Archive for April, 2010

Who’s had a great spring? Cordy Glenn, Bobo answers (with list of spring award winners)

I asked Mike Bobo after Georgia’s football practice Thursday to name an offensive player who’s had a great spring.

Bobo, the offensive coordinator, didn’t hesitate to single out . . . left guard Cordy Glenn.

So it was no surprise that when Georgia announced its annual spring football awards this morning, Glenn was tabbed as the offense’s MVP.

“I’d say Cordy Glenn has had an outstanding spring,” Bobo said Thursday. “Just outstanding, the way he’s worked, the way he’s competed.

“He’s had the right mindset every day: ‘I’m coming out to try to get better.’ He’s got tremendous talent, but just to see the improvement in him, the knowledge of what we’re doing. . . .

“Early on, obviously as a freshman, he had to depend on a lot of guys next to him to help him out. Now he pretty much knows what we’re doing, and he’s able to execute and then use his God-given ability to dominate. And that’s what kind of player we think he can be.”

Mark Richt this morning announced the full list of …

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How coaches divided up the Dogs for G-Day (with “Red” and “Black” team rosters)

Related report: Injuries sideline several Dogs as spring practice winds down.

ATHENS -– Georgia coaches Thursday divided the team into two squads for Saturday’s G-Day game, putting the first-string offense on the “Red” team and the first-string defense on the “Black” team.

Two caveats:

  • All three quarterbacks –-Aaron Murray, Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger — are listed on the “Red” roster, but they will rotate between the two sides, coach Mark Richt said.
  • And the “Black” team will actually be wearing white jerseys (with black numbers).

The G-Day game –- the annual culmination of Georgia’s spring practice – begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium. Admission is free, and the game will be televised live on CSS.

The game will provide fans a glimpse of Georgia’s new 3-4 defense and quarterback competition, although, as usual in such games, coaches will be careful not to show the parts of the playbook they don’t want real opponents to see.

“I know the fans are …

Continue reading How coaches divided up the Dogs for G-Day (with “Red” and “Black” team rosters) »

Backup tailback Dontavius Jackson: ‘I was, like, the peacemaker’ in taxi incident

Also see: Injuries sideline several Dogs as spring practice winds down.

And: How coaches divide up the Dogs for G-Day (with “Red” and “Black” team rosters).

ATHENS – Georgia backup tailback Dontavius Jackson said Thursday that he is the player Athens-Clarke County police described as the “peacemaker” in an alleged attack on a married couple in an Athens taxi last month.

“Yeah, I was in the cab. I was, like, the peacemaker,” Jackson said.  “But as far as in-depth, I’m not allowed to speak on it because it’s still under investigation.”

Police earlier this week said no UGA players were offenders in the incident but that one  player was in the taxi van at the time.  “The investigation revealed that [the player] acted as a peacemaker and tried to calm the situation,” the police statement said. Police had declined to name the player.

Jackson is a sophomore who played in four games last season, gaining 38 yards on four …

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Injuries sideline several Dogs as spring practice winds down (UPDATED)

(Updated 8 p.m.)

ATHENS — Georgia’s football team Thursday held its next-to-last practice before Saturday’s G-Day game. And judging from the increased number of players wearing green non-contact jerseys, spring practice is ending with a flurry of injuries.

Among the new players in green Thursday: inside linebackers Richard Samuel and Marcus Dowtin, offensive lineman Chris Davis and defensive lineman Abry Jones.

Coach Mark Richt indicated after practice that none of the injuries are serious.

Davis’ hip is bothering him, Richt said, but “it’s nothing that is long-term serious.” As for Samuel, he is doubtful for G-Day, said Richt, who could not recall the specific injury. Dowtin and Jones should be able to practice Friday and play Saturday, Richt said.

On the offensive line, Chris Burnette worked at first-team right guard Thursday in Davis’ place.

Tailback Caleb King missed a fourth consecutive practice, still bothered by a strained knee. King is not expected to play Saturday, …

Continue reading Injuries sideline several Dogs as spring practice winds down (UPDATED) »

Coaches visit Montez Robinson in jail; also, Richt’s pitch to OLB recruits

No football practice Wednesday. Georgia practices Thursday and Friday, then completes spring ball with the G-Day game on Saturday. Meanwhile, some items from a full notebook:

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At least two Georgia coaches, Mark Richt and Rodney Garner, have visited Montez Robinson, the linebacker dismissed from the team on Sunday, in Clarke County Jail.

“He’s just hurting. He’s suffering,” Richt said of Robinson. “But we’re helping him understand that he can still have a bright future from this point forward if he does what he’s supposed to do, what he needs to do.”

