G-Day notebook: NG Kwame Geathers continues dominating play (UPDATED)

G-DAY NOTEBOOK:

Probably the biggest surprise of the spring has been the play of nose guard Kwame Geathers. The 6-foot-6, 341-pound sophomore had been largely written off after an unspectacular freshman campaign. But he went out and was named defensive MVP by the coaching staff for spring practice, then backed that up with four tackles — including two for minus-8 yards — in the spring game.

So what happened?

“He probably heard Big John Jenkins was coming into town to take his job,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said after the game. “That probably lit a fire under him.”

Jenkins is the 350-plus-pound JUCO All-American nose guard the Bulldogs signed to much fanfare out of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. It has been generally assumed Jenkins will win the starting role. Except, that is, by Geathers.

“It was motivating,” Geathers said. “I’m ready for him to come in. He’s going to help this team out. Even though he’s coming in to compete with me for a job, he’s going to help us as a team. But it did motivate me a good bit.”

Said Grantham: “I think he’s gotten better every practice.

Joe T provides real incentive for G-Day

As has been the tradition of the G-Day Game, members of the winning team gets a steak dinner while the losing team has to have beanie-weanies. But that meal actually wasn’t taking place Saturday night.

“I’m not sure when that meal is going to take place,” Richt said. “The real incentive is the winning team is probably going to be excused from one of Joe T’s workouts.”

Joe T is Joe Tereshinski, Georgia’s new strength and conditioning coordinator.

Christian LeMay delivers game-winning drive

Freshman Christian LeMay was impressive in leading the Black Team on the 75-yard, game-winning drive. But anyone who thinks that was a sign of an impending quarterback controversy for the backup role behind Aaron Murray might want to think again.

“I think Christian LeMay right now is only competing with the playbook,” Richt said. “Really you can’t play that position unless you know what you’re doing. I wouldn’t even say it’s a competition right now. In the fall, I’m sure it will become more of one.”

In that vein, Murray’s current backup Hutson Mason also had a good day and talked about how much more comfortable he felt Saturday than at any other time.

“Actually I’m really surprised I’ve caught on this fast,” said Mason, a sophomore from Marietta. “It seems like it just clicked for me. In the fall I was kind of rushed into things and didn’t really have much of a window to learn it. Now I feel like I know everyone’s position instead of just mine, which you have to know as the quarterback.”

Mason (6-3, 200) was 9-of-16 passing for 109 yards and threw an interception. LeMay (6-2, 200), a midyear enrollee from Matthews, N.C., finished with 38 yards on 3-of-6 passing and displayed a surprisingly strong arm.

Murray had a typically solid day: 12-of-17 for 122 yards and a touchdown.

Richt was disappointed with quarterback play

Richt said afterward he was disappointed with quarterback play. Not the ones in the game, mind you, but the four former UGA quarterbacks who competed in a skills contest at halftime.

David Greene, D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford and Eric Zeier got five tries to throw a football into a 50-gallon trashcan 35 yards away, through a tire from 12 yards away and to fans picked out of the stands who ran pass patterns. Stafford — the No. 1 pickin the 2009 draft — won the competition. But Richt wasn’t impressed.

“I would’ve liked to have seen those guys throw at least one in the bucket,” Richt quipped. “That was kind of embarrassing. But the wind was blowing I guess. I wish those guys would have thrown it a little better. That was the only disappointment I had.”

Lettermen were very involved in the 2011 G-Day. There was a flag football game featuring former players before the game and dozens hung out on the sidelines and in the stands.

“Seriously, I can’t tell you how fun it was to have all those former players here,” Richt said. “It’s good to see those guys and great that they want to come back.”

So what about running backs?

Richt: “You saw Kenny Malcome make some nice runs. He had some space and he took advantage of it. He has always finished runs well, which has been what we always liked the most about Kenny. When he makes contact he’s normally knocking somebody back and running through a tackle. I saw some of that.

Malcome led the Black Team with 39 yards and scored the game-winning TD on a 12-yard run. The Red Team’s Carlton Thomas led all rushers with 48 yards on 13 carries. Richt also said he was pleased with Caleb King, who had 30 yards on five carries.

There were ball security issues again. The Red Team had four fumbles and lost three, including one by Thomas inside the Black Team’s 5 on the game’s opening drive.

Who is Connor Norman?

The real star of Saturday’s game was walk-on defensive back Connor Norman. Wearing No. 11 for the Black Team, the rising sophomore from Duluth had five tackles, three pass deflections and a highlight-reel interception.

“We weren’t sure at all what we had with Connor,” Richt said. “We knew he was able to play safety and the nickel position. You could tell he was never afraid to come up and make a play as far as tackling. That was a very athletic interception and you saw good instincts. Sometimes a play like that will catch the eye of a special teams coach.”

