Archive for April, 2011

18 players miss Dogs’ scrimmage with injuries

(Click here for scrimmage statistics.)

ATHENS – Georgia’s football team held its next-to-last scrimmage of spring practice Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium.

Well, some of the team did, anyway.

Eighteen players were sidelined by various injuries — a reflection of a grueling spring of physical practices.

At least five projected defensive starters were among those not participating: cornerback Brandon Boykin, safety Bacarri Rambo, cornerback/safety Sanders Commings and inside linebackers Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree. Boykin, Commings and Robinson were sidelined because of concussions, Rambo because of a sprained knee ligament and Ogletree because of a strained groin.

The scrimmage was closed to the public and media, but statistics provided afterward by coach Mark Richt revealed that the Bulldogs had more success throwing than running — or, if you prefer to look at it the other way, more success stopping the run than stopping the pass.

Richt reported that the …

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Check out the statistics from UGA’s scrimmage …

Georgia’s football team held a closed scrimmage in Sanford Stadium on Saturday morning. Coach Mark Richt provided these “very unofficial official” statistics afterward:


Aaron Murray: 11-for-16, 125 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions

Hutson Mason: 12-for-19, 192 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, long pass of 45

Christian LeMay: 2-for-2, 67 yards, 1 touchdown, long pass of 66

Parker Welch: 4-for-10, 33 yards


Carlton Thomas: 8 carries, 26 yards, long of 9

Caleb King: 7 carries, 16 yards, long of 10

Brandon Harton: 9 carries, -6 yards, long of 2

Wes Van Dyk: 2 carries, -3 yards, long of 2

Bruce Figgins: 1 carry for 1 yard

Zander Ogletree: 1 carry for 1 yard


Michael Bennett: 3 catches, 94 yards, 1 TD, long of 66

Tavarres King: 3 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD, long of 45

Marlon Brown: 4 catches, 57 yards 1 TD, long of 33

Orson Charles: 3 catches, 45 yards, 1 TD, long of 20

Brandon Harton: 4 catches, 33 yards, long of 11

Artie Lynch: 2 catches, 21 yards, …

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Bulldogs are hit hard by injuries; Commings shifts to safety

ATHENS – Injuries have piled up for the Georgia football team, which continued spring practice Thursday with a number of key players sidelined.

Particularly hard hit were the inside-linebacker and safety positions.

At inside linebacker, projected starters Christian Robinson and Alec Ogletree missed the practice because of a concussion and a strained groin, respectively, and backup Michael Gilliard was out with a sprained knee.

At safety, Jakar Hamilton was sidelined with a concussion, Marc Deas with a tweaked hamstring and Bacarri Rambo with a previously reported sprained knee ligament.

The rash of injuries left the Bulldogs practicing with only two healthy scholarship inside linebackers, Richard Samuel and Brandon Burrows, and one healthy scholarship safety, Shawn Williams.

Coaches responded by shifting Sanders Commings, who started nine games at cornerback last season, to safety — at least for now and possibly for good. It’s a move that had been contemplated even before …

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Annual Richt/Fox speaking tour expands to 11 stops in four states

It’s almost time for Mark Richt and Mark Fox to hit the road on their annual spring speaking tour, which this year has been expanded to 11 stops in four states in conjunction with the UGA Alumni Association and Bulldog Club chapters.

The tour begins with an appearance April 20 in Savannah and includes stops in Jacksonville (April 21), Augusta (April 27), Macon (April 28), Columbus (May 5), Greenville, S.C. (May 11), Charlotte (May 12), Gainesville (May 17), Dalton (May 19) and Albany (May 24). Then, after a two-month break, the tour will conclude in Atlanta (July 25 at the Cobb Galleria).

The events, open to the public, begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by a program at 7 p.m.

The out-of-state spots were selected because of the large number of UGA fans and alumni there. According to Dave Muia, the UGA Athletic Association official who oversees fund-raising and alumni relations, Greenville and Charlotte were the top two out-of-state cities this year in terms of …

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Jones firing up UGA offense, doing ‘everything I can to get this program back on the right foot’

ATHENS — Ben Jones is entering his fourth season as Georgia’s starting center, and he’s determined to make the most of it.



