Q&A: LB Alec Ogletree ‘very anxious to get back out there’ for Bulldogs

This is one of the last shots we saw of Alec Ogletree, getting the call from the sideline in Georgia's Nike Pro Combat uniform at the Georgia Dome. (UGA photo)

This is one of the last shots we saw of Alec Ogletree, getting the defensive call from the sideline in Georgia's Nike Pro Combat uniform at the Georgia Dome. (UGA photo)

Q&A WITH ALEC OGLETREE

Alec Ogletree was the toast of the offseason for the Georgia Bulldogs. Going back to spring practice and all the way through preseason, the experiment of moving the 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore from strong safety to inside “Mo” linebacker was said to be an unmitigated success. Coaches and teammates spoke in excited anticipation of the havoc Ogletree was going to wreak playing down close to the line of scrimmage in the middle of the Georgia’s 3-4 defense. “He was practicing extremely well,” coach Mark Richt said. “He was making most of the tackles and he was doing it with some enthusiasm and some physicality. He has the ability to knock people back and he has the ability to run sideline-to-sideline and he has the ability to cover well. He has all the tools.”

But all the air from that balloon was sucked out just two defensive series into the season opener against Boise State. Ogletree broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot in the first quarter. The break was confirmed on X-rays right there at the Georgia Dome and Ogletree has been sidelined ever since.

Make that WAS sidelined. The former AJC Super 11 selection and 5-star prospect was cleared for practice last week. Sunday night, Richt announced that Ogletree would in fact start his first game back next Saturday against Florida in Jacksonville. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham left little doubt that would be the case upon watching Ogletree negotiate his first full-contact practice last week. “It was exciting,” Grantham said with a rare grin. “He looked good. I was fired up.” Here’s a what Ogletree had to say about the injury ordeal and his feelings as he prepares to come back against the Gators:

Q: What exactly happened to break your foot?

A: “I just stepped and tried to turn and run and my foot didn’t turn with me. It just stayed there and popped.”

Q: Do you think it was those new Nike Pro combat shoes?

A: “I don’t really know. It was bound to happen from what the doctors told me. It just happened to happen then.”

Q: I heard you actually played a while with your foot broken. That true?

A: “I played two series with it broken. When I did it, I just started saying, ‘man, I think I broke my foot.’ I tried to shake it off but as play kept going I knew I had actually done something bad to it. I was telling all the guys, ‘I think I broke my foot.’ They were just yelling, ’shake it off, man!’ But I could tell it was bad.”

Q: What was going through your mind when you realized you were seriously injured?

A: “I was devastated actually. I’d never been injured to the point I was sidelined for a long period of time. So it was kind of hard for me. But at the same time I knew I had guys who could back me up and step in and play. And that’s what they’ve been doing, so it really hasn’t been a problem.”

Q: Any concerns whatsoever with the foot now?

A: “No. I don’t feel any pain at all. I just try not to think about it and just go out there and play.”

Q: What did you think of the job Mike Gilliard, Amarlo Herrera, Jeremy Sulek and those guys did in your absence?

A: “I had great confidence in what we could do because of how hard we worked in the offseason and how guys had a different state of mind than last year, the work ethic and stuff. They did a wonderful job as far as stepping into play for both me and Christian [Robinson]. So I give big ups to the guys for that. I mean, I didn’t think ‘Mike G’ was going be SEC Player of the Week, but I knew he could play. So that part wasn’t a surprise. Amarlo stepped up real good for us, too.”

Q: They have played awfully well. Are you worried how you might fit back in?

A: “That’s up to the coaches. Everybody is still going to come out and work hard. No position is given to you around here, so you’ve got to work for it. And that’s what I’m going to do. Each and every day, all four of us, me, Christian, Mike G and Amarlo, we’re going to go out there and work every day, whether I’m starting or he’s starting or whoever’s starting.”

Q: Any discussion of you playing some strong safety with Shawn Williams out for the first half?

A: “No, I don’t think so. I’m just trying to get back into the flow of things at linebacker.”

Q: You and Cornelius Washington both come back this week, but y’all lose Williams and Kwame Geathers for a half. Has it been frustrating not being able to have the full defensive complement on the field for this team?