‘Dream Team in the house’

Many of the members of Georgia’s “Dream Team” 2011 recruiting class were in attendance, including 5-star prospects Isaiah Crowell and Ray Drew. Richt credits their presence for some of the strong performances of returning lettermen this spring.

“They realize there’s a pack of Dogs coming in to try to get playing time and win jobs and things of that nature,” Richt said. “I think that’s going to ignite and excite this program.”

Defense dominates in Boise State’s spring game

Boise State, the Bulldogs’ opponent in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in September, also held its spring game on Saturday. Attendance was 14,445.

Utilizing a defense vs. offense points-earning format, the defense won 21-13. The defense scored its points on six three-and-outs, five sacks, one interception and two red-zone stops, according to Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman. One of the Broncos’ issues in 2011 is finding new play-makers at the receiver position. Sophomore wideout Geraldo Hiwat took the early lead in fulfilling that role with five catches for 97 yards. And the play of star quarterback Kellen Moore was described as “unimpressive.” The 6-foot, 190-pound senior was 5-of-14 for 50 yards, often missing completions by inches.

You can read Cripe’s full report in the Idaho Statesman by CLICKING HERE.

This & That . . .

Saturday’s attendance of 43,117 set a G-Day Game record.  The previous record of 42,458 was set in 2009. . . .  Chase Vasser and Alec Ogletree led all tacklers with 7 apiece. . . . Defensive end Reuben Faloughi had three sacks. Grantham also lauded DE Derek Lott, who had two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. . . . Boise State, Georgia’s opponent in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Sept. 3 at the Georgia Dome, was conducting its spring game Saturday night. Kickoff was set for 7 p.m. EST.

For the first time since, well, nobody really knows, the UGA Redcoat Band played from its new perch in the west-end bleachers at Sanford Stadium. The move was recommended by first-year AD Greg McGarity, who thought it would provide better acoustics. Previously the bad sat on the North side next to the student section. “I went to that side during the game just to listen and I think they could actually hear the band over there for the first time,”  McGarity said.

166 comments Add your comment

2012 FEAR THE END

April 16th, 2011
6:18 pm

Victorious Sakrete

April 16th, 2011
6:31 pm

All I hear is more growl; wake me when they show some bite.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:31 pm

Seth Emerson estimated the stadium was about 25% full, or about 22,5000 in attendance.

Bobo, Bobo, a pirate's life for me

April 16th, 2011
6:31 pm

Connor Norman had a great game. The kid was all over the place. I don’t know much about him, but if he has to do all that to just “catch the eye of a special teams coach”, what does he have to do to get TG to give him a look?

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:34 pm

The rb’s didn’t seemed to be fired up by Crowell being there, none of them played great. The running game always struggles, 11th in SEC last season.

Also, the DE’s made a lot of sacks because the OL they went against was weak, just like last year giving up 25 sacks.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:35 pm

Pretty sure we’ll never hear of Connor Norman again. You guys remember the defender who dominated last season at G-Day was Williams, he ended up transferring after Grantham kept moving him around.

william cranman

April 16th, 2011
6:36 pm

Chip, any word on any injuries?

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:36 pm

Fumbles continue to be a porblems, and interceptions. 5 in 1 game, looks like Richt just can’t fix the turnover problem.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

Lemay has been remarkable in his last 2 outings, I don’t know what more the kid has to do to impress Richt.

2 for 2 for 68 yards and td 2nd scrimmage, led his team to a game wnning d on G-Day at the end of the game. Also led the team in yards per pass at 13 again for 2nd straight game.

trupert

April 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

Murray looked good, Geathers looks like the real deal and the defense looks good over all. This could lead to something big. Go Dawgs!

51WTGW50

April 16th, 2011
6:39 pm

How many 15 yrd personal foul penalties were there? How many drive killing Fumbles inside the Red Zone? How many 4th qtr come back TDs were scored on the Dawgs Defense?

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:40 pm

Geathers shouldn’t get excited about dominating a UGA OL. So did pretty much every DL. Not saying much there.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:41 pm

Murray came out flat again, 1st quarter sturglles continue to plague him 44 yards of offense in the 1st half.

The guy has a porblem it pressure.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:42 pm

Jenkins will throw Geathers around like a little rag doll.

uga617

April 16th, 2011
6:42 pm

connor normans a helluva lot better than jakar hamilton. just sayin….

trupert

April 16th, 2011
6:42 pm

51WTGW50, is your team the one that’s on probation or are they the one that’s about to be?

