September 17, 2009

Richt still not ruling out freshmen receivers

Georgia coach Mark Richt had a message for those wondering when freshmen receiver Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten might get on the field.

Be patient.

"They're coming. I'm not going to predict that it's going to happen like it did for Fred Gibson," Richt said. "It wasn't until Game 3 that Fred started to come on and play, but we have every intention to play them and get them more and more comfortable."

When the season began, it was thought that Brown and Wooten would quickly become integral parts of Georgia's receiving corps due to the lack of scholarship players at the position.

However, A.J. Green, Mike Moore and Tavarres King have taken over 95 percent of the wide receiver snaps, with Israel Troup getting most of the other time.

Neither freshman saw action in the opener against Oklahoma State, though both saw a couple of snaps late in last Saturday's game against South Carolina.

"Some of it is just not feeling comfortable that they knew exactly what to do on every play without somebody behind them coaching them. But they're getting better," Richt said. "They're making less and less mistakes in practice and the better they practice without help the more likely they are to start getting those opportunities. They've got ability, so they'll definitely get their opportunities."

Dawgs practice in different venue

Rains Thursday forced the Bulldogs inside for practice, but they didn't go to the Ramsey Center where the team generally works out when inclement weather hits.

This time, Richt took the team to Stegeman Coliseum, where the team worked out in shorts before flying out to Arkansas Friday afternoon.

"We've had enough practice outside in the weather," Richt said. "It could rain at the game, but it's been kind of moist the last two days so I didn't want us to get soggy today."

Richt added that the team would likely have gone inside anyway.

"We'll get a chance to concentrate on the assignments, and the mental aspects of the game which is basically what today would be about anyway," Richt said. "I think that will be good for us. To hold off on any kind of running today would be a good thing because it would freshen the boys up a little. I think that's good."

Injury update

Richt announced that neither Kiante Tripp nor safety Quintin Banks will be among the 70 players traveling to Arkansas.

Tripp, who missed the game at Oklahoma State due to a shoulder stinger, suffered a setback during the week.

Also suffering a setback was Banks, who Richt said continues to have an issue with his knee. Banks strained the MCL in his knee during preseason.

"It swelled up a little bit, so he will not make the trip," said Richt, who hopes that Banks will be back for next week's game against Arizona State. "He's coming off an injury and he was coming off the front end of when he could come back. He was feeling good and then it puffed up on him. That's typical. You just kind of back him down, get the swelling out and try again."

There was some good news.

Richt re-confirmed that linebacker Nick Williams (hamstring), running back Caleb King (hamstring) and offensive lineman Josh Davis (shoulder) will travel and will play.

Murray getting better

Freshman quarterback Aaron Murray will travel with the team despite suffering from a case of triceps tendinitis.

UGASports first reported the injury to Murray on Tuesday, and Thursday Richt said that the Tampa native was making progress.

"He threw a little bit yesterday, not a lot and not in a competitive setting," Richt said. "But trying to predict that is like trying to predict when Caleb is coming back."

Ball, Longo healing

There is still no timetable for the return of injured defensive ends Neland Ball and Jeremy Longo, but Richt said the two are getting close.

"Neland is getting there, they both are," Richt said. "They're getting better."

Ball is suffering from an injured patella tendon while Longo was coming off shoulder surgery before a knee injury slowed his progress.

"It was nothing that needed surgery," Richt said. "I forgot how he hurt but, but he was not able to move around and that kept him from making progress in combat, so to speak. By next week we should be able to phase him into contact."

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