Athens – The last morsels from Georgia’s spring football practice:
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Bryan Evans had a nice interception in the G-Day game — one week after sustaining a concussion in another scrimmage.
Aside from the concussion, it was a very good spring for Evans, who got notably burned a few times at cornerback early last season but has gained teammates’ and coaches’ confidence at safety.
”There are still things I have to learn, but I think I’ve kind of shown the team what I can do back there at my new position, so I’m excited about that,” Evans said. “It was a new opportunity for me — just to go out with a clean slate. I just wanted to gain their trust.”
Evans, who will be a fifth-year senior in the fall, said he has found that he actually prefers safety to his long-time cornerback position.
“It is more comfortable for me,” he said, “because I’ve always been a person that likes contact. I’m not the biggest safety, but I’m not afraid of contact at all.”
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Mark Richt and Mike Bobo said from the start that newly arrived freshman quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger would not be competing for playing time this spring – but would be learning and adjusting.
That said, it’s hard to overlook Murray’s combined statistics from three spring scrimmages: 13-of-21 passing for 325 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions.
Mettenberger’s statistics in the same scrimmages were polar opposite: 2-of-18 for 43 yards, with two interceptions.
Striking as the disparity seems, the coaches don’t seem to be making anything of it. Both Richt and Bobo say they were pleased with both of the freshmen quarterbacks’ play and progress this spring.
“For whatever reason, the balls that Zach has thrown have gotten dropped more than the balls Aaron has thrown,” Richt said. “But both of them have proven to me they’re very intelligent, good fundamentally, can hit their target and have bright futures.”
Bobo said the next few months will be important to both quarterbacks in terms of “processing everything that went on this spring.” He said they will enter the summer as co-No. 3 behind starter Joe Cox and backup Logan Gray, although adding that some separation will have to come shortly thereafter.
”They’re going to have to get ready to compete this fall,” Bobo said. “We can’t continue to rep four quarterbacks. We’ve got to find out who the top, top ones are and get them ready to play. . . . I’d say after the second [summer] scrimmage at the latest we’ll make a decision on those two young guys . . . to see who could possibly be ready to play this fall.”
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As you’ve probably heard too many times, injuries sidelined about 25 players from most or all of Georgia’s spring practice. The good news – as Richt has happily pointed out a couple of times in the past few days – is that when the Bulldogs next take the practice field as a team this summer, there will be “40 to 50″ additional healthy players on hand. All of the injured players except two – WR Kris Durham and OL Josh Davis – are expected back by summer, when the team also will be joined by incoming freshmen.
Between now and summer camp, the coaches have implored the team’s seniors to lead in the weight room, in players-only practice-field work and off the field.
“That’s been some of our biggest discussion points the last couple of weeks with our seniors,” Richt said. “We want them to practically lead this football team.
“I really like the way they are taking on the responsibility of that.”
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G-Day drew a record crowd for a Georgia spring game: 42,458 in Sanford Stadium, not to mention the national TV audience via ESPN.
So . . . what did you think of what you saw on G-Day?