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:43 pm

Smith made a nice 25 yard run after catch on the 1 yard pass for the td run from Murray.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:45 pm

Murray didn’t show any improvement. Continue to struggle with accuacy on any pass beyond 5 yards, also doesn’t start or end games well. Did fine in 2nd & 3rd period, as usual.

51WTGW50

April 16th, 2011
6:55 pm

trupert
That is every team in the SEC and that includes UGA. Did they catch the guy or guys that stole all the stuff for the LOCKer room?

Joe

April 16th, 2011
6:58 pm

There was only 1 OL starter on the red team, no wonder Geathers had a big day.

dawg gone

April 16th, 2011
7:06 pm

Nice to see that the trollers are so fixated on the Dawgs they have to wait with baited breath to get on the UGA blog and diss the Dawgs…we will beat you all like rented mules driven by re-headed stepchildren this year….

tell me again

April 16th, 2011
7:09 pm

It’s the G day game – it means little to nothing in the grand scheme of things….some of you posters have your picture next to the word “WHINE” in thr dictionary.

jim

April 16th, 2011
7:15 pm

Joe – suck my Richard.

trupert

April 16th, 2011
7:16 pm

51WTGW50, Not hard to pick a fan from Alabama out of the crowd.

No UGA is not on probation and they are not being investigated and they run a clean program so they won’t be. What is it with college football and the state of Alabama?

trupert

April 16th, 2011
7:19 pm

tell me again, most of the WHINERS are really worried Auburn and Alabama fans pretending to be UGA fans who are looking for a little positive culture.

51WTGW50

April 16th, 2011
7:27 pm

trupert
Just give it some time. The Dream Team will cause UGA some major problems and maybe probation in a few years.

J Clay

April 16th, 2011
7:31 pm

Chip – so you moving off the recruiting gig? What will you new role be? Glad you’re still with the AJC

Jackson

April 16th, 2011
7:40 pm

The G-Day game is not about fine tuning or nailing down positions. Today is only about going out and putting on a show for the fans. I would put it with the level of effort of a pro bowl. What you see is a bunch of starters going through the motions and a bunch of second tier and walk-on’s coming out and giving 100% to try to show a flash of something to try and break into the rotation. Richt said it best about escaping the game without injury. Too much of that happened already. I am not concerned with the fumbles nor the interceptions. Offensive line is a patchwork with the first team not working together as a unit. I always laugh at the stock put into the spring game. It is important to teach fundamentals and to play around with situations that guys have never seen before. Cross training and a look at how well someone’s skill set fits into the scheme. Take my word for it. If after they look at all the spring practices and don’t see what they like on defense, Ogletree will be back at safety. Just one of those things to see the what if…. Jenkins is a beast but not an every down NG… need a competent quality backup to plug and play. Geathers seems to fit that bill and I am glad if nothing else, we see we at least will be able to hold the point of attack for four quarters next year. GO DAWGS!

tide roll

April 16th, 2011
7:54 pm

Enough of the dream team already! When will somebody evaluate the talent recruited at each position!? Once you do that, it becomes apparent that you’re probably bringing in the worst offensive line class in the conference. You can’t honestly call this a dream team when you have the 9th rated offensive line class in the Conference! How can Richt and Bobo look at your graduation losses, attririton and injuries along the offensive line and then allow this to happen? Because of those two you have no depth. Sturdivant’s was injury prone (and is now gone), and Benedict’s knee injury included nerve damage. Armed with this knowledge, Richt/Bobo go out and bring in the 9th rated offensive line class in the conference(per Rivals). Those two are unbelievable. Your’re one more injury away from some serious problems.

John

April 16th, 2011
8:15 pm

Same old Dawgs.

AltamahaDawg

April 16th, 2011
8:37 pm

So what happened? What happened is that he isn’t a freshman DL anymore.

DawgByte

April 16th, 2011
8:37 pm

Joe -

You’re absolutely clueless. I’m pretty certain you wear a propeller cap on your head and have a protractor in your pants. I’m also pretty sure your name is Akmed and not Joe.

JDawg1785

April 16th, 2011
8:39 pm

Connor Norman’s performance in G-Day should warrant a solid look at a starting position. He made more impressive plays today than Jakar Hamilton did all of last season. He was all over the place this afternoon and that interception was amazing!

AltamahaDawg

April 16th, 2011
8:43 pm

Dream Team. Dream Team. Dream Team. Don’t like reading about it? Then try not reading about it everyday of your life.

Joe

April 16th, 2011
8:43 pm

Enter your comments here

Joe_H

April 16th, 2011
8:44 pm

“The guy has a porblem it pressure.”

