleet-footed backup Logan Gray. “Absolutely. Anytime you have somebody who is a punt returner and a quarterback obviously he has some athletic skills that I don’t have,” Cox said with a laugh. “I could definitely see them doing that. We had put something in last year, we just never got a chance to run it. He’s definitely excited about it and has the ability to be that change-of-pace guy for us.”
Another player had had a brief conversation with was linebacker Marcus Dowtin. The rising sophomore talked about being in the greatest shape of his life and ready to show off for the coaches during spring practice, which starts in 19 days.
“I couldn’t wait for spring time to get here,” said Dowtin, who played in all 13 games and had 17 tackles and a forced fumble as a true freshman. “It’s time for me to work out a little harder and basically get ready to show what I got. I mean, I played a little last year but since the end of the season I’ve been waiting to show what I’ve really got and perform on the field.”
Dowtin doesn’t know where he’ll fit in with the linebacking corps — “we have a pretty strong group,” he said — but he hopes to play middle linebacker.
OK, with that football fix, here’s some links:
Here’s UGA’s report on last night’s Georgia baseball game against Presbyterian in which Bryce Massanari clubbed a grand slam. I missed that inning. . . .
And the carving begins. Coach Houston Nutt announced the dismissal of two Ole Miss players Wednesday for unspecified team rules violations. Neither Justin Sanders nor James Scott saw action last year for the Rebels, who you may recall signed 38 recruits to scholarships earlier this month. While checking out that story I stumbled across another. Did anybody else notice that one of those Ole Miss signees was Jamar Hornsby? He’s the safety that was kicked off of Florida’s team two years ago for running up more than $3,000 on a dead girl’s credit card. . . .
I keep meaning to add this link to a useful package we put together on traveling to Georgia football games this fall. If you plan on going to any you really should check it out. Even if you’re not, for that matter.