With both amusement and respect, teammates tell the stories of how Jones has taken it upon himself to fire up the offense this spring. After the unit’s worst practice of the spring eight days ago, Jones “got on us a little bit,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. Well, apparently more than a little bit. He was “screaming, yelling, pushing, going crazy, being Ben Jones,” Murray said.

By all accounts, the offense has performed much better since then, culminating with its best practice of the spring on Tuesday, when it won three of five head-to-head competitions against the defense.

On the day of Jones’ tirade, the offense lost all six drills against the defense.

“You go out there and lose every competition drill — that’s not acceptable,” Jones said Tuesday. “I wanted to make a point to the offense that we’re not going to sit out there and take a loss. We …

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Fox: ‘I don’t want anyone thinking I’m leaving, because this is where I’m going to coach’

ATHENS — Although the rumor mill has linked his name to various coaching openings in the past month, most recently UNLV’s, Georgia men’s basketball coach Mark Fox insisted again Tuesday that he has no interest in any other job.

“I don’t want anyone thinking I’m leaving, because this is where I’m going to coach,” he said.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity had opened discussions with Fox about a new or amended contract.

“Greg and I had an initial conversation, and I trust him,” Fox said Tuesday. “He knows this is where I want to coach. . . . Right now we’re spending our energy on getting information for Travis [Leslie regarding the NBA draft], coaching our team, recruiting. And when we have time, I guess we’ll finish that [contract] discussion.”

McGarity, seated nearby, nodded his head in agreement.

“I really feel like this is a place where we can win at a very high level,” Fox said. “But to do that, we have to take …

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Thompkins enters NBA draft; Leslie tests waters, too

(Updated 6 p.m.)

ATHENS — Trey Thompkins has played his last basketball game for Georgia, and Travis Leslie might have done so, too.

Thompkins and Leslie, juniors who were the Bulldogs’ top two scorers and rebounders this past season, announced Tuesday they will enter the NBA draft, although one of them — Leslie — left open the option of withdrawing.

Thompkins said he’ll hire an agent, meaning his decision to enter the draft and end his college career will be irreversible. Leslie said he will not hire an agent at this point, thus preserving the option of pulling out of the draft by the NCAA’s May 8 deadline and returning for his senior season at UGA.

Thompkins’ decision — and potentially Leslie’s — will mean a much different look next season for the Bulldogs, who are coming off a 21-12 season and an NCAA tournament appearance.

Thompkins, a 6-foot-10 forward from Lithonia, averaged 16.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in an injury-filled junior season. Leslie, a 6-4 guard from …

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Spring-practice updates on five UGA players

Eight practices down, seven to go (including the G-Day game). At just beyond the mid-point of  UGA spring football, here are updates on five players you might be wondering about:

  • DeAngelo Tyson, DE: After playing the nose position out of necessity last year, he is working exclusively at defensive end this spring – a change much to his liking. “Playing nose was a hard task, but I did it to help the team out,” said Tyson, a rising senior. “Playing defensive end is much better. You don’t have all that double-teaming and triple-teaming and stuff like that. I’m having fun out there this spring.” Linebacker Christian Robinson said Tyson and the rest of the defensive line “have really stepped up. . . . Definitely, the defensive line as a whole is so much farther ahead than I could have imagined.”
  • Ken Malcome, RB: Redshirted as a freshman last season, the tailback from Southwest DeKalb has been bothered all spring by a nagging groin injury. He believes the injury has diminished …

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What you might have missed over the weekend…

A quick recap of a busy (and good) weekend in Bulldog Nation:

Craig Gullickson

Craig Gullickson

  • Baseball: Georgia swept a three-game series from No. 24 Mississippi State at Foley Field, winning 4-1 on Friday, 4-3 on Saturday and 4-1 on Sunday. The Dogs (14-14, 6-3 SEC) are on a five-game SEC winning streak. They got strong starting pitching all weekend. Friday: Alex Wood allowed one run on three hits and struck out eight in seven innings. Saturday: Michael Palazzone went 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. Sunday: Craig Gullickson permitted one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. (Gullickson is the son of former major-league pitcher Bill Gullickson and the brother of UGA tennis player Chelsey Gullickson, the defending NCAA women’s singles champion.)
  • Gymnastics: The Gym Dogs are headed back to the NCAA Championships after a one-year absence. They finished second (behind UCLA) in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday to earn a spot in the 12-team …

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A review of Bulldogs’ first spring scrimmage (and who is Brandon Harton?)

