Two players who left UGA team are happy to be back

ATHENS – Two players who briefly left Georgia’s football team this month seem happy to be back.

Freshman linebacker Dexter Morant, who was gone for three days because of homesickness, and sophomore cornerback Branden Smith, who was gone for eight days because of an academic issue, spoke with reporters Monday for the first time since rejoining the team.

Morant said he left Athens on Aug. 3 because “I’m not used to being away from home.” But he said he realized he’d made a mistake soon after arriving home in Manning, S.C.

“A lot of my friends, when they saw me at home, were, like, ‘What are you doing here? You quit football?’ They were, like, ‘Man, we were depending on you,’” Morant said. “They kind of made me feel bad all over again. . . I realized I made the wrong decision.”

A chat with his high school coach, who cautioned against a decision that might lead to regrets later, also helped steer him back to Athens, Morant said.

“In a way, I don’t regret what I did,” he said, “because it opened my eyes to [the fact] I need to be here.”

Morant rejoined the team Aug. 6 and vows to stick around this time.

Smith, meanwhile, left the team Aug. 5 because of a question about whether a placement-test score would prevent him from enrolling in fall-semester classes. Smith said Monday that he had the option of continuing to practice while the issue was sorted out, but “I chose to handle my business.” He rejoined the team Friday after being cleared academically.

Smith, who said he has a 3.4 grade point average, described his absence as “just hard times, man,” but wouldn’t discuss the academic issue in detail.

“I’m just glad to be back,” he said. “It’s good being at Georgia.”

Diving day

Coach Mark Richt canceled Monday’s scheduled practice at the last minute because of rain and instead treated the team to what has become a preseason tradition: a trip to the pool inside the Ramsey Center.

A number of players dove off the 10-meter platform, while others relaxed in the cool water.

“Finally jumped off the high dive,” senior linebacker Darryl Gamble said. “Scariest thing ever.”

Richt also went off the 10-meter board, doing a back flip in slacks and a dress shirt.

The Bulldogs will return to the practice field Tuesday.

Jones’ surgery

Starting center Ben Jones‘ arthroscopic knee surgery went as expected Sunday, Richt said. Jones is expected back for the season opener Sept. 4 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

ALSO: UGA walk-on gets scholarship.

111 comments Add your comment

Offense

August 16th, 2010
8:32 pm

Glad to have you back, Branden. Run that ball!

UGAfan18

August 16th, 2010
8:34 pm

2nd! GO DAWGS!!

charlotte dawg

August 16th, 2010
8:36 pm

sept 4 not soon enough

I'm Just Saying

August 16th, 2010
8:37 pm

Monday’s schedule – Party
Tuesday’s schedule – Party
Wednesday’s schedule – Party
Thursday’s schedule – Party
Friday’s schedule – Party

Good to be back on campus….ain’t college life great?

JImmy

August 16th, 2010
8:37 pm

Looking forward to the season!

JImmy

August 16th, 2010
8:37 pm

Actually, just doing my part for a starving journalist.

Glory Glory

August 16th, 2010
8:43 pm

Well, since you Tech maggots are guaranteed to be here to bash this hard working young man and our dominant program (over yours), I guess I should share some news with you dorks…..

Your prized recruit, Romar Morris commited to UNC this evening, according to our very own Chip Towers, via his Twitter account, sourcing Scout.com. Now before you Techies start pulling the GT classics like “we didn’t want him anyway” or “he wouldn’t have fit in our program anyway”, please read the below story about him just a few days ago and check out the comments you dorks made about him. How awesome he would be as an “A-Back” and how much you absolutely NEED him.

http://blogs.ajc.com/recruiting/2010/08/10/tech-target-romar-morris-an-ideal-fit-at-a-back/

So, how’s that superior recruiting ability of Groh, and the Mighty Triple Option working out for you??

GO DAWGS!!!!! Now get off our Blog!!