Said Garner, the assistant coach who recruited Robinson to Georgia: “I’m disappointed [and] hurt, but like I told him [Monday], he can’t let this define him. He made a mistake, he’s got to deal with it, and he’s got to learn from it. He still can achieve every goal he has.”

Robinson was kicked off the team after being arrested Sunday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery/family violence, his third arrest in five …

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Richt on taxi incident: ‘I hope in the future people just reserve their opinions’

ATHENS — At his post-practice meeting with reporters Tuesday night, Georgia coach Mark Richt reacted at length to Monday’s statement by Athens-Clarke County police that UGA football players were not involved in an alleged March 28 attack on a married couple in an Athens taxi van. Police said the only UGA player in the cab acted as a peacemaker.

Richt’s reaction:

“I’m just glad that it all came out and that none of our guys were a problem. . . . The thing that is hard to take is just all the time and all the speculation and everybody just assuming it was our guys and assuming they would do these things.

“That’s just the thing about the Internet and police reports and all that kind of thing. It’s hard for anybody to really know what the reality is, but your mind starts racing and you start assuming things that may or may not be true. . . .

“That [why] the first time [reporters] asked me about it, I was, like, ‘I don’t want to underreact, I don’t want to overreact, because I …

Continue reading Richt on taxi incident: ‘I hope in the future people just reserve their opinions’ »

With Robinson gone, Gamble shifts to outside linebacker (PLUS: practice notes)

(Updated 8:40 p.m.)

ATHENS — Georgia coaches were concerned about depth at outside linebacker even before one of their most promising players at the position, Montez Robinson, was kicked off the team last weekend.

So they tried to shore up the position at Tuesday’s practice by shifting Darryl Gamble there from inside linebacker, where he had worked exclusively this spring.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and Gamble said they talked last week about cross-training Gamble, a rising senior, at outside linebacker.  “And with the situation that just came up, it’s obviously a natural fit now,” Grantham said.

The situation, of course, was that Robinson was kicked off the team after he was jailed Sunday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery/family violence, his third arrest in five months.

The dismissal of Robinson left the Bulldogs with just three scholarship players at outside linebacker — Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington and Chase Vasser. Robinson and walk-on Reuben …

Continue reading With Robinson gone, Gamble shifts to outside linebacker (PLUS: practice notes) »

Athens police: UGA players cleared in taxi incident

Athens-Clarke County police Monday cleared the Georgia football team of involvement in an alleged March 28 attack on a married couple in an Athens taxi.

Police said in a statement that one football player was in the vehicle, “but the investigation revealed that he acted as a peacemaker and tried to calm the situation.”

The suspects in the case “have been identified as residents of Heard County,” police said. Arrest warrants are pending and further information will be released  after they are issued, police said.

Police did not identify the player they said acted as peacemaker.

The incident has been under investigation since March 30, when the married couple filed a police report. That report stated that the couple was taking a taxi van home around 2 a.m. when the driver stopped to pick up four males in downtown Athens –  “all of whom were UGA football players, according to the [male victim].” He told police that the men cursed and threatened him and his wife and that one of …

Continue reading Athens police: UGA players cleared in taxi incident »

Dismissed UGA LB Montez Robinson remains in jail (updated)

(Updated 1 p.m. Monday)

Former Georgia linebacker Montez Robinson remains in Clarke County Jail, awaiting a Tuesday bond hearing.

Robinson turned himself in Sunday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery/family violence, and he also was charged Monday with probation violation, according to Clarke County Sheriff’s Office records.

Robinson was dismissed from the UGA team Sunday night, coach Mark Richt announced.

“Montez has not been able to conform to some conditions and stipulations that were placed on him as a result of previous off-field issues,” Richt said in a statement. “I think this decision is in the best interest of everyone.”

Earlier Sunday, Clarke County Sherriff’s Sgt. Farrell Johnson said Robinson had turned himself in on a warrant issued by the Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court on Saturday. According to Sherriff’s Office records, Robinson was booked into the jail at 12:40 p.m. Sunday.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim in the latest …

Continue reading Dismissed UGA LB Montez Robinson remains in jail (updated) »

‘Very impressed’ with QBs, Richt plans to rank them soon (PLUS: scrimmage notes)

(Scrimmage statistics are here.)

ATHENS -– After Georgia’s second scrimmage of the spring Saturday in Sanford Stadium, coach Mark Richt said: “Today, you walk away feeling like we’re in good shape” at quarterback.

Three quarterbacks battling for the starting job — Logan Gray, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger — shared snaps, as they have throughout spring practice. And by all accounts from the intra-squad scrimmage, which was closed to the public and media, each of the three had a strong day.