A: “Like I’ve said, each of the 11 positions on this defense, everybody’s got backups that can step into play any time. So with them coming out I know we’ve got guys that can back them up.”

Q: How eager are you to play again in a real game?

A: “I’m very anxious to get back out there in a game and get going again. I’ve been out so long, right now I’m just trying to work on my conditioning and trying to jell back with the defense. I just want to help my team the best I can.”

|– Chip Towers

367 comments Add your comment

Brian blackshaw

October 24th, 2011
5:10 am

This is going to be our year and the D is going to make a major statement…for this game and ages to come. Go Dawgs!

Odell Collins

October 24th, 2011
5:26 am

Beat Florida.

WtfWruthnkn

October 24th, 2011
5:34 am

Just play lights out…..

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
5:36 am

Great News Tree glad to have you back. What a come back it will be when we beat the Gators. GO DAWGS

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
5:39 am

THIS IS OUR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME THIS YEAR , SO BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE GATORS. GO DAWGS

red&black

October 24th, 2011
5:39 am

Wouldn’t be great to be playing both Boise and SC now that the defense (and offense to a certain degree) have jelled? I think both (games) would turn out quite differently. But I fear this game (Fla) may turn out as usual, for some unknown reason. Let’s hope (and pray) that the tide has at least started to turn, so that we can get back to “owning” them (Fla) like we used to.

Has been

October 24th, 2011
5:40 am

Richt has done a good job this season. Grantham will be bobos savior, because all we will need is 2 Tds/game and he will give us 3. Future looks great with this freshman and sophomore class. Vols keep telling everyone to wait, because of their youth but Richt is winning now. Lsu, UGA, tenn, and Auburn will own the next 5 years. Sorry Tide.

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
5:41 am

JUST A LITTLE REMINDER FOR YOU TECH FANS WERE IS TECH IN THE BCS NOW UMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

red&black

October 24th, 2011
5:47 am

@ Has been: I think you’re right. But never, ever count Saban out. Those guys are, and always will be very dangerous as long as he’s drivin’ the boat over there.

ZinoDawg

October 24th, 2011
6:03 am

Gators are going down.

dawgerbrown

October 24th, 2011
6:18 am

Please DAWGS……….this week, put it together for four quarters. No careless turnovers, no stupid penalties. I think we’re close to Bama and LSU with our athletes. But, what separates us, is, you never see BAMA have the kind of mental lapses we do. We can do it, just gotta make it happen.

Nub

October 24th, 2011
6:22 am

Tree …. DawgNation is counting on some slober knocking from the D this Saturday againest the belly sliders… ! Go you Junkyard Dawgs…. Sic um…. Woof…. Woof… Woof

Paddy

October 24th, 2011
6:56 am

Nub……..slober knocking, belly sliders, sic um & Woof. Looks like you are ready for the Gators already. Pace yourself. We will need you at game time!

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
7:07 am

PLEASE WORK ON SPEICAL TEAMS

Spike

October 24th, 2011
7:07 am

Beat Florida.

WesDawg

October 24th, 2011
7:15 am

Pound the Gators. Blitz their qb til he craps himself. Pound the Gators. Unleash Crowell, Mitchell, and Charles upon them. Pound the Gators.

441North

October 24th, 2011
7:38 am

Bring the wood, Tree.

Tater Tot

October 24th, 2011
7:40 am

Pound them Gators like a hot date…..Go Dawgs !!!!

Cmon man

October 24th, 2011
7:43 am

As much as I hate to say this uga is in a lose lose situation. If they lose to uf the haters will come out in full force if they beat uf the haters will say uf isnt good and the east is down. Welcome back tree lets handle business on saturday and lock down the east one game at a time!

WtfWruthnkn

October 24th, 2011
7:50 am

So happy no losers today

MO DAWG

October 24th, 2011
7:55 am

We need to whip the Gators this year. If we can just prevent mistakes on our part and create turnovers we can do it. I’m on my way to JACKSONVILLE go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

MO DAWG

October 24th, 2011
7:56 am

Has anybody heard anything about Malcolm Mitchell #26?

