Notes: Dantzler, Theus battle at RT; Malcome missing Crowell

Freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons steps in front of a receiver to intercept a pass from his safety position, where Georgia expects him to remain during preseason camp. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons steps in front of a receiver to intercept a pass from his safety position, where Georgia expects him to remain during preseason camp. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

GEORGIA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt paid Watts Dantzler a compliment after Friday’s practice. He said that the sophomore offensive lineman has “an edge to him” and has “definitely made improvement since the spring.”

But then Richt added, “Having a guy like [John] Theus behind you probably is good motivation.”

In a nutshell, that is now the Bulldogs’ competition at right tackle. With Thursday’s news that projected starter Kolton Houston remains ineligible indefinitely, Georgia has turned to the Dantzler and Theus to battle for the spot.

Theus is, of course, a 6-foot-6, 309-pound five-star recruit out of Jacksonville. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound Dantzler was nearly as big of a deal when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Dalton in 2011.

But, of course, Dantzler has a year’s head start. He laughed when he heard Richt’s theory on his marked improvement.

“I don’t think that’s made me sharper, John being here,” said Dantzler, who played in three games as a freshman. “It’s a great addition that he’s here; he’s someone to battle against. But this year I’m more confident. I know the playbook in and out. I’m very confident going out there and making calls, whereas last year I was hoping the guard knew what to do.

“I studied a lot this summer, worked really hard on the playbook and I’m very confident out here. I think that’s where the sharpness is coming from.”

Richt said Dantzler and Theus are splitting repetitions with the No. 1 offense almost evenly through the first two days of preseason camp. At the moment, Houston almost no reps with the first two units.

Houston is being tested once a week until banned substance that has been in his body for two years is reduced enough for his eligibility to be restored.

“I love Kolton,” Dantzler said. “He’s a good player and one of our best linemen. It definitely hurts us a little bit, but it gives me an opportunity to step up and play. Hopefully it will get resolved and he’ll come back.”

The rest of the line appears fairly well squared away. Neither Dantzler nor Theus are getting any work at left tackle. Left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews and right guard Chris Burnette seem set at the other positions.

“The two things are to get the starting lineup [set] as soon as we possibly can and let them work together,” Richt said. “They need to be a cohesive unit that works together in tandem. . . . We’re going to find a starting five, then we’re hoping to find two or three or four more we think can play.”

Malcome misses Crowell

Ken Malcome is excited about opening the 2012 camp as Georgia’s starting tailback. But his voice turns decidedly somber when the subject turns to his former backfield mate Isaiah Crowell. The two players are close friends and remain so now that Crowell has transferred to Alabama State following his dismissal from UGA.

“I talked to him just this morning; I talk to him every day,” Malcome said. “I tell him to stay humble, change is for the better, always do the right thing. I try to keep him levelheaded. He sent me a picture over there. He’s doing well now. He’s knows what he had, but things happen to keep us humble.”

Malcome definitely remains humble. He wasn’t crowing about his current status as the top player at Georgia’s marquee position.

“I still think he would’ve been our best back,” Malcome said. “Coming into the season all we were thinking about was what a great combo we were going to be. But things went differently. Now he’s going to bring Alabama State a championship and I’m going to try to bring one here.”

Malcome said the Bulldogs remain confident in their running ability with him and senior Richard Samuel leading the way. And he likes what he has seen from freshman Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, whom they are working overtime to get ready.

“They’re learning faster than I did, a lot faster,” said Malcome, a redshirt sophomore who played in six games last season, starting two. “They came in levelheaded and ready to play. They mess up like we all mess up but, overall, they’ve done a good job.”

Harvey-Clemons at safety

Richt said freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons will work exclusively at safety during camp. The 5-star prospect was signed as an outside linebacker but, at 6-5, 207, hasn’t gained the size to play that position.

“I don’t think he’s really thick enough at this moment or strong enough to play the outside linebacker position,” Richt said. “He could do it athletically, without question, he could play safety without question. I think he could play the nickel; I think he could probably play the corner; he could probably play receiver, too. He’s just very athletic, has very good ball skills, has got a lot of quickness and burst.”

Practice update

The Georgia football team held its second practice of preseason camp Friday afternoon, working out for approximately two and a half hours in shorts and helmets. The Bulldogs will practice in shoulder pads on Saturday and Sunday before donning full pads for the first time Monday.