Yeah, Murray sucked something awful last year as a freshman. Sarcasm! Try english next time.

dawgfan

April 16th, 2011
8:45 pm

Can anybody find anything in tide roll’s post that is wrong? I can’t. I think he’s spot on.

Thanks.

Gravy Train

April 16th, 2011
8:50 pm

I saw a lot of positive energy out of the troops today. Caleb and Ken ran well. The defense looks much more crisp and agressive. Attendance record? Bill King says interest is in decline, but yet the Hartman Fund and now G-Day are making record numbers. Can’t wait to see CMR and this group of men get back on top of the division. When the new recruits hit summer camp, there is gonna be some real competition for them. Were the quaterbacks not allowed to scramble? It looked like Murray was hanging in the pocket with the ball for a bit long at times. Bottom line: I like the core of this squad.

Stinger

April 16th, 2011
8:51 pm

Who couldn’t dominate that offensive line? I mean really!!! I know several JV high school players that would dominate that offensive line.

In Da Hunt

April 16th, 2011
9:03 pm

Was anything stolen from the Locker Room today ?

Randall "Pink" Floyd

April 16th, 2011
9:06 pm

Norman played well, but he’s undersized for SEC safety play. Tavaris King made him look silly on a stiff-arm. That ought to tell you something right there.

Nobody had written Geathers off, Chip. That’s absurd.

And, if you didn’t know Lemay had a good arm before today, you weren’t paying attention.

donkeydawg

April 16th, 2011
9:10 pm

The fumbles were by the 5th and 6th-ranked tailbacks. The INT was a good defensive play against the backup QB. What I mainly saw were a lot of big hits by extremely talented but untested DLs and LBs. The DL looks vastly better than last year, with Big John still pending. The LBs, especially Ogletree and Jones and Samuel, looked fabulous, with Drew still pending. I’m a Dawg fan pessimist by nature, but I saw nothing negative today, and a lot of positives, particularly for the D.

Bronco Billy

April 16th, 2011
9:14 pm

Boise State 67, Georgia 13

dawgster

April 16th, 2011
9:15 pm

@Tide Roll…again your comments are ignored by everyone….don’t you get it yet…Hey Bama fans, the ones that actually have alot of class…please tell this guy that he is not a Bama guy..he trys to act like he is though…Anyone that has read his post on on these blog sites truly knows his agenda. and it is quite sad that he thinks that way…don’t know his story, but he has an axe to grind with the dawgs….Most of his posts are identical…he cuts and pastes his same old comments to all the blogs…just thought I would let everyone know the character of this guy….really, really sad…

dawgfan

April 16th, 2011
9:17 pm

The team you saw today is basically the same exact team that went 6-7 last year, minus good players like AJ Green, Justin Houston, Akeem Dent, etc. Pardon me if I’m not singing “Glory Glory” because they looked good in a freaking scrimmage.

More talk. More gum flapping. More jaw jacking. Its apparently all we know how to do anymore. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Thanks.

dawgster

April 16th, 2011
9:19 pm

@dawgfan…really!..you see nothing wrong with “tide rolls” post…where have you been hiding…read his post and think about what and how he’s saying it…believe me I’d say at least 95% of the bloggers on these sites know his agenda…has nothing to do about our O-line problems or whether we have underperformed…its a completely different agenda…as I said, really, really sad….

Steve Superior

April 16th, 2011
9:22 pm

Gamecawks 27 Mutts 9

dawgster

April 16th, 2011
9:26 pm

@ok dawgfan…I get it now after reading your other posts…do all of us a favor…find a team that you can support…You honestly see no improvement in the dawgs attitude, changes that have been made or that we had an outstanding recruiting class…I guess we all find out next season, but in the mean time would a little optimism be that bad..We can’t change the past, but we can mover forward and see what happens…If next year there’s not significant improvement then you can gloat and probably get your wish of a coaching change….then maybe you wont see the same thing….go dawgs

Bubbatavious

April 16th, 2011
9:27 pm

Our offensive line has a long way to go in the weight room still.

RabidDawgFan

April 16th, 2011
9:27 pm

The no-name players (Norman) sometimes turn into big time players. Nick Fairley was a no-name in 2009, and in 2010 he was the best lineman in college football. Just because the guy is a walk-on and isn’t a household name, people want to look down on him. Hey look, if he can play, then he can play. Put him out there in the lineup and let’s see what he’s made of. He can’t be any worse than the safeties we have now. Rambo is one of them but why can’t Norman be the other? Just sayin.

Geathers is playing very well. He and Jenkins are going to hurt some people. We finally have tons of size on the D-line. If we put Geathers and Jenkins side by side, that will eat up an O-line by itself and allow our linebackers to run free. Ogletree is going to be a special one.