November 4, 2009

Wednesday notebook: Wooten excited

Rantavious Wooten is a cool customer.

At least that's the persona he's trying to portray after head coach Mark Richt announced that the former Glades Central would get the start Saturday against Tennessee Tech in place of the injured A.J. Green (bruised lung).

"It's very exciting," Wooten said Wednesday. "I know I've been working hard the last few months getting ready for this opportunity. I've just got to take advantage of it. But it's not just me, all the receivers need to step now that he (Green) went down."

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder has appeared in seven games for the Bulldogs and has four catches for 91 yards in limited playing time.

"Wooten has played behind A.J. so he has not gotten a lot of opportunities, but he's taken advantages of the ones that he's had, although this is obviously the biggest one for him," Richt said. "I think he's up for it and I think he's excited. Those kids out of Glade Central area always a little more college ready than some guys. They're used to playing fast, they expect to play early and usually handle that very well."

Tavarres King is expected to start alongside Wooten against Tennessee Tech.

"All the receivers need to show that the can step in and play and that's what we're going to try and do," Wooten said. "It's just a matter of going out and having fun."

Ball medically disqualified

Richt said that defensive end Neland Ball has been medically disqualified thus ending his football career.

"It's been a number of things with Neland," Richt said. "He's had a back issue, and I know he hurt his knee that I think got messed up pretty good. It's just a chronic situation."

Ball missed all of spring drills following surgery in January to repair a patella tendon. His disqualifications means the Bulldogs will now have an extra scholarship to apply for next year.

Williams responds to late hit accusation

Linebacker Nick Williams said he wasn't trying to hurt Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in last Saturday's game against the Gators.

Wednesday, Florida coach Urban Meyer said on the weekly SEC teleconference that he believes officials should have called a penalty on Williams after knocking his quarterback to the ground well after he had gotten rid of the football.

Williams was asked about the claim after practice.

"Emotions are flying and I was just trying to make a play. Tebow is a great player and it's obvious you've got to get him on the ground or else he's going to spark something. I was just trying to make a play. I didn't thinking anything of it," Williams said. "I wasn't trying to hurt him, but when you're out there going, emotions sometimes get the better of you. Hey, it's Georgia-Florida. If something happens, I'll deal with it. But I wasn't trying to give a cheap shot or anything."

Richt, however, said that Meyer may have had point.

"I agree with that," Richt said. "He (Williams) could have got called for that."

Earlier, Gator linebacker Brandon Spikes extended his own suspension to a full game after gouging the eyes of running back Washaun Ealey.

Curran a Bednark semifinalist

Junior linebacker Rennie Curran has been named one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, according to an announcement from the Maxwell Football Club on Wednesday.

The Bednarik Award is given annually to the nation's Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.

The announcement of the winner of the Bednarik Award will be made during the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show that will be broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, December 10. Three finalists for the award will be announced on November 23 and a second round of voting will take place at that time.

Curran, a 5-11, 222-pound native of Snellville is second in the Southeastern Conference with 79 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss. He is averaging 9.9 tackles per game and has led the Bulldogs in all eight of their games.

Vanderbilt's Chris Marve has 90 tackles and is averaging 10.0, but has already played in nine games this year.

Curran has had nine games with 10 or more tackles during his career. He will be a captain for the Bulldogs against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 7. He has served that role for six of Georgia's eight games in 2009.

Curran set a career high with 16 tackles versus LSU this season. He also tallied a game-high 15 tackles and had a game-saving pass break-up to help clinch the win over South Carolina earlier this season.

This and that

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said that in light of the rib injury that will keep A.J. Green out of Saturday's game, Rantavious Wooten will make his first career start alongside Tavarres King. … Marlon Brown has been slowed the past two weeks with a hip-pointer, but Bobo he is currently practicing at full speed. Brown said Wednesday, however, that he could have played… Green was out at practice briefly before heading inside to put in some work on the stationary bike. Richt said he expects him back for next week's game against Auburn. … Richt said that offensive tackle Clint Boling (knee) is showing no ill effects from his injury against Florida and appears to be 100 percent. … With Justin Houston (hyper-extended elbow) doubtful for Tennessee Tech, Richt said that Kiante Tripp, Cornelius Washington and Montez Robinson are all candidates for additional playing time.

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