“I’m not going to get into any pecking order today,” Richt said afterward. But he said, for the first time, that coaches will come up with a quarterback depth chart after spring practice concludes.

“We’ll rack ‘em where we think they are,” Richt said. “We won’t necessarily say, ‘This guy is the starter,’ but we might give a 1-2-3. We might give a co-No. 1 and a 2.  . . . We’ll give some kind of indication of where we think they stack up going into the fall. . . . I just think it would …

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Richt expects word by Monday on taxi incident

ATHENS — Georgia coach Mark Richt said Saturday that he expects to have by Monday “all the information needed” regarding a police report alleging involvement by UGA football players in an incident in an Athens taxi last weekend.

Richt declined to say more about the matter Saturday.

“There are things I’d like to say about it, but I won’t,” Richt said. “I’ll wait until Monday.”

Georgia defensive lineman Brandon Wood did say more, posting on Facebook: “O and just for the record, if u hear about four black guys attacking a couple in a taxi, it wasn’t any of us so stop blaming the football team!!”

A police report filed Tuesday states that a married couple was taking a taxi van home around 2 a.m. Sunday when the driver stopped to pick up four males in downtown Athens –- “all of whom were UGA football players, according to the [male victim].”

He told police that the four men cursed and threatened him and his wife and that one of the four “slapped or punched” them in the back of …

Continue reading Richt expects word by Monday on taxi incident »

Stats from Georgia’s scrimmage

ATHENS — Georgia’s football team held a closed scrimmage Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium. Here are “unofficial official” statistics provided by coach Mark Richt:

PASSING

Aaron Murray: 13 of 19, 1 interception, 159 yards, 1 TD

Logan Gray: 7 of 11, 111 yards, 1 TD

Zach Mettenberger: 10 of 16, 1 interception, 126 yards, 2 TD

RECEIVING

A.J. Green: 6 catches, 80 yards

Kris Durham: 4 catches  for 74 yards, 3 TD

Israel Troupe: 4 catches for 45 yards, 1 TD

RUSHING

Carlton Thomas: 16 carries, 93 yards

Kevin Lanier (walk-on): 12 carries, 45 yards

Washaun Ealey: 5 carries for 6 yards (limited participation due to bruised knee)

Aaron Murray: 3 carries for 37 yards

(Note: Caleb King did not participate because of a strained knee. Neither King’s nor Ealey’s injuries are serious.)

DEFENSE

Demarcus Dobbs: 6 tackles, 1 sack

Christian Robinson: 6 tackles, 1 sack

Derrick Lott: 5 tackles

Akeem Dent: 5 tackles

Darryl Gamble: 5 tackles

Brandon Boykin: 5 tackles, 1 interception

Vance Cuff: 1 …

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Hear, hear! Dogs have a new kickoff philosophy (PLUS: practice notes)

ATHENS – I’m guessing most of you will be happy to read this:  Georgia’s kickoff philosophy has changed.

Kicker Blair Walsh indicated Thursday night that the much-criticized directional kickoffs –- kicks aimed to a specific spot on the field –- will yield to more deep kickoffs.

“It’s not like it was here the past two years, directional-wise,” Walsh said. “It’s a lot more use of my talent, I would say. I was fine doing what they wanted me to do. I’m a team player. I can go along with it. But it’s a lot more use of the talent, and I’m happy about it. I don’t think there’s a restraint on me anymore.”

He stopped there, wary of “giving too much away.”

But you get the idea.

New assistant coach Warren Belin is in charge of kickoffs, a role previously held by Jon Fabris, one of three assistants dismissed in December. The directional kicks became a controversial topic the past two seasons, compounded when Walsh didn’t keep them in bounds or the coverage broke down.

Walsh also said …

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The Marlon Brown case: Will he blossom in 2010 after a quiet freshman season?

It’s a frequent question on the blog: Why didn’t Marlon Brown play more last season?

He hears it, too.

“Oh yeah, all the time,” he says. “I either avoid it or just go, like, ‘I don’t know.’”

Marlon Brown: catching on? (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Marlon Brown: catching on? (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Brown, of course, signed with UGA as a much-hyped recruit out of Memphis in February 2009, a Parade All-American who was ranked the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation by Scout.com. And then he caught just two passes, both against Tennessee, in extremely limited playing time as a freshman.

The adjustment from a small school (Harding Academy) to SEC football went slower than the recruiting rankings would have suggested, but not necessarily slower than Georgia coaches expected.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Mark Richt said this week. “People have their rankings and expectations because of rankings and all that, but I knew Marlon was going to take a little time to get used to the speed of Southeastern Conference football. He really made great …

Continue reading The Marlon Brown case: Will he blossom in 2010 after a quiet freshman season? »