December 12, 2009

G.A. Hartley happy for opportunity

Graduate assistant Todd Hartley said Saturday that he was just as much in the dark as everyone when head coach Mark Richt gathered the team together to report he had fired Willie Martinez, John Jancek and Jon Fabris two weeks ago.

As far as being given the opportunity to coach the Bulldog secondary for the upcoming Independence Bowl game against Texas A&M, the Gray native didn't get any advance notice there, either.

"We were kind of kept in the dark as well. We found out (about the firings) in the team meeting just like the rest of the players," Hartley said. "He (Richt) didn't come to me or Mitch (Doolittle) at that point, because he didn't know if they (Martinez, Jancek and Fabris) were going to coach in the bowl game or not."

Hartley said he found out he would be responsible for the secondary on Fri., Dec. 4, the same day the UGA officials made the public announcement.

"When y'all found out, that's when he told me as well," Hartley said. "There's really nothing different. We're doing the same stuff; it's just different guys leading the drills and leading guys onto the field."

The 24-year-old played quarterback his senior year for Jones County High.

He spent 2008 working as a graduate assistant at West Virginia for former Bulldog assistant Dave Johnson.

"This is really a blessing, a great opportunity for any young coach," Hartley said. "I hope it looks good on my resume. It's definitely going to be a good learning experience."

Will Curran, Jones be affected?

Junior linebacker Rennie Curran still hasn't decided whether or not he will apply early for the NFL Draft, but conceded Saturday that Richt's choice of defensive coordinator could affect his ultimate decision.

"It's huge," Curran said. 'It's definitely one of those things you think about, scheme-wise and how you're going to fit it; what his defensive mentality will be like coming in, things like that. But I'm not worried about it now. I just want to win this bowl game and finish up strong."

Redshirt junior Reshad Jones is taking a wait-and-see approach as well.

"I'm just worried about getting ready for the bowl game," Jones said. "I really haven't thought much about it."

Is Gray switch for certain?

Richt didn't address the media following Saturday's workout at the Woodruff Practice Facility, so it was up to defensive line coach Rodney Garner to field questions from the media.

One was whether or not the rumors of quarterback Logan Gray moving to wide receiver were true.

Several recruits have indicated to UGASports that Gray had a position change coming, although Garner said it might be a little too early to say for sure.

"I think right now Logan is going to get a shot at quarterback, but being in the program as long as he has, if he feels like, hey, if he's not going to be the guy, then maybe he will want to move to another position because he's a very talented guy," Garner said. "But that's going to be a decision that Logan and his family will make. We're going to give him every opportunity, but if it doesn't work out and he wants to move to another position, then I think Coach Richt will allow it."

Garner did confirm that Georgia's 2010 signing class would likely include a quarterback.

Butler honored again

Sophomore punter Drew Butler has been named to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Team.

Butler leads the nation in punting with a 48.8 average on 50 punts and in net punting at 42.8 yards per punt. On Thursday he was named winner of the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter.

The FWAA All-America team is the second-longest continuously-published team in major college football. Butler is the 23rd Bulldog to be named to the team and first since David Pollack in 2004. He is among seven SEC players named to the All-America team.

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