Calhoundawg

August 16th, 2010
8:50 pm

Each year seems longer and longer in between seasons. Just a quick fact I gleaned from my obsessive perusing of all things Georgia today; Mark Richt has never had back-to-back single-digit [winning] seasons in his nine years as a head coach. I guess the ten-win seasons speak for themselves. Here’s to another. It’s Great To Be a Georgia Bulldog — Go Dawgs !!!!

Go Dawgs

August 16th, 2010
8:51 pm

should have signed that Cochran kid from Morgan Co – could have used the depth at QB!! Oh well- Go Dawgs!!

BG

August 16th, 2010
8:51 pm

8 out of 9 baby!! I love it!!!!!!!!!!

ATL Native

August 16th, 2010
8:53 pm

Here’s a high five to both young men and Godspeed to Ben J.! GATA Dawgs

run the ball

August 16th, 2010
8:53 pm

It really is a relief to have Smith back. He could be another Champ Bailey. I think our secondary is primed for a big year. Boykin, Rambo, Smith, and Hamilton/Ogletree. Those are 5 exceptional athletes. I beleive they are getting better coaching now. Go Dawgs!!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist: If CMB will hand the ball off 40 times a game we will win 10 games.

Dawg Stephen

August 16th, 2010
9:01 pm

Yes, welcome back guys. Dont forget, I really believe Logan Gray is going to be a great playmaker at wide receiver. I do.

http://dawgstephen.blogspot.com/

Paul Johnson

August 16th, 2010
9:06 pm

I have to hand it to the DAWGS. They are just better than us, year in and year out. I will be happy if we can win 2 games every decade.

Mike T.

August 16th, 2010
9:13 pm

I just can’t understand this canceling practice to go to the swimming pool. When I played high school football, we practiced in the rain. I can still hear my old coach saying,”We might have to play
one friday night in the rain. We need to work on handling a wet football.” I think they are missing out on some things that may help down the road. If lightning was the cause then how can they get in a swimming pool?

J Who?

August 16th, 2010
9:21 pm

@Mike T
“If lightning was the cause then how can they get in a swimming pool?”

Tim Tucker Article:
“a trip to the pool inside the Ramsey Center.”

Key word: inside

…..just givin’ ya a hard time.

CLEVON LITTLE

August 16th, 2010
9:22 pm

Glory Glory….That’s some funny sh it……..

Dawg House

August 16th, 2010
9:25 pm

Indoor aquatics complex Mike T.

This is a tearly tradition as well. I feel it builds unity and bonds players and coaches pricelessly. Of course there are going to be idiots from other schools on OUR blog telling us how slack Richt is and how soft it will make our team. But the moment tge read about their coach doing something fun for their team, they will all of a sudden think its pretty cool.

19 short days!!!!!

tell me again

August 16th, 2010
9:25 pm

First of all, before you Tech maggots comment on OUR blog you need to meet the following criteria…You must have had more than 3 – 10 win seasons in the last 50 years / a better than .575 winning percentage over the history of your programs existence / and you must have at least broken even in games played against UGA in the past ten years / and your stadium has to sit more people than can fit into the Varsity during lunch rush…..What? CMR has about twice as many ten win seasons in the toughest conference in America over the past TEN YEARS? What? We’ve won the last 9 out of 10? What? We can fit almost two of your dung hole stadiums in ours? What? CMR has a .767 winning percentage over a decade in the same toughest conference in America? What? Now that everyone has seen your tickie tack offense it’s just going to get eaten up this year? What? Man Boobs PJ is 0-1 in bowls at Tech / CMR is 7-2? What? Tech is the ACC champion but wasn’t good enough to beat UGA during their worst year ever under CMR? What? CMR has won 2 outright SEC titles and 3 Eastern SEC titles, again in the toughest conference in America – a conference that has produced the last 4 national champions? Tell me again – WHAT does anybody at Tech have to say to US about football???? NADA! If we would have had rings made after every time we beat you under CMR we would be out of fingers – GO DAWGS!