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
7:57 am

GEORGIA 27 FLORIDA 10

gomdawg

October 24th, 2011
8:01 am

MM # 26 HE SAYS HE READY ,COACH SAID THAT IT’S DAY TO DAY

Say It Aint So

October 24th, 2011
8:01 am

So true gomdawg, special teams are so important at this point. No more breakdowns on special teams.

Say It Aint So

October 24th, 2011
8:05 am

Cmon man, I could care less what the haters say. I just want a win. The Gators can be down and the East can be down, I dont care, “just win baby”.

Jborodawg

October 24th, 2011
8:10 am

Just amazing he’s heeled so fast; great news! I know a couple people who broke their feet and were “down” 4, 5, 6 months. And, it doesn’t matter if Tree starts; he’ll get his playing time. I fear this game (Fla) will be a win for the Dawgs.

Nub…”belly sliders”…I like that.

Amazin’ too that “you know who” hasn’t brought up CMR’s record for the last ten years…

a update on mm

October 24th, 2011
8:10 am

i live in valdosta proud to be a wildcat in malcolm was at our game moving around pretty well now lets go out in beat uf like the junkyard dawgs we really are

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:10 am

They don’t even have a quarterback and we have too many LB. If you are going to play him against the cupcakes remaining on our schedule including our bowl opponent yet again another lackluster opponent, he has a grand total of zero meaningful games he will play in.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:12 am

“I actually asked Claude [Felton, associate athletic director] where we landed,” Richt said Sunday night. “Although we were making progress, you really can’t see it until your team flashes up in the top 25.”

“So hopefully we can stay there a while.”

So, now we DREAM to “flash up in the top 25” I mean wow, and hopefully even more wow, stay there just a little while – before dropping back out. We really have lofty goals around here now for the # 11 football program in 1-A wins all-time.

CJJScout

October 24th, 2011
8:19 am

Linebacker play has been excellent, we should redshirt this kid.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:19 am

“If they lose to uf the haters will come out in full force if they beat uf the haters will say uf isnt good and the east is down.” That is the 1st post you have ever written that is correct, The SEC East is WAY DOWN and you know it. So, you write the haters will say that or this. Excuse me, I said you finally wrote a correct post. I take it back. Only if we beat Florida, is The SEC East DOWN ? Are you kidding me ? The SEC East is WAY DOWN. Wrong again, as per usual with your posts.

Thomas Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:23 am

CJJScout,

You are right of course.

JAWJeRDAWG

October 24th, 2011
8:26 am

Focus in practice this week and set a good game plan for a dominating offense and defense against the Gators. And …

Work on all aspects of our special team’s play on OUR punting and kickoffs and set a gameplan to cover THEIR punts, kickoffs, and fourth- down play, and we should beat UF this weekend.

We have the talent to do that; we just have to plan and play up to our potential.

Even if we do win out, we’ll need some help from others for a SC loss to get UGA to the SECCG.

We don’t control our destiny, and need that help, but our winning out will help get us there.

Go Dawgs! and let’s beat those Gators this Saturday!

BG

October 24th, 2011
8:27 am

I hope Tree has a huge game against the gaytors.

BP-85

October 24th, 2011
8:35 am

You can count on M. Mitchell. He probably could’ve contributed against Vanderbilt but didn’t want to risk making a slight pull more serious and risk losing him for this Saturday.
Can’t wait to see the Tree take off a few Gator heads this weekend!!

7576DAWG

October 24th, 2011
8:42 am

We beat South Carolina all day . Our Defense gave up only 17 point’s in that game.
What’s going to determine the outcome of the Florida game is if Murray came keep his composure and finally beat a team from Florida without turnovers. Murray has got to be patient.
But it will be interesting to see if there were some weaknesses other teams detected in our defense in the second half of the Tennessee game. Something was definitely wrong. Hopefully Grantham knows what it was and has fixed it.

anoesis

October 24th, 2011
8:47 am

We should beat Florida at least as badly as we beat South Carolina.

