UGA notebook: Two positions for Washington; Samuel ‘1B’ at fullback?

ATHENS — Cornelius Washington, who played outside linebacker last season and moved to defensive end in the spring, has practiced at both positions this month.

So what is Georgia’s plan for him this fall?

Both of the above, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after practice Thursday.

“He’s going to play both in a rotation,” Grantham said, “and I think he’s going to have a really good year.”

Grantham elaborated: “When he puts his hand in the dirt as a true defensive lineman, you have some athletic ability, a little bit of a mismatch on guards sometime in space, so that’s a benefit. And then because of his body type and athletic ability, he can still play outside ’backer … and give you some pass rush out there.”

When Washington is at linebacker, Grantham mentioned several options at end: Garrison Smith; starting nose guard John Jenkins, who “knows how to play some end too”; and Ray Drew, who “can do some things.”

“We’re going to mix and match those guys to try to get athletes on the field,” Grantham said.

Abry Jones will start at the other end.

Samuel 50-50 TB/FB

Running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Thursday that the competition at tailback “has been probably the stiffest I can ever remember it being around here at that position.”

Freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall continue to compete with sophomore Ken Malcome and senior Richard Samuel, although McClendon noted that Samuel’s practice time is split “about 50-50” between tailback and fullback.

Echoing the previous day’s comments by head coach Mark Richt, McClendon said Malcome likely will start the Sept. 1 opener against Buffalo but stopped short of assuring it.

“It’s likely that Ken will be there, but it’s definitely not final right now,” McClendon said. In any case, he indicated that two or three others also will see action at tailback in the opener.

The coaches do not intend to name a pecking order, “especially with us having a few more padded practices,” McClendon said. “You don’t want to put anything out and in three days have to change it, because then that’s a whole ’nother story you’ve got to deal with.”

At fullback, McClendon reiterated that former walk-on Merritt Hall “is going to start the game” against Buffalo but said Samuel “is definitely going to play” that position, too. He said Hall and Samuel could be considered “1A and 1B” at fullback and added that freshman Quayvon Hicks also will see action there.

“We’re going to try to keep [Samuel] progressing at both [tailback and fullback] as long as we possibly can before we have to have him at one spot or the other,” McClendon said.

Etc.

Actor Samuel L. Jackson attended Georgia’s closed-to-the-media “situational scrimmage” in Sanford Stadium on Thursday afternoon and spoke briefly to the team before the practice. Grantham said he has seen a few of Jackson’s movies and liked them.  “I like his temperament,” Grantham added with a grin. . . . Freshman outside linebacker Josh Dawson will get playing time right away, Grantham said.  “I’ve been very pleased with his progress,” Grantham said. “I look forward to watching him play next Saturday.” … Branden Smith and Malcolm Mitchell are the likely punt returners, said McClendon, who coaches that unit.

– Tim Tucker, AJC

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131 comments Add your comment

Shawn

August 23rd, 2012
9:40 pm

Sounds like we may have a running game this year! Go Dawgs!!

Da'dick roger

August 23rd, 2012
9:40 pm

David Granger

August 23rd, 2012
9:46 pm

I would LOVE to see UGA give Richard Samuel a lot of playing time at tailback. He was a 5-star running back coming out of high school, and didn’t complain a bit when he was moved to linebacker. He just worked his tail off, and gave it everything he had. Last year he looked real good in the Florida game, and we NEED a power back…especially one with a little speed, too. He’s been the absolute definition of a DGD since he’s been on campus, and I’d love to see him go out with a big year.

Dick Enhand

August 23rd, 2012
9:50 pm

Dick Enhand

August 23rd, 2012
9:51 pm

The Auditor

August 23rd, 2012
9:51 pm

It’s Thursday! Let’s get drunk!!!

slawdawg

August 23rd, 2012
9:52 pm

Lets get the party started!

UGA football fans

August 23rd, 2012
9:57 pm

Like this page right now. facebook.com/ajcuga

zoli

August 23rd, 2012
9:59 pm

Washington and G. Smith will be beasts this year….mark it down.downs

The Factor

August 23rd, 2012
10:00 pm

Nice to see we have so many athletes now a proven senior DGD like Samuel with his speed is fighting for starting time.

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:00 pm

Run the damn ball!!!

