A lot of news and notes coming out of the Georgia football camp on Monday, starting with Brandon Boykin being named the recipient of the 2011 Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. I’m in the process of putting together a notebook for tomorrow’s newspaper. But, in the meantime, following is a quick summary of the information and quotes that came out of today’s season-wrapup teleconference call with Georgia coach Mark Richt. Enjoy . . .
On 5-star running back signee Keith Marshall, an early enrollee who began classes at UGA on Monday:
“He’s a very talented young man. He’s very focused. As a matter of fact, I walked into the meeting last night and he had a playbook in his hand and he was looking over assignments. It just gave me a moment to grin seeing how excited he was about being at Georgia.
“I’m sure he’s a little nervous, too, like a lot of guys. I remember my first night I spent away from home. There’s a little bit of anxiety, but it’s mixed in there with a lot of excitement.”
On what running backs have to do to play better:
“I think the biggest thing will be consistency and maturity. That’s what we have got to get. We played a lot of inexperienced running backs. Those guys have gained some experience and hopefully because of that they will become more mature players and more consistent players. I think that’s going to be the two most important things for me. And as always the fundamental things such as ball security and pass protection are important. We have to do a better job than we have in that area this year.”
On the Bulldogs’ two other early enrollees, quarterback Faton Bauta and offensive lineman Mark Beard:
“Pronounce this man’s name properly . . . it’s Fuh-TONE BOW-tuh. He’s a quarterback for us. Faton is here as well, as is Mark Beard, an offensive lineman for us. Those guys were here at the team meeting last night. They got a chance to introduce themselves to their teammates and got a round of applause from their teammates. They did a good job of welcoming them. And now they’re going to class and getting ready for the off-season program.” [Added that Bauta will definitely play quarterback)
On off-season priorities for trying to get to the next level:
On satisfaction of the 10-4 season:
"I think we came a long way this year. I'm proud of the effort. I'm proud of the progress. But we're still on a journey to do even greater things and that's going to be the goal."
On whether coaching staff will remain intact:
"I certainly hope so. I've had no indication otherwise. I guess I'll just leave it at that. I've heard nothing at all."
On whether sophomore quarterback Hutson Mason will return next season:
"I've talked to Hutson a couple of times and I'm not sure he's 100 percent settled on what he's going to do at this moment. But when that time comes we'll let everybody know."
On decisions of tight end Orson Charles and some other underclassmen to enter the NFL draft or not:
"We had a team meeting last night and all those guys were there. That doesn't guarantee everybody's going to stay, but at least they were all there. I guess it means they aren't 100 percent sure what they're going to do. When is everybody going to decide and have some finality to it? I don't know. Certainly they have to have it by the deadline. I think there's some guys who's heads are spinning still and they're not 100 percent sure what they're going to do.
"There's a bunch of them staying, but I can't sit here and say every guy has nailed it down."
On decision of sophomore cornerback Jordan Love to transfer:
"I just want to say that I really appreciate everything Jordan contributed to Georgia. He's a great kid and I really wish him well." [Knows of no one else leaving]
On whether they’ll sign full allotment of 25 scholarships in recruiting:
“That’s the hope. We’ll see. There’s a lot of things to do and there’s still a lot of great players out there. There’s a lot of decisions to be made. We’re just working our tails off trying to finish this class off as best we can. We’re going to have to wait and see if we get the full allotment or not. But we’ll be shooting for it.”
Goals for 2012 season:
“As always, we want to compete in such a way and prepare in such a way that we’ve got a chance to win every time we go out there. The goals aren’t going to change. We want to win the East. If you win the East and you win the SEC, you’ve got a shot at the next one. So, you know, that’s not going to change for us.”
Offensive lineman Trinton Sturdivant is not expected to return for a sixth season. . . . No changes forthcoming in Strength & conditioning. . . . Spring practice will begin the week after UGA’s spring break [around March 19). . . . Richt favors the $2,000 stipend for student-athletes.