ATHENS – Dallas Lee is feeling like himself again, and that’s a really good thing for both him and the Bulldogs.
Lee had spent the better part of the last 18 months not knowing what was wrong with him and that’s especially bad when the problem involves breathing. Now he’s well and just in time to work himself into Georgia’s rotation on the offensive line.
“Dallas has had a great turnaround,” head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s the sixth guy [on the offensive line] right now. He’s the putty man for any guard or center situation. And he’s not done competing for a starting job either.”
That’s pretty amazing considering Lee hadn’t even played in front of first-year line coach Will Friend until the first practice on August 5.
“This is the first time I’ve ever been around him in six months,” Friend said. “Two weeks ago was the first time I’ve gotten to work with him because I couldn’t do anything with him in the summer. So that was good to get him. Dallas has played good at times. He’s actually worked some with the ones. I have no problem whatsoever with Dallas being in the game.”
Currently, Friend said, Lee would be the first guy in at left or right guard or at center.
That’s a long way from where the 6-foot-4, 300-pound redshirt sophomore was last fall. Stricken by some sort of asthma-like condition, Lee was worried about where he get his next breath rather than his next snap.
“It was real frustrating,” said Lee, a Buford High graduate. “They had me going to all kinds of doctors and nobody could figure it out. It ended up being like almost a year and a half of not being able to figure out what was wrong. They still haven’t really figured out what was wrong, but they finally got a medicine combination that works. So that’s all I’m worried about. I’m back playing.”
Friend said otherwise the O-line depth chart has remained unchanged. The starters have been the same since the opening of camp, with Cordy Glenn at left tackle, Kenarious Gates at left guard, Ben Jones at center, Chris Burnette at right guard and Justin Anderson at right tackle.
“Those guys have done nothing to lose their positions,” Friend said. “They’ve all performed pretty well, so we’re pretty set there.”
Friend said tackle Watts Dantzler and center David Andrews are the only freshmen he’s considering playing at this point. Redshirt freshman Kolton Houston, he said, “has got to do better for us.”
Also, Friend said Austin Long, sidelined for two weeks with mono, is back to full speed and working his way.
Asked if the 305-pound Long had lost any weight during his illness, Friend laughed. “I need to but he didn’t.”
Caleb King signs free agent deal with Vikings
Former Bulldog Caleb King was passed over in the NFL supplemental draft Monday but landed a free-agent deal from the Minnesota Vikings, his agent confirmed.
“He’s shown that he has skills that are transferable to the next level,” agent Kevin Conner of Atlanta’s Universal Sports and Entertainment said Monday. “Running back is such a volatile position for them to project. You can find good ones, early, in the middle and late.”
King, who would have been a senior running back for the Bulldogs this season, flunked out at the end of summer semester. A graduate of Greater Atlanta Christian School, he rushed for 1,271 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in three seasons at Georgia
Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was the only player taken in Monday’s draft, which was delayed more than a month due to this summer’s lockout.
Marshall still planning to play basketball
Freshman defensive back Nick Marshall, who missed four practices due to a concussion suffered returning a punt, is back to full speed in practice. He said he’s now working as a backup at boundary corner and is a member of the kickoff and punt return teams.
Meanwhile, the four-star basketball prospect said he still intends to join the Bulldogs’ basketball team in January. That is, pending the approval of Richt and basketball coach Mark Fox. “We want to make sure he’s taking care of business academically first,” Richt said.
Nike Pro Combat uniforms mostly disliked
As of 8 p.m. Monday night, 9,350 individuals voted on the AJC.com poll about Georgia’s new Nike Pro Combat uniforms that will be worn in the season opener. Of those 6,058 – or 65 percent – don’t like the way the uniforms look.
But only 35 percent actually “hated” the all-red-with-silver-helmet look. Another 30 percent “didn’t like them” but think it’s up to the players. About 22 percent “loved” the new unis while 13 percent didn’t care one way or another.
Junior wide receiver Marlon Brown missed practice Monday. Richt said the starting split end “tweaked an ankle” late in the last practice, but that trainer Ron Courson, “doesn’t think it’s anything real serious.” Freshman flanker Malcolm Mitchell also remains sidelined with a pulled leg muscle.
Junior nose guard John Jenkins (hamstring) worked on the side but did not otherwise participate in practice. Tailback Richard Samuel (strained quadriceps) got in some individual drill work but nothing else. Outside linebacker Ray Drew (separated shoulder) practiced in a non-contact capacity and Sterling Bailey (shoulder) is now full go.
They said it
“Down here every game we play is such a huge rivalry. We hate South Carolina, we hate Auburn , we hate Florida, we hate Tennessee, we hate Tech, we hate everybody. Everybody is a rival. I didn’t realize that when I first got down here but I really grew into it. I have a strong dislike for all those teams now.” – Senior tight end Aron White of Columbia, Mo.
Etc. . . .
Other than some individuals, Richt was generally unhappy with his team’s ability to “fight through” a three-hour, full-contact practice. The Bulldogs have now split into scout and varsity and are preparing for Boise State. . . . UGA linebacker signee Kent Turene of Tampa, who was unable to gain clearance for freshman eligibility from the NCAA, confirmed that he has decided to attend school and play football at Jireh Prep in Matthews, N.C. He said he will enroll there later this week. . . . Based on rankings alone, Georgia’s first two games against No. 5 Boise State and No. 12 South Carolina represent the school’s toughest back-to-back opponents in history to open a season. . . . The Athens Chick-fil-A store at Beechwood Shopping Center is hosting “Spirit Day” on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. to kickoff events surrounding Georgia’s appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. UGA cheerleaders, Pep Band members and Hairy Dawg will be among the guests.
CLICK HERE for video of tailback Isaiah Crowell in action.
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