“Yesterday I thought everybody was really willing to put in a hard day’s work and started off well, and right at the very end I think the heat got to them a little bit,” Richt said. “We didn’t finish as strong as we should. Today was much better all the way around. We did get some cloud cover that helped, but I thought we had tremendous energy all the way around and it was a good second day. Everything went like clockwork.”

Richt noted that he and his staff have been able to get a feel for the Bulldogs’ true freshmen after two practices.

“We are pleased with the talent base and the attitude and willingness to be learned and coached,” Richt said of the freshmen. “Their skill sets are outstanding, and the athleticism is outstanding. I heard a lot of coaches talk about the explosive ability of the defensive players that play on or near the line of scrimmage.

“I think we did a good job of bringing in some outstanding freshmen. We felt like every one of them have a very good chance of contributing this season. Time will tell if all of them will play, but we feel like they are all in the running to help us win this year.”

Beginning Saturday, Georgia will practice in the mornings until classes start on Monday, Aug. 13. The Bulldogs are slated to practice 10 straight days to start camp before an off day Aug. 12.

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60 comments Add your comment

[...] Notes: Dantzler, Theus battle at RT; Malcome misses Crowell [...]

txfood

August 3rd, 2012
10:00 pm

28 Days to go!!!

t2go

August 3rd, 2012
10:21 pm

Rolf Brundlinger

August 3rd, 2012
10:25 pm

Of course, a kid from Southwest Dekalb would be “friends” with a punk like Crowell. Change the course Boo or the course will chain you!

jaglaw

August 3rd, 2012
10:31 pm

jaglaw

August 3rd, 2012
10:33 pm

I thought our OL did a good job against the defense in the spring game. Our OL may not be.as bad as it is seems.

jaglaw

August 3rd, 2012
10:40 pm

Why is it that when Spurrier gets a Ga kid to committee the headlines read…..” Spurrier invades Ga to steal away prospect….”. But never is it mentioned that CMR ” invaded with stealth like skills” to get an out of state recruit. 2 from NC, numerous.out of south FL, Texas and Stafford. Do other media constantly bash there college coaches when a recruit goes out of state? Does Mafia Brown catch crap in media every time a if goes out of state? Texas, Ga , and FL are huge states, kids are going to go to other state schools……get over it .

Dawg-Gawn

August 3rd, 2012
10:43 pm

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s just thinking of yourself less often.”

Love this article Chip…. attitude of gratitude seems to be spreading between the players, realizing that surrounding yourself with talent is not a bad thing, it will extend they’re athletic careers by sharing the knocks & dings of the game…. saving that body for the next level!

Also excited about adding depth to the OL… finally getting coach Friend some intelligent muscle to work with!

I definitely like the ingenious idea (good coaching) with Josh Harvey-Clemons taking advantage of his athleticism at safety while letting him develop and learn the game…. certainly beats wasting a red/shirt Freshman year.

I am believing in the “G”

BandWagon

August 3rd, 2012
11:00 pm

Gonna need to see something more out of Malcome & Samuel before I get on board. Samuel’s 2 yard per carry average, and Malcome’s 4 yard per carry average, wern’t much to crow about last year. Neither scored many td’s all season.

Same with the Freshman, what they did in high school doesn’t matter anymore, they got to come out and prove they wern’t ranked too high. I’ll believe it when I see it.

chuck

August 3rd, 2012
11:18 pm

I like the fact that we have some depth on the OL. The Long brothers both can play and we would be OK.

William

August 3rd, 2012
11:30 pm

I’m worried. No backs, no line, suspensions on D. Is anyone else as apprehensive about this season as I am? Or is it just me?

haha

August 3rd, 2012
11:33 pm

Haha, glad we were trying to find out who our linemen were going to be to see which ones would be able to go for sixty minutes, seems like we’ve narrowed it down pretty quick after two days of practice in shorts and helmets, my scrawny butt could look like I have the Georgia edge in shorts and helmets. Nothing but your basic preseason BS

Relax Willie

August 4th, 2012
12:02 am

Just take a deep breath and relax. Camp is a long way from over and you can’t worry about the season until we get there. We aren’t getting anymore players for this season so lets chill and see what we have at the end of camp. Kids will develop through camp and become contributors. And the suspensions wont be as bad as feared. ; )

Go Dawgs!