ATHENS – Georgia’s football team held its first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium, and coach Mark Richt had no complaints afterward.

“I thought today was outstanding, really outstanding, in regard to the guys playing with a lot of energy,” Richt said. “Some really nice plays on both sides of the ball.”

Georgia didn’t keep statistics on the scrimmage, which was closed to the public and media. Richt offered these observations afterward:

  • Tight end Orson Charles “had a pretty big day, making some nice catches,” wide receiver Michael Bennett “caught my eye” and wide receiver Marlon Brown had a “very nice touchdown grab in tight coverage — reached up and snatched it away from a defender [on a] very nice throw by [quarterback Aaron] Murray.”
  • Tailbacks Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas didn’t participate because of hamstring injuries, but Richt said Caleb King continued a good spring. “Caleb has been practicing very well. He’s practicing with great focus …

Continue reading A review of Bulldogs’ first spring scrimmage (and who is Brandon Harton?) »

Dogs are scrimmaging between the hedges (UPDATED)

(Updated below)

ATHENS – Georgia’s football team will hold its first full scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium. The scrimmage is closed to the public and media.

Asked what he hopes to get out of the scrimmage, quarterback Aaron Murray said: “Six touchdowns for the offense. That’s the goal. Put some points on the board.

“I think last year our first scrimmage didn’t go as well as we wanted it to,” Murray said, “so this year we’re going to try to get a little faster start, which will be nice.”

Safety Jakar Hamilton sounded a similarly enthusiastic note for the defense.

“We always get jacked up about practice or scrimmages,” he said. “We’re just looking forward to playing Boise State this year, so every time we hit the field, that’s what we think about — getting better to go out there and beat Boise State on Sept. 3. Every day is a competition day.”

Friday’s practice was the Bulldogs’ seventh of 14 leading to the G-Day intra-squad game in Sanford Stadium on …

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680 The Fan becomes ‘official sports talk station’ of Bulldogs

ATHENS – Atlanta’s 680 The Fan signed a multi-year contract with the UGA Athletic Association’s multi-media rights holder, IMG,  to become “the official sports talk radio station” of the Bulldogs.

As part of the deal, 680 The Fan will broadcast Georgia coach Mark Richt’s weekly news conferences during the football season, UGA associate athletic director for external operations Alan Thomas said. He added that a three-times-per-week “Bulldog roundtable type show” also is being developed.

In addition, 680 The Fan’s sister station, 1230AM The Fan 2, based in Marietta, will broadcast UGA baseball games, beginning in May.

The deal does not include broadcasts of Georgia football or basketball games, Thomas said. “It gives us an additional opportunity beyond play-by-play programming,” he said.

680 The Fan president David Dickey said in a statement: “We look forward to working with UGA and IMG to bring in-depth and expanded coverage of UGA athletic programs and related content.”

– Tim …

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Bacarri Rambo sidelined with knee injury; Jakar Hamilton pleased with his progress

ATHENS Georgia starting safety Bacarri Rambo is expected to miss the remaining two weeks of spring practice after injuring his right knee this week.

Rambo has a sprained MCL, Georgia said Friday.

He started all 13 games last season and was second on the team in tackles with 82.

His injury will mean more practice opportunities this spring for the three players who are competing for the other starting safety position: Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams and Marc Deas.  They are battling for the spot vacated when Alec Ogletree moved from safety to inside linebacker at the start of spring practice.

Hamilton and Williams started five and three games, respectively, at safety last season before Ogletree claimed the spot.

“You want everyone to know the plays because you never know if somebody might go down — just like, for example, Rambo went down,” Hamilton said Friday. “That gives opportunity for me and Shawn to come up and get more plays at the safety position. So come game time, …

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