March 24, 2009

Dowtin makes a move

A crowded situation at Mike linebacker has gotten a bit moreso as sophomore Marcus Dowtin is now seeing most of his time there, along with Akeem Dent, Marcus Washington and Charles White who were listed as the top three at the position when the season began.

The 6-2, 230-pounder went into spring listed as the top backup at Will behind starter Rennie Curran, but has since moved to the inside. At least for a while.

Dowtin's not complaining with the move.

"Actually I like Will better, but Mike will give me a chance to play more," Dowtin said. "Basically, I want to learn to play all three of the spots so this is fine."

Head coach Mark Richt said he and his defensive coaches felt it was a natural move for Dowtin to make.

"Marcus likes contact, he likes to play football, he loves to compete, plus Marcus is a very intelligent young man," Richt said. "He's got a lot of ability. We want guys who will go out there and strikeout and Marcus will do that. We think it's a good fit. He's still got a ways to go, but he's certainly a guy who has earned some playing time and if he continues going the right way he could get a lot more playing time."

Jackson getting back earlier than expected

Caleb King and Carlton Thomas will soon have some company for spring practice.

Tuesday, Richt announced that redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson is about healthy enough to join the fray.

"Today Dontavius did our run-polish stuff with the quarterbacks and he did our pass skeleton, so he got to practice today," Richt said. "He actually got knocked down one time. Somebody hit him when the probably shouldn't have but he popped up and was fine so that was good. But we're phasing him in and it might be as early as next Monday that he'll be able to go."

Richt said he expects Jackson, who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, will be able to full pads before the end spring drills.

As for King and Thomas, Richt offered praise for both of the young backs.

"I think that they're both doing a nice job. It's hard to sit there and start deciding who where. Carlton has done a very nice job running the inside drill and he's probably made more people miss and broken more tackles at this point than Caleb has but Caleb is doing an outstanding job he has and has a little more experience pass protecting and things like that," Richt said. "We need to get both those guys a bunch more reps quite frankly in pass protection to start separating them. "

Richt lukewarm on practice

After a hard-hitting, intense workout Saturday at Sanford Stadium Richt didn't feel quite so excited about Tuesday's workout at the Woodruff Practice Facility.

"Today was lukewarm. It didn't fire me up that much. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't championship level to me honest with you," Richt said. "The energy level wasn't quite how I've seen it to this point but we've got Thursday and Friday to get back on track in that regard. They were trying to go but the energy level wasn't quite the same and the energy level wasn't quite the same since the other day in pads. We've just got to fight through those days and make sure we're playing at that level which is going to allow us to be a great team."

Although Richt said the offense has begun making strides and did so again Tuesday, the defense did intercept four passes in 11 on 11 drills, including two by Reshad Jones, one by Prince Miller and one by defensive tackle Geno Atkins.

This and that

Richt said that wide receiver A.J. Green appears to be nearly over the groin injury that hampered him for most of last year and into the Bulldogs' spring drills. "I don't know how he's feeling inside and I don't ask every day but when I observe him I have not seen what I saw last year and in bowl practice when I knew that he was struggling." … Richt and defensive coordinator Willie Martinez say they are both very excited about Bryan Evans' play at free safety. "He's practicing with a very high tempo and high energy and he understands it. I think he's found a good home." … Georgia returns to the practice field Thursday and Friday.

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