Tide Roll

August 4th, 2012
1:15 am

My God. This has got to be your worst nightmare. Theus battling Dantzler for the right tackle slot. What about JuJuan James, Vadal Alexander or maybe Brandon Greene vying for the spot. Oh, my bad. James, from N. Gwinnett, is a 3- year starter at Tennessee. Alexander, from Kolton Houston’s school. Buford, is at Anthony Jenning’s future home, LSU, and of course Cedar Grove’s Brandon Greene is kicking ass at BAMA. Do it Richt, do it Booboo, and do it DAWGS! 32 friggin years. No Wonder.

7576DAWG

August 4th, 2012
2:12 am

If Lattimore for South Carolina and a lot more Freshmen for Alabama, LSU and Auburn can come in their first year and excel starting the first game so can Gurley and Marshall . Sure they may not know EVERY blocking assignment or Every play in the play book but they can learn as the season go’s on. Bobo and Mark Richt has got to end this crap about Freshmen having to know everything before they can play.
These two have way too much talent to let them sit on the bench until the 5TH or 6TH game. Malcome is a very good back and I like what I am hearing but I can guarantee he is 3RD string comparing his strength, work ethics and talent to Marshall and especially Gurley. CMR needs to run Marshall at least 15 to 20 times in the first game and let Gurley run no less than 10 times. How many times Malcolm get’s the ball should depend on what kind of production we get from him when he gets the ball. Samuels should start at Fullback. We don’t need him at Tailback. He is too slow at Tailback. If CMR will run Marshall and Gurley at least 25 to 30 time in the first three games and Malcome in mop up duty , which will get him plenty of carry’s one of these three will move to the top as our Tailback. Also we don’t know yet if any of the three will fumble a lot. If they don’t know how to carry the ball , the SEC defense will strip the ball the entire game.
Georgia can have a great running game this year if the coaches handle it right.

[...] Georgia Bulldogs: Notes: Dantzler, Theus battle at RT; Malcome missing Crowell [...]

Nub

August 4th, 2012
6:20 am

The only point I want to make is Richard Samuel
is a DANG FINE DAWG…. SicUm

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
7:23 am

yes run the dam ball !!!! play Gurley and Marshall alot and Richt and Bo Bo need to play all 3 of our talented Q.B.s.. LeMay and Mason.. need playing time.. injuries happen we need backups.. and competition = improvement.. Go dawgs win the SEC Champs THIS year !!

GT = 10 time loser to Mark Richt

August 4th, 2012
7:39 am

Funny how Turd Roll is always concerned with Georgia football.

Recruiting | MrSEC

August 4th, 2012
7:45 am

[...] 8. True freshman John Theus could be Georgia’s answer at right tackle. [...]

We Run the East

August 4th, 2012
7:58 am

Lattimore is a true special talent. If Gurley or Marshall is as talented as Lattimore, they will start and play right from the first game. My guess would be they are NOT as talented (pure overwhelming power, and adequate speed. HUGE heart). I think we would know by now if one of those two was to be a breakout this year. Could be, but I doubt it. UGA’s best back is now at Bama State.

CHDawg

August 4th, 2012
8:02 am

As I’ve said for a couple of years, I think Malcome is going to be a very strong SEC TB, and Samuel still hasn’t reached his tremendous potential. Malcome sounds like he matured a lot, and maturity might have been the one thing holding him back from greatness. Marshall could be fantastic on screens and swing passes very early because of his speed. If we can block, I think we will have a good running game. The O line has to block one of the best D’s in the nation every day in practice, so they may mature much faster than normal. We have a lot of young talent and they actually looked pretty strong on GDay, so we could be fine there. Go Dawgs!

Is there an editor on board

August 4th, 2012
8:05 am

Did Coach Richt really say “to be learned” … never heard that from him before….If he did, my apologies..otherwise..just quit trying to quote people….

Is there an editor on board

August 4th, 2012
8:18 am

Just listened to the Presser.. The AJC should be beaten…if you quote…confirm…don’t make yourself look stupid.. by trying to make others look stupid…

loel

August 4th, 2012
8:42 am

jaglaw,,,, well said about signing out of state players. The high school drop-outs want to always jump on Richt. You mentioned several players but just where was A J Green from?????

RedDawg

August 4th, 2012
9:03 am

Let Ken Malcome start the game if he’s healthy, sprinkle in Marshall & Gurley. Put Samuel in the 4th as the finisher. Just at the start of the season and go from there. GO DAWGS!!!

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
9:22 am

Malcome will be good this year.. maturity is key.. Run Samuel at F.B..

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
9:28 am

Our S & C has improved .. important overlooked factor >>>> Nutrionist and lunch buffet at noon in Butts Merre .. just watch performance oline and running game in 4th Qtr..Go dawgs win SEC Champs THIS year !!!