Frank Lane

August 23rd, 2012
10:03 pm

Run the fullback dive like Keith Henderson did with Samuel. He is a breakaway threat every time he touches the ball.

The Factor

August 23rd, 2012
10:04 pm

I guess that big dumb a– Roll Tide will be here soon. Funny how most people I know who actually went to Alabama are pretty humble. With that many SEC titles, they have plenty of room to be – not Roll Tide. Can’t you just picture him in his overalls…

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:04 pm

I’d love to see a package on defense where Jenkins is at nose and Geathers is at end, or Jenkins at end and Geathers at nose OR even better go to a 4-3 on some plays and have Geathers and Jenkins both on the line at the same time with Abry Jones and Cornelius Washington at the ends. Oh my goodness!!!

Dick Enhand

August 23rd, 2012
10:08 pm

Touch the balls!

jack bull

August 23rd, 2012
10:09 pm

talked to my BIG 12 guru this evening. He’s saying that just about ALL the talk out there (out there being Kansas-other than the drought) is about UGA traveling to Misery the 2nd week. He said it’s the number topic on radio shows. Of course, he’s frustrated about it, and says evidently the SEC is taking over BIG 12 country. He said it’s identical to the Oklahoma State game we played a couple of years ago, meaning that was Okie States biggest home game EVER, and that this will be Misery’s biggest home game EVER. And of course we all know how that turned out.

One more thing on the drought, look for the price of corn to sky-rocket. He said they normally harvest about 150 bushels an acre(in October), and they’ve already HAD to harvest this years crop, and got about 20 bushels an acre….Just thought I’d pass that on..

Dawgs go 10-2…losing one or two due to the fact of having a true freshman kicker..and a QB who likes to turn the ball over too much…

Mobile Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:09 pm

I hope Samuel has a great Senior year. On another note, Samuel Jackson speaking to the team. Someone tell me what his qualifications are, what does he bring?

Dragon

August 23rd, 2012
10:13 pm

Obviously you’ve never seen “Snakes on a Plane.”

UGA football fans

August 23rd, 2012
10:15 pm

correction, site has been confirmed at facebook.com/ugafootballfans

Dick Enhand

August 23rd, 2012
10:15 pm

I bet he gave that speech where he would quote from Exodus before he killed people in Pulp Fiction.

Fan

August 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

Dragon and Enhand beat me to to it. Mobile, please tell me you’re joking. It’s Samuel Jackson. Sheesh

TDawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:21 pm

But I will strike down upon thee and you will know

Paul in NH

August 23rd, 2012
10:29 pm

Can Samuel L come up with any tweets about UGA to top some of his tweets from the Olympics? The man was Gold for the home team

http://twitter.com/SamuelLJackson/status/231128995029217282

Gus Walter Hank Jr.

August 23rd, 2012
10:32 pm

Samuel L. Jackson is a Georgia fan? That’s awesome!

Cody

August 23rd, 2012
10:33 pm

I read the Georgia blogs a lot, but I don’t consider myself a fan of anyone outside of LSU. To me, if you believe what Georgia coaches keep saying about their talented freshmen on defense then you’ve got to figure the Dogs will have a much deeper defense and an excellent front seven. Grantham seems to have improved the defense a lot. I think Georgia could be very good this season (but probably not good enough to beat LSU or the Bammers) if Murray holds onto the ball more and their special teams improve. Your old running back Crowell seemed to be a cancer and honestly made your team look bad last season with his childish actions. If Murray limits mistakes and the kicking game improves, maybe we’ll play you guys again. Good luck this season though and please beat Florida again!! Haha.

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:38 pm

@Cody why can’t we beat LSU or Alabama? We have a defense just as good as theirs…our offense is better than both…better QB play…better WRs…our only downfall is special teams and turnovers, well they were. We dominated LSU in the first half of the SEC title game, but we turned the ball over too much in the 2nd half. Learn to finish, and we can beat anybody!

Outer Banks Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:39 pm

I can’t wait to see this defense on the field… The whole team for that matter!

Looks like Da’Rick And Crowell been hanging…

‘you know how we do! We was jus getting high, talking bout our problems!’

