Athens — So what’s with all these hamstring injuries, anyway?
Georgia had a half dozen significant players sidelined with them on Tuesday — safeties Bryan Evans and Reshad Jones, linebackers Akeem Dent and Darius Dewberry, tailback Caleb King and tight end Aron White. And while the Bulldogs still expect all of the hamstrings to be healed well before the season opener, Jones has missed almost two weeks of practice and King’s absence has at least temporarily derailed his bid to be the starting tailback.
So, what gives?
Mark Richt said after practice Tuesday that he thinks strained hamstrings are just an inevitable part of preseason “in every single camp.” Always have been and perhaps always will be, he figures.
“Rex Bradberry, [a member of Georgia's strength and conditioning staff] who’s working on getting his Ph.D. [in kinesiology] — I think his final work is about the hamstring injuries,” Richt said. “He’s gone back 20 years, and he’s, like, you would think with more science and more this-and-that, you’d have less [hamstring injuries], but it’s almost identical now as it was 20 years ago. You just have X amount of guys that pull.”
A few other things from, frankly, a pretty slow day:
– On quarterbacks: Both Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Logan Gray remains a solid No. 2, behind starter Joe Cox and ahead of freshmen Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. Both Richt and Bobo said the competition will continue. Said Richt: “I’m pleased with all the quarterbacks, quite frankly. I think we’ve got some outstanding quarterbacks at Georgia right now.” Said Bobo: “I think Logan . . . has gotten better every practice this fall camp. I’m really pleased with what he’s doing. The young guys, they’re still just trying to figure things out. . . . RIght now I’d say Joe is a solid No. 1 and Logan a solid No. 2.”
– On Marcus Washington, defensive end: Richt confirmed what had become apparent — Washington, a linebacker throughout his UGA career, is now a D-end as a fifth-year senior. “He’s strong enough to play the run, and he’s got the experience of just playing football for Georgia, period, so he’s not like a freshman out there,” Richt said. “And he’s smart, and he’s picking things up well. And he’s very, very motivated to make this work. He really wants to be a special player at end, so he’s cramming. I’ve seen him after practices working on his own because he wants to get better.”
— On other defensive ends: “I see [Demarcus] Dobbs playing harder than I’ve ever seen him play,” Richt said. “I see Rod [Battle] playing extremely hard. I see Cornelius [Washington] getting better. . . . Montez [Robinson] has come a long way; we haven’t counted him out yet as far as playing this season [as a freshman].”
– On a few receivers not named A.J.: Bobo said Michael Moore “is the solid second receiver.” He said Tavarres King “has done a nice job also . . . of being more consistent.” Meanwhile, freshman Marlon Brown continues to deal effectively with an injured finger. Richt said receivers coach Tony Ball “mentioned specifically that he liked that [Brown] fought in the downfield blocking [in Saturday's scrimmage] and didn’t use his hand as an excuse or complain about it in any way.”
– Next: I started work last night on a story I’ll be writing Wednesday about Carlton Thomas. Intriguing player.