September 4, 2008

Big Man Returning

[tm]Georgia[/tm] finally received some good injury news Thursday and the timing couldn't be better.

One week after losing senior defensive tackle Jeff Owens to a torn ACL in his right knee, head coach Mark Richt announced that junior Kade Weston has improved significantly and will be ready for next Saturday's SEC opener at South Carolina.

"Kade is really on track and we think he'll be able to practice, maybe with some limitations, but be able to practice on Monday," Richt said. "We feel he'll play in that game (South Carolina)."

Getting Weston back into the mix will be huge for the Bulldogs, who will play Saturday's game against Central Michigan with just five defensive tackles - starters Geno Atkins and Corvey Irvin, along with second-teamers Brandon Wood andDeAngelo Tyson. Ricardo Crawford will also see action. That leaves true freshman A.J. Harmon as the only other defensive tackle on the roster but Richt and defensive line coach Rodney Garner maintain that the former Jefferson County star is not yet ready to play.

• In other injury news, Richt said it now appears that safety Quintin Banks (MCL) and fullback Brannan Southerland (foot) could see their first action against [tm]Alabama[/tm] Sept. 27, rather than [tm]Tennessee[/tm] on Oct. 11. In Southerland's case, however, his playing time against the Crimson Tide would come as the personal protector on punts before resuming fullback duties against the Vols.

• Wide receiver Kenneth Harris is doubtful for Saturday with a high ankle sprain.

• Freshman linebacker Christian Robinson has a deep thigh bruise and Richt said he is leaning toward redshirting the Norcross native this year.

Thursday night games for Dawgs?

The University Athletic Association may not be too keen on playing Thursday night games, but Richt hinted Thursday that he wouldn't necessarily mind. That is, if the conditions were right.

"There's no way you could do a home game, no way. But it wouldn't hurt my feelings if we opened a season like with an Oklahoma State game at their place on a Thursday," Richt said. "It's not going to happen, but you can write it and get me in trouble. Go ahead."

In case anyone forgot, Georgia opens the 2009 season at [tm]Oklahoma State[/tm].

Perhaps Richt is getting a little bit envious. Next week's opponent [tm]South Carolina[/tm] played [tm]Vanderbilt[/tm] Thursday and will have three extra days to prepare for the Bulldogs.

"I think it does matter, because they'll have more time to prepare for us than we'll have to prepare for them," Richt said. "I don't like it, but good for them. I'm not mad at them or anything, I think it's smart."

No scout team for Gray

When asked whether or not Logan Gray was used to "play" [tm]Central Michigan[/tm] quarterback Dan LeFevour in practice this week, Richt said that wasn't the case.

Gray handled most of the scout team work for the Bulldogs last fall, but thus far those duties have fallen to transfer Jonathan Batson.

"We've not used him (Gray) there at all this week," Richt said. "He's still getting reps with the varsity group. He's not worked over there (scout team) at all."

Richt said that Gray would not have necessarily been able to properly imitate the 6-foot-3, 230-pound LeFevour.

"Nobody could simulate what he (LeFevour) can do with his running and passing ability," Richt said. "Logan can run but he's not as big as this kid, who is a more physical, punishing runner. (LeFevour) is still pretty agile for someone his size, but Logan and (LeFevour) is not a good comparison."

Richt ready to blog

Richt said he'll do a weekly blog on his new website Markricht.com, but readers won't have the opportunity to respond.

"That's all I need," Richt joked. "No, I don't think anybody will be able to do that."

The new site kicked off Thursday.

This and that

Richt was asked for the third time in three weeks about the future of long-snapper Jeff Henson and backup defensive back Donavon Baldwin, who were involved in separate off-the-field incidents in downtown Athens over the summer. "I'm getting closer, getting closer," Richt said. … Richt confirmed that Clint Boling, back from his one game suspension, will start at right tackle against Central Michigan.



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