Hahahaha… Glad those guys aren’t Dawgs…

Sic Em

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:41 pm

I also like how the coaches are going to let a lot of people play. That’s how you create depth. It’s not one back, it’s 4 backs. Not one fullback, we have 3 that can get the job done. 4 if you want to include Zander Ogletree. Not 3 or 4 linebackers, we have 6-8 that can get the job done. So much depth is being created and I like it. That’s what championship teams have, depth, depth, and more depth.

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:42 pm

Like LSU last season and Alabama. Both of those trains have depth. LSU has 4-5 running backs they can throw out there, so does Bama. LSU has 2nd stringers and some 3rd stringers that could start for some SEC schools. It’s ridiculous.

Outer Banks Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:43 pm

Da’Rick, Crowell, and Honey Badger walk into a bar…

Cody

August 23rd, 2012
10:46 pm

Henry, that’s my personal opinion based on overall depth. I think you can hang with LSU, just not beat them because I think we are stronger along the lines of scrimmage and our special teams are better. I would take Miles over almost any coach in the country. I do believe Georgia will be better off than last season with their running backs because Gurley and Marshall have loads of talent. As you said, Georgia could be much better this season because of their depth along the front seven defensively. Grantham is the main reason for that, because the talent was there with Martinez as well.

Mobile Dawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:50 pm

Samuel Jackson is an actor, like I said the other day, Saban has a Navy Seal talk to his team about adversity, just a different philosophy I guess. Give me the real world any day.

truedawg

August 23rd, 2012
10:51 pm

Sounds like alot of guys will get to prove it on the field. Everyone is hoping RS has a big year. I still think he would have been a real head hunter at middle linebacker. be above all he is a DGD! I’d love to see atleast one play with a 4 man front and see Big John and Gathers both on the field at the same time.
Another thought…I’d love to see a reporter ask this…. When or ever will we see number 6 carry the ball??
GO DAWGS!!!

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
10:54 pm

I haven’t seen a defense this ferocious since Van Gorder. It was only year 2 last year. This is year 3 where things begin to click even more and players become even sharper in the system. I feel sorry for opposing offenses. How is James Franklin [Mizzou QB] going to escape Jarvis Jones, Cornelius Washington, Abry Jones, John Jenkins, Kwame Geathers, etc? And the windows he throws into are going to be so small he’s going to need surgical precision to complete passes. It’s going to be rough on him and every QB we face.

Henry

August 23rd, 2012
11:06 pm

Franklin is a big boy now [6'2, 225 lbs]. There’s a reason they call him ‘Tank’. It’s not like he’s short or small. He’s big. So getting to him and knocking him down will be key.

Dawg for Life

August 23rd, 2012
11:11 pm

Cody, no offense, but if you would take miles over any head coach in the country, you are a homer. Not saying Bobo is great…he’s horribly predictible, but les miles is very over rated as a head coach. GREAT reacruiter, but he makes way too many time management mistakes to be as seasoned as he does. Thats just amature. Kicking game, you don’t know if you have the edge yet or not. UGA has a tremendous special teams tradition and usually from walk ons and people you don’t hear about or expect anything from. Murray will hold onto the ball better this year. What people keep forgetting is that last year he was a sophamore. Still learning, and a baby. This guy has seen it all now and knows what is comming. The depth at RB is huge if we can get production out of just three, we will win every game. We have tremendous ballance on offense. We have deep threats at reciever, a HUGE tight end which is what we need (not these guys you can flank out in a spread, we need a guy who can bowl you over and set the edge), and a defense that is as good if not better than anyones in the country not just the SEC. Remember, LSU and Bama both lost a rediculous amount of talent, and where as they both have talent to put in its place, they don’t have experience. UGA had talent the first year of Grantham, and didn’t do so well, now we have talent and experience. Dawgs might loose one tight game this year, but thats it.

Dawg for Life

August 23rd, 2012
11:17 pm

sorry for the spelling errors guys, I’ve been going since 4:30am, and am running on empty!

UGA football fans

August 23rd, 2012
11:36 pm

facebook.com/ugafootballfans

Chuck UGA

August 23rd, 2012
11:44 pm

Georgia Bulldogs, 2012 SEC Champions. Eat that, UF, Bama and UT fans.

RaleighDawg

August 24th, 2012
12:02 am

Any idea on why Zander Ogletree is not being mentioned in the fullback competition ?