CDAWG

August 16th, 2010
9:26 pm

Hey Mike, maybe he was giving the OL a day off to help them heal.

DAWG07

August 16th, 2010
9:28 pm

Anticipate an improved aggressive defensive effort this fall with an improvement in the offense play calling from the staff.
GO DAWGS

superDawg

August 16th, 2010
9:30 pm

TUCK FECH!!!NUFF SAID.

Mike T.

August 16th, 2010
9:31 pm

J Who?
My local Y has an inside pool, when it lightning, No swim.
Maybe were just a little over cautious.
Maybe that diving will help us dive in the endzone.

Harrick

August 16th, 2010
9:32 pm

Never seen anybody flunk out of UGA, why the big scare?

Mike T.

August 16th, 2010
9:35 pm

Hey Mike, maybe he was giving the OL a day off to help them heal.

Maybe so. That does sound a lot better than a trip to the aquatics center.

tdawg

August 16th, 2010
9:36 pm

tell me again it is 0-2 in bowl game and being outscored 17 – 62. Go dawgs

Dawg Stephen

August 16th, 2010
9:44 pm

Keep in mind the POOL DAY came on an off day from practice as Coach Richt instead decided that since they pooled today, then the off day of tuesday all of a sudden became a practice day.

so the pool trip came on an OFF DAY!!!

jimmymack

August 16th, 2010
9:50 pm

ihe bulldog nation is one again maybe ADAMS will handle PR $ and leave the athletic dept. alone PLEASE

Coach Paul's Johnson

August 16th, 2010
9:54 pm

Coach Johnson entered a doctors office for some pre-season surgery. It seems the coach is a little upset over how his neck looks on TV. Many a turkey has been quite envious of his gobbler! While in the doctors office Coach Tommy Tubberville was in another waiting room 4 blocks away and overheard Coach Johnson crying over the sight of his abnormally large ‘Turkey Neck”. Oh well, maybe Coach can beat Georgia this year or not.

GET BACK TO MANNING YOUR SLURPY MACHINES TECHIES!! AND THAT’S THE GOOD WORD!!

Idiots...all of you

August 16th, 2010
10:15 pm

Really, CPJ went in for some neck work? Hmmm…I thought it was to have his annual mammogram….oh well, bad information I guess.

gt110

August 16th, 2010
10:17 pm

Haha and we are the ones obsessed with uga? I must have read half a dozen posts bashing Tech and not one Tech fan commenting. You guys are funny!

davidinloganville

August 16th, 2010
10:26 pm

hey harrick I remember an offensive lineman from Buford flunked out at Georgia, without a car, and showed up the next year at tech with a car and never had any problem staying eligible.

AltamahaDawg

August 16th, 2010
10:44 pm

You know I had some doubts about Gray at WR. Not that he couldn’t do it, or that he wouldn’t add maturity and character to the guys. That was never a question. It just seems to me that there must be at least 4 guys that not only can catch it just as well, but are much more skilled at patterns and blocking, and faster, more athletic. But darn if the boy isn’t doing well. I realize they are probably giving him a few more extra looks in the scrimmage just to accelerate his progress, but he has certainly taken advantage of that. We might not see him often, but he could be that sneaky lil possession receiver that just doesn’t get covered all that well.

Old Gold

August 16th, 2010
10:45 pm

Old Gold

August 16th, 2010
10:46 pm

rED PANTIES AND PIKUTREGATE…

Old Gold

August 16th, 2010
10:47 pm

My red panties dont fit coach..

Boca Baby

August 16th, 2010
10:48 pm

I understand that Richt spoke with the seniors about Morant and asked them if they wanted him back. It is said that they said “yes” with conditions: He is going to have to earn it. I believe that this is an excellent move on Richt’s part. It bodes well with being a team player and moreover with cultivating senior leadership.

bufbox

August 16th, 2010
10:52 pm

@ gt110
I like GT fine as a Georgia citizen, and I don’t bash them. But what nulls your comment to me is that this is a UGA blog.. and Dawg fans should have right to bash the opposition if they want. If GT fans want to bash Dawgs on their own site, I and prob many others on this site don’t really care cuz we never go there anyway. Hard for me to understand the appeal of hanging out on the opposition blog site.

