ATHENS – Add another name to the list of football players planning to play basketball at Georgia.
Jay Rome, a freshman tight end from Valdosta, said he recently received the blessing of basketball coach Mark Fox to come out for basketball after the football season in over. Rome will join fellow freshman Nick Marshall on the hardwood.
“I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be able to start working with the team but me and my father talked with Coach Fox a week or so ago and basketball is definitely going to happen,” said Rome, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward. “In high school, I always thought basketball was my favorite sport, but I figured I’d have a better chance to play football in college. But over the past month or so, I decided I wanted to play basketball again because I missed it so much.”
Rome was a three-time player of the year at Valdosta, where he averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds his senior season. Rome’s father Stan Rome starred in basketball and football at Clemson in the 1970s. A four-star signee in football, Jay Rome is being redshirted in that sport this season.
“Me and [sophomore forward] Marcus Thornton have become good friends up here,” said Rome, who expects to play small forward with the Bulldogs. “We talked a lot and hang out a lot and he talked me into coming out.”
Replacing Malcolm Mitchell
Receivers coach Tony Ball said the Bulldogs will miss Malcolm Mitchell’s big-play ability but does not see his absence this week due to a hamstring injury radically altering the receiving corps.
“We’re certainly going to miss an element on offense, but other players have got to step up,” Ball said. “That’s what we expect. I imagine Michael Bennett or Marlon Brown or T.K. [Tavarres King] or Chris Conley will step up. Those guys understand that. They’ve got to make plays.”
Ball said Mitchell, who averages 17.5 yards on 25 receptions, is not necessarily faster than the rest of the receivers. He’s merely opportunistic and determined.
“I think there’s comparable speed. I just think Malcolm has taken advantage of his opportunities. He’s where he’s supposed to be and he’s able to make the play when it comes to him. That’s a big part of it.”
They said it
Quarterback Aaron Murray surrounded by reporters Tuesday at Georgia’s weekly media day and being asked what the Bulldogs needed to do to cut down on turnovers when senior tight end Aron White, who was walking by, decided to chime in.
“Yeah, no interceptions,” White interjected.
Murray deadpanned a response. “Yeah, no holding!”
White’s holding penalty against Tennessee was the first of four in a row by Georgia in the fourth quarter Saturday that led to a second-and-56-yards-to-go.
“Touche’!” replied White as he retreated toward the locker room.
Cornerback Branden Smith suffered a slight “stinger” on his flattening hit of Tennessee wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers. But he was able to complete the game and is practicing this week.
“That’s part of football,” Smith told reporters. “All spring, all summer, I tried to be a physical player. Ever since I got up here, everybody said I wasn’t a physical player, so this year I’ve been working on being physical with the receivers and running backs. Hard work is paying off.”
It looks like wide receiver Rantavious Wooten will miss his fourth consecutive game with a concussion he suffered in a car accident last month. The junior once
Etc. . . .
Captains for the Vanderbilt game are center Ben Jones, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, cornerback Brandon Boykin and special teams player Kosta Vavlas. . . . After facing the league’s top-ranked third-down conversion team in Tennessee (56.3 percent), the Bulldogs will square off versus the SEC’s 12th-ranked team in the category in Vanderbilt (18.5 percent). Georgia is seventh in the conference in third-down conversions at 38.6 percent.