Again some sort of lacking even a min education is the key

August 4th, 2012
10:27 am

All states have families that move in or move out. This is the USA. Specifically, metro Atlanta and entire state of Georgia are engines ( pre Obama days) for jobs and opportunities. THIS FACT is why the state of Georgia sees kids going elsewhere.
Maybe a kid grew up in SC, or Florida or Ohio and they simply want to return to family and cousins, and such. They may also have bonded emotionally with that state school or that coach, as a small kid.

UGA gets our share. We have always seen kids depart Ga. over the years. When I was a Senior in HS in 1967( racial issues) The TOP PLAYER in Ga when to W Virgina. He was from Carver of Atlanta and that year we began to see the competition between formerly divided school systems. Years later, another kid ( running back) signed with Michigan and he played at N Springs HS and was Caucasian kid. He grew up in state of Michigan.

This is normal gang. If you had some sort of normal reasoning skills, you would be aware of these motivations for young men to go elsewhere OR come to UGA or to GT.

Remembered always

August 4th, 2012
10:32 am

Richard Samuel for his TRUE GRIT performence vs Florida last year will always be remembered by UGA fans. He manned up and had he not hurt his leg or ankle, he would have scored AGAIN with maybe 13 seconds on the clock on the next play.

He is a UGA player and DGD forever for this one game. He had heart. End of story.

Goooooooooooo Dogs.

OldFan

August 4th, 2012
10:51 am

I assume we’ll have a kicking game this season, but with two true freshmen, I’m not sure. Any status on the kickers?

Russell Hall

August 4th, 2012
10:53 am

Richard Samuel is a true team player and a great kid.

jman8283

August 4th, 2012
11:52 am

Has anyone heard anything about Jordan Jenkins yet?

John

August 4th, 2012
12:16 pm

Yeah, it’s a real shame we have consensus 5 star John Theus, an absolute beast, according to reports coming out of Athens, and 4 star Watts Dantzler battling out for the right tackle spot. Also hearing that 4 star Xzavier Ward and 4 star Zach DeBell are both now 295 pounds and expected to move into the rotation at some point this year. When and if Houston regains his eligibility, we will have the deepest offensive line we’ve had since our 2002 SEC 13-1 team. 1st string: LT Gates, LG Lee, C Andrews, RG Burnette, and RT Dantzler/Theus. 2nd: LT Austin Long/Theus, LG Beard, C Burnette, RG Hunter Long, RT Dantzler/Theus 3rd: LT Ward, LG Pyke, C Nathan Theus, RG Mobley, RT DeBell Wildcard: Houston

Expected to be in rotation: Returning 3 year starter Gates, returning 2 year starter Burnette, returning backup center Andrews, returning starter Lee, returning backup rotation Dantzler, Theus, top 50 JUCO and Sophomore Beard, returning top 50 nationally and consensus 4 star Austin Long, Ward, and DeBell with Houston if and when becomes eligible.

Go Dawgs!

bubba4dawgs

August 4th, 2012
12:44 pm

It’s great to have Marshall and Gurley and no doubt their talent will shine. One of the key assignments they must do and do well is pass block and that comes with also knowing the playbook and being able to carry out their assignments. Crowell was not good at that! He hated pass blocking which may be why he would run a play or two and then take himself out of the game! Just think about how good he could be if he was a good pass blocker. Anyway, I wish him well and hope he gets his act together and that we hear some good things about him in the future! GO DAWGS!!

Dawg_Mike

August 4th, 2012
1:00 pm

I hear that Quavon Hicks is kicking butt at fullback. 270 pounds and a monster.
Unfortunately, if he gets the same number of carries this year in short yardage situations as our fullbacks did last year it wont matter.
STP being stubborn CMB ! WAKE UP

John

August 4th, 2012
1:04 pm

Hearing that Jordan Jenkins has arrived performing even better than anticipated and is a chiseled 257 pounds. Expected to compete for starting outside linebacker position with Vasser being suspended. Also hearing that Josh Dawson has reported much greater than expected and will also compete for same starter’s spot opposite Jarvis Jones on the outside. He may cross train at the inside spot as well with Ogletree’s likely suspension.

