March 7, 2008

Injuries take toll

After getting through the first part of the week relatively unscathed, Georgia suffered a pair of injuries Friday while another underwent surgery to repair one that occurred during mat drills.

Friday, backup tight end Bruce Figgins had to be helped off the field by two trainers after spraining his ankle during one of the team's 3-on-3 sessions.

"I think he sprained it," Richt said. "You don't really know on those things until the next day."

He wasn't alone.

Backup Mike linebacker Marcus Washington suffered a shoulder during the same drills. Richt did not know the exact extent of the injury.

On Thursday backup guard Chris Little had a screw put in his right ankle to repair an injury to the bone in his foot. Richt said that Little suffered the injury during mat drills.

"We knew it was going to have to be repaired after spring," Richt said. "We thought he would be able to make it through (spring), but we were not able to do so. You've got to look at it on the bright side. He'll at least be a month ahead after spring than he would have been and it will help him have a better summer and a longer time in the summer to just be full speed."
Little had been working as second-team left guard behind starter Vince Vance.

Meanwhile, defensive end Justin Houston, linebacker Darius Dewberry (groin), defensive end Neland Ball (shoulder bruise), offensive lineman Tanner Strickland (ankle) and Demiko Goodman (hamstring) each continued to wear green non-contact jerseys.
Richt said he hoped Strickland, Dewberry and Goodman would be able to practice when spring workouts resume March 17.

Young running backs impress

Richt had praise for running backs Caleb King, Dontavius Jackson and Richard Samuel for their effort during Fridays' workout.

"They had some nice blocks and some nice runs," Richt said. "(Samuel) had a decent day yesterday and today. He actually picked up a linebacker blitz, not perfect, but he struck him pretty darn good."

Richt was particularly pleased because typically it takes true freshman a little time to adjust to the physical nature of the college game.

Apparently, that hasn't been the case.

"It can be intimidating, it could be that you're just not sure what to do," Richt said. "When you're not certain what to do it's hard to play full speed because you're a little bit confused about what your assignment is or what your technique is.
"But after two days, I think those two young backs gained a lot of confidence, and of course, Caleb has already been through that so I'm not trying to put them ahead of Caleb by any means. But for them to be brand new freshmen going through that kind of thing for the very first time, it was pretty good."

Richt said that Jackson had a couple of touchdown runs while King "knocked some people back in the end zone" while Samuel "knocked some people down" to get a first down and also scored a touchdown.

Miller more aggressive

Cornerbacks Prince Miller and Asher Allen both plan on being more aggressive with opposing receivers this fall.

Such news is music is to the ears of defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, particularly in regards to Miller, who started the final eight games at wide corner.

"We encourage everybody to be more aggressive," Martinez said. "Prince came on toward the end of the year and that was good to see. He was making open-field tackles clean, and was getting off wide receivers to make plays on the bubble screen."

Miller snagged his first career interception in Georgia's Sugar Bowl win over Hawaii.

Players wouldn't mind $2.8 million

Richt said Thursday he didn't plan on doing anything special to celebrate his salary boost to $2.8 million.

Defensive tackle Jeff Owens said he wouldn't have such a problem.

"Aw man, $2.8 million, and Spring Break's here. …and if I had just got it yesterday … Oh, man," Owens said. "I might be fishing, but it wouldn't be for any catfish."

Teammate Rod Battle was more pragmatic.

"I'd probably just take my family out to a nice dinner," Battle said. "It would be something pretty low-key."

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