Nick

August 16th, 2010
11:10 pm

Good God almighty! Great news all the way down the line. I love it love it love it.
Love the fact that Branden’s back after taking care of business. That Dexter did some soul-searching and realized what he needs to do and it’s right for him. Love the diving thing with CMR always did, but the deal with doing it fully clothed it awesome. Glad to hear about Ben Jones. He is so important in our offense.
Geez, I can’t wait till the season.
Go Dawgs!!!

bigcalidawg

August 16th, 2010
11:44 pm

I’m really not seeing the comparisons with Smith and Bailey. They play the same positions and are both fast, but Champ will lay hat. Smith appears to be more of a finesse guy (at least at this stage of his career). I can’t remember Champ as a Freshman, though.

Just seems like Champ was and is a more physical player.

I'm Just Saying

August 17th, 2010
12:13 am

bufbox..you can’t be serious? Your ilk is all over GT articles.
davidinloganville….BS
Glory Glory…hard working??? maybe on the field….in the class…not so much…how much is a three pointer worth you…your school….is a joke.

RED DOG 77

August 17th, 2010
12:17 am

Glad to have Morant and Smith back in the fold………..we will depend on both of them alot this year !

Desperation

August 17th, 2010
12:19 am

Richt’s on the hot seat and getting desperate if he’s taking back all these quitters—who come back with an attitude and demand immediate playing time. At Ga Tech, Coach Johnson wouldn’t put up with that.

college is forever

August 17th, 2010
12:29 am

http://www.collegelunchboxes.com This is when they need a indoor practice field. They get rid of the two a days, don’t practice in the rain, lounge in the pool. Picture Day is Saturday. I hope we are ready come opening day and especially the second and third week of the season. Come on Dawgs lets get to work.

12-2

August 17th, 2010
12:36 am

Dawg Stephen

August 17th, 2010
1:06 am

Very glad to have these guys back. Im also glad to have back 3 players who were SORELY missed in 2009…Sturdivant, Durham, and Figgins. With their return, and losing no other starters besides Joe Cox, I look forward to a pretty decent year offensively, ya think??? Anyway, my thoughts below.

http://dawgstephen.blogspot.com/2010/08/welcome-back-3-more-dawgs.html

12-2

August 17th, 2010
1:21 am

pretty decent year ?

You mean like winning 10 games ?

14-game season.

10-win season

3-loss season

No SEC Championship Game for the 5th consecutive year

Something like that ?

With 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors all leaving after this season dawgstephen

With our 10-10 vs SEC East the last 4 years

Facing # 35 South Carolina on road game 2 or have a LOSING RECORD vs SEC East then over the last 5 years ?

That what you mean dawgstephen by a pretty decent year ?

Dawg Stephen

August 17th, 2010
1:24 am

I said a decent year on OFFENSE…thats all I said. With an improved defense, we have the players on offense to have a good year. All that other stuff will take care of itself.

Dawg Stephen

August 17th, 2010
1:31 am

12-2, i dont understand the need to post the same thing, and attack fellow dog fans, but I do understand the stats you post being frustrating and as a contributor and seaason ticket holder, i do share in your desire to see the team improve.

I believe the defense needed to get better, and CMR made a move.
The special teams had to get better, and he made a move.
the secondary had to get better, and he made a move.

Let’s see the moves and let the new coaches coach. I too want another trip to the dome. As a season ticket holder, and one who would gain tickets, I plan to be there. Whether we agree on everything the last few years, we do share passion for the dawgs.

See you in Athens on Sept. 4th.

12-2

August 17th, 2010
1:44 am

You are a LIAR dawg stephen