Also, some excellent preferred walk-ons have joined the team: Grayson’s Devin Gillespie, a 5′11 195 pound db who was Grayson’s state and national title team’s all-purpose leader with over 3400 yards; Calhoun’s Clay Johnson, a 6′1 175 wr/db was Calhoun’s all-state cornerback that picked off numerous passes last year returning several for long td’s and had about 700 yards receiving on their state title and nationally recognized team; Colquitt County’s Preston Mobley, a 6′3 300 pound offensive guard/center that played exceptionally well in their close loss to Grayson in the playoffs where he primarily blocked against the #1 national recruit Nkemdiche; East Coweta’s Cole Trolinger, a 6′5 235 pound tight end from Newnan, Georgia. Trolinger should provide another solid backup at the te pos with the loss of Orson Charles; GAC’s Jared Chapple, a 6′4 220 pound tight end who played quarterback for Greater Atlanta Christian; and Walton’s Bradley Kilborn, a 6′3 205 pound quarterback who directed Walton’s outstanding offense. These are just a few of the walkons that have joined UGA this year. I believe a couple of these could eventually earn a scholarship ala Tra Battle and Verron Haynes and current Dawgs Brandon Harton, Connor Norman, and Reuben Faloughi.

Speaking of walk-ons, I’m hearing that it will be an intense battle at fullback between returning backup and occasional starter Alex Ogletree (Alec’s twin brother), new signee Quayvon Hicks who has reported at about 265 to 270 and in great shape, and a walkon that has impressed the coaching staff much the same way Verron Haynes and JT Wall did. Merritt Hall, a 5′11 240 pound fullback will battle the other two and possibly Richard Samuel as well for the fullback position this fall.

John

August 4th, 2012
1:08 pm

I’m hearing that Quayvon Hicks is even at a higher level than Brannon Southerland and is expected at some point this season to be the man at fullback. Expect the fullback position to be used much more like it was when Southerland was at his peak.

John

August 4th, 2012
1:27 pm

The last two times we relied on freshmen for punters it has worked out quite well for us. Jonathan Kilgo had a very good freshman season as Drew Butler did as he was our coffin corner punter his freshman year.

@John

August 4th, 2012
2:41 pm

Appreciate all the info you provided. Sounds like good news for Dog fans, but not so good news for readers on here that favor teams on UGA’s schedule.

Im just Sayin..................

August 4th, 2012
3:01 pm

Anything on Blake Tibbs, yet?

BKing

August 4th, 2012
3:08 pm

I get so annoyed at football fans who have never strapped a chinstrap or probably never played a down at their respective “school” and come on these blogs acting like “they” have accomplished something…it is hilarious…I cheer for UGA and I have a sense of pride in my team, but for the love of God, when they win I don’t act like I earned a promotion at my job…I breath a sigh of relief and find out what time the braves come on…Get a life, people!!!! Alabama fans, I’m mostly referring to you…Go Dawgs!!!

GeoffDawg

August 4th, 2012
3:36 pm

Tide Troll is obviously just doing a character. A character suffering from Aspergers I grant you, but a character nonetheless.

Spike 80DF

August 4th, 2012
3:47 pm

I like moving JHC to safety, like Grantham has said a million times, he puts the best 11 on the field.

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
4:21 pm

quietly helping our young men muscle up is Jen Ketterling.. been on our nutrionist a year now.. jocks can eat a healthy lunch buffet Free at Butts Mehre.. Go Dawgs !!!

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
4:34 pm

UGA Nutrionist Jen Ketterly feeding our troops.. GO Dawgs !!

Glory between the Hedges

August 4th, 2012
5:24 pm

Everyday until the season starts; I will cringe before I hit AJC’s sports site, with the thought of a season ending injury poping up on my computer screen. If it’s not suspensions, its injuries. We can’t afford too many injuries to start this season. Not with the numbers on the roster that we have. Also, I havent heard anything about the OL that signed in last years recruiting class named Xavier Ward. He was a big 3 star Lineman with alot of potential and have not heard much about him since he has been in Athens.

Kerryb

August 4th, 2012
5:39 pm

I read the practice report for the this morning and if this doesn’t tell you what a beast John Theus is as a Freshman nothing will. They were doing the “Oklahoma” drill today and Theus went up against Cornelius Washington. They said neither guy budged it was just one huge collision.

Destin Dawg

August 4th, 2012
6:06 pm

Soph’s Xzavier Ward and Zach De Bell are both up close to 300 Lb. and will see action…sooner or later depending on performance/injuries… Go Dawgs !!

[...] Georgia Bulldogs: Notes: Dantzler, Theus battle at RT; Malcome missing Crowell [...]