Archive for August, 2012

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 …

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QB Aaron Murray spends summer honing craft with football’s finest

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray throws under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on Friday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray throws under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo on Friday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

ATHENS – Georgia’s Aaron Murray lights up like a school kid when asked that age-old question, “what did you do this summer?”

Murray did a lot, and most of it involved a football.

The Bulldogs’ highly-decorated junior quarterback spent a lot of time working out and throwing balls to his Georgia teammates in Athens. But the highlight of his summer vacation was a two-week stretch in July spent with the Eli and Peyton Manning and the some of the best quarterbacks in college football.

Murray served as a counselor at both the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, La., and the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Redondo Beach, Calif., in mid-July. For a football junkie like Murray, he was a kid in a candy store.

“It was great,” said Murray, who skipped SEC Football Media Days in order to attend the camps. “I got to do …

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Notebook: Georgia confirms Chase Vasser’s May DUI arrest

ATHENS — Georgia had more offseason troubles than we originally thought.

Vasser

Vasser

Chase Vasser, a junior outside linebacker from Gainesville, was arrested for driving under the influence back in May in Atlanta, Georgia officials confirmed on Thursday. The 21-year-old projected starter has been suspended for the first two games of the season as per UGA’s student-athlete conduct code, team spokesman Claude Felton confirmed late Thursday evening.

No other information was immediately available on Vasser’s arrest, which occurred May 11 in Buckhead. However, the Athens Banner-Herald reports that Vasser has a scheduled court appearance on Aug. 21 at the City of Atlanta Municipal Court.

The suspension of Vasser, who is 21, makes him at least the fourth defensive starter expected to miss playing time for the Bulldogs this season. Cornerback Sanders Commings is already suspended two games for a January arrest on domestic violence charges. Cornerback Branden Smith, …

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UPDATED: Georgia OL Kolton Houston still ineligible due to banned substance

ATHENS – As Georgia prepares to begin preseason football practices Thursday, Georgia offensive lineman Kolton Houston remains ineligible to compete for the Bulldogs, the school confirmed Thursday.

Houston, a redshirt sophomore offensive tackle from Buford, was ineligible last season due to what Georgia would say is only was “an NCAA issue.” But according to 10 pages of documents and letters released to the AJC on Thursday, Houston has been actively appealing a positive NCAA test for a banned substance since April of 2010.  At that time, Houston was informed he had tested positive for “19-norandrosterone” — an anabolic steroid — in a random drug screening.

According to appeals documents filed with the NCAA and president Mark Emmert, Houston has continued to test positive since then, though the school and family contend there has been no re-use of the substance and the levels have declined to the point of being disadvantageous. Houston reportedly was administered the …

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Georgia’s Reese Hoffa among the favorites to medal in shot put at Olympics

Reese Hoffa, a 2001 UGA graduate who still ives and train in Athens, is among the favorites to medal in the shot put in the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

Reese Hoffa, a 2001 UGA graduate who still lives and trains in Athens, is among the favorites to medal in the shot put in the London Olympics. (Getty Images)

ATHENS — At this point, Reese Hoffa is a grizzled old veteran when it comes to the Olympics. He’s only 34 years old, but London is his third Olympic Games and he has literally been all over the world as shot putter.

But that doesn’t make him immune to the rush that comes with competing with the best in the world. When Hoffa steps inside the circle for Friday morning’s qualifying round (the finals are Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.), he expects to be just as nervous and excited as he was for his first Games in 2004.

“I am definitely in a different place mentally,” said Hoffa, a UGA graduate from Augusta who still lives and trains in Athens. “But I still get very excited about going out there and testing my skills against the best shot-putters in the world. You get a little bit older and you …

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Georgia’s top five priorities heading into preseason football camp are . . .

Georgia coach Mark Richt, here flanked by All-Americans Bacarri Rambo (L) and Jarvis Jones at the Atlanta Sports Awards this past February, will be leaning hard on his defense in 2012.

Georgia coach Mark Richt, here flanked by All-Americans Bacarri Rambo (L) and Jarvis Jones at the Atlanta Sports Awards this past February, will be leaning hard on his defense in 2012.

ATHENS – The Georgia Bulldogs will take their first steps toward becoming the team they will be in 2012 when 105 players jog onto Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday for the first of 28 practices.

Despite a tumultuous offseason, there is an underlying optimism. The Bulldogs, 10-4 last season, are favored to repeat as SEC Eastern Division champions largely because they return 15 of the top 17 tacklers from a top-5, nationally-ranked defense and an All-SEC quarterback in Aaron Murray.

But for Georgia to realize its goal of returning to the SEC Championship game — and winning it this time — several issues have to be resolved during preseason camp. Here are the top five priorities going in:

1. IDENTIFY OFFENSIVE LINE

Nothing is more crucial to the Bulldogs’ success this season than being …

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