Dawg for Life

August 24th, 2012
12:08 am

I think he is just getting out played right now. Plus the other guys are so much bigger than he is. He is only 224. Merritt might only be 10 lbs heavier, but thats a big difference when trying to blow a 240, 250 lb LB out of the hole. I bet Zander will make a name for himself before this is done though.

L.A. BULLDAWG

August 24th, 2012
12:17 am

SAMUEL L. JACKSON, IS AN ACCOMLISHED HUMAN BEING! IF HE WANTS TO WATCH UGA’S PRACTICE, AND MOTIVATE THESE KIDS, THEN SO BE IT! ANY DAWG FAN, EVEN IF THERE IS NO CNNECTION, IS A FAN OF MINE! BY THE WAY, LET RICHARD SAMUEL START! HE’S EARNED IT! MOST 5-STAR ATHLETE, WOULD’VE TRANSFERRED! GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR STICKING AROUND, AND BEING A TEAM PLAYER!

Dawg for Life

August 24th, 2012
12:19 am

L.A Bulldawg…nice with the caps…. lol….
Which wallet is yours?
….It’s the one that says Bad Mother F*&ker!

RED DOG 77

August 24th, 2012
12:32 am

Athens is home to a mean bunch of hungry BULLDOGS. The last few years have been trying for me and other members of “DAWG NATION”……………..But make no mistake, when Todd Grantham arrived and restored “attack football”, it was just a matter of time……………………Yup, the D will be nasty this year, but it is going to be fun seeing the O finally getting some much needed glory………………RED DOG’S big surprise for 2012?…………..Look for an underrated offensive line to man-up and open some “truck lanes” for all those RBs we have in the stable……………Yeseree BULLDOGS………………….It’s time to get ‘er done……………….GATA……………….RED

7576DAWG

August 24th, 2012
12:46 am

Code
Good honest assessment of LSU and Georgia. LSU’s biggest asset is they get the home state recruits to stay in Louisiana , something Georgia doesn’t seem to be able to do. That is why LSU has sure great depth all the time. Miles is a great recruiter.
Miles does make some crazy calls at times but how can anyone criticize when he is successful most of the times and when he isn’t he take full blame. Miles is a great coach and certainly makes Bobo seem like a kindergartner when you compare their game plans success.
LSU has earned the right for any praise given them or benefit of the doubt. I hope that Georgia has earned that much by the end of this year. Good Luck and hope to see you all in the Dome.

Dawg for Life

August 24th, 2012
12:52 am

I just think that LSU has won more games with their talent level than they have with coaching. I really do believe, on the whole, Georgia has a better coaching staff. Les is a lot like urban meyer. He came in at the right time, and a lot of the time, just got plain lucky. I think it will be UGA and LSU in the SEC championship game, and I think it will be really close. WAY too close to really call if both teams play to their potential and there are no injuries. I give UGA the edge with a late TD and a 17-12 game.

7576DAWG

August 24th, 2012
12:58 am

Can’t wait until we kick off. I am even going to watch the South Carolina game next Thursday . I want to see if Franklin has moved Vanderbilt up in the SEC ranks. My guess is Vanderbilt has a great first team and will be able to stay with a lot of very good teams but the gap between the first team and second is huge and they will not be able to play 60 minutes against a good team.
I also want to see id South Carolina has as good of a defense as we are hearing about. Has the injury last year to Lattimore slowed him down. If Spurrier runs him 25 or 30 times a game he probably will not last the whole year.

William

August 24th, 2012
1:57 am

I don’t believe for a minute we will win all our games. But we will give a good effort. That’s all I ask. Play hard and play to win. Too tough of a schedule to win them all. No kool aide here. I’m realistic to know we won’t go undefeated this year. Just win enough to win the EAst and play hard in Atlanta against LSU or Bammer.

Mr. Dawg

August 24th, 2012
2:03 am

I like the idea of Samuel getting snaps at fullback. It seems like a good fit to me and by plugging him in there he’ll probably get on the field as much if not more than any of the other running backs at either position. Moreover, I think it will increase his chances on getting drafted in the NFL. I hope it works out for him. He deserves it.

Paddy

August 24th, 2012
2:30 am

Raliegh Dawg,,,,,,,Zander is not mentioned because his FB teammates are far ahead of him. It is a good bet, if the coaches never mention your name you are not gong to play much.