Old Fart

October 24th, 2011
8:47 am

lets go out there and play a full 4 quarter football game and coaches hopefully dont be conservative during the whole game i believe in the coaches will do that so lets go AND PLAY GEORGIA FOOTBALL LIKE WE USED TOO no turnovers get a couple picks, couple sacks, and offense just do your thing score points and make open field tackles defense. and also lets win out and hope for south carolina will loose one for us lol but lets go dawgs sickem

Spaceman Spiff

October 24th, 2011
8:47 am

I see that the usual a**clown Thomas Brown wanna-be is back with his stuff again…Please answer us as to why you are so in love with him that you have to use his name…

Blessed Saints

October 24th, 2011
8:48 am

Just a reminder that we’ll be having our regular tribute and moment of silence on Saturday for Saint Jan Kemp, the courageous martyr who exposed UGA and Vince Dooley’s “remedial studies” fraud.

Please approach this special moment with reverence as we honor her sacred name.

Chip Towers

October 24th, 2011
8:49 am

MO DAWG: Malcolm Mitchell hasn’t practiced full speed yet. I’m skeptical about his effectiveness but he supposedly is telling coaches he’ll be ready to go.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzz

October 24th, 2011
8:51 am

Georgia Tech has the nation’s highest average SAT score for football players, and also the highest average high school GPA.

UGA, on the other hand, had one of the very lowest SAT averages, as well as a very low GPA average. As a result, three-fourths of UGA players are “special admits,” when means that they can not meet the minimum educational and intelligence requirements for admission to UGA, even as low as that is.

Yes, it would be great if Tech was more competitive with UGA, but most Tech fans are proud of our heritage of having intelligent, responsible athletes who go on to rewarding careers and contribute to society.

Contrast this with the very unintelligent t-h-u-g-s that UGA recruits. The 45 arrests over the last four years is proof enough, not to mention winning the Fulmer Cup. Most of these goons are tossed out after their eligibility is over, and many end up on welfare.

UGA is clearly just a football f-a-c-t-o-r-y dedicated to winning at all costs, and most UGA fans are okay with this, with no concern about the embarrassment this brings to the State of Georgia.

Mark Richt is the architect of this situation. With his $3.5 million salary, he will continue to recruit the illiterate brain-dead t-h-u-g-s who he thinks will win. Unfortunately for UGA fans, he’s not remotely in the same league with the top coaches in the SEC.

So the bottom line is that Georgia Tech – win or lose – does so with honor and integrity, while the lowlife gangbangers in Athens continue to embarrass us all. 

JDawg1785

October 24th, 2011
8:53 am

Welcome back, Tree! Beat those Gators!

anoesis

October 24th, 2011
8:56 am

Tech Fans: Why don’t they show the GPA on the scoreboard?

DawginLex

October 24th, 2011
8:56 am

SEC justice destroys us again.

That low life center for Vandy missed the 1st half against West Point while our nose tackle and our best hitter in the secondary miss Richt’s biggest game EVER.

Thank God Tree is back along with Washington.

Anyone predicting a blowout is an idiot.

If Brantley plays, they are a different team. Like the one that whipped UT and held its own versus Bama until he got hurt.

This will be a close low scoring battle.

tell me again

October 24th, 2011
8:57 am

Is this the year we go from underdawgs to wonderdawgs? GO DAWGS!

DIT

October 24th, 2011
8:58 am

People, please stop bringing up the SC game. Forget about the “what ifs”. We lost, plain and simple. When people talk about the “what ifs” we sound like tech people and their moral victories. BSU & SC beat us. It’s done. The only game that matters now is UF.
The haters hate because they are envious. If they did not care about UGA they would not be on a UGA blog.
Murray is the key to Saturday. He has to be error free. Well, that and I.C needs to run for 100 yards+.

Go Dawgs!

anoesis

October 24th, 2011
9:04 am

“Anyone predicting a blowout is an idiot.”

Time will tell.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 24th, 2011
9:06 am

DawginLex, we do not have a “justice system in this country”. It is a legal system. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

Go Coach Richt and Grantham. I believe the D will be ready to go. I am hoping that the O side has been keeping things close to the vest. Will we see Boo Malcome this weekend to add the 2nd punch to the running game. I like Thomas but we can’t keep running him up the middle, he needs his space. Wil we be throwing some shorter routs to gain some yards or will it be 2nd and 57 with a running play. Second half of the season starts this weekend. Richt knows how to win and he better put that knowledge to use. GO Dawgs!