The Georgia Bulldogs hit the practice field on Wednesday
in preparation for the upcoming Chick-fil-A Bowl, but while they were practicing,
several junior college players signed with the Georgia.
Mark Richt is excited about
the new faces coming to Athens. Three JUCOs Scott Haverkamp,
Jarius Wynn, and
Corvey Irvin signed by the
end of practice and coach Richt cannot wait to have these three players in Athens.
"Scott Haverkamp is going to be a blocking machine,
Jarius Wynn is a pass rushing specialists and he is strong enough to bull rush
you or give you the whoop-de-do move, and Corvey Irvin is a three-technique
who is very impressive," said Richt. "It is exciting for us and
we really needed them."
Coach Richt expects Haverkamp to play guard or tackle
depending on where the new offensive line coach see him ending up.
"He is big enough to play guard or tackle, but
we do not know where is going to end up playing," said Richt of Haverkamp.
"He is 6'4" 300 pounds and he was actually 310 when he came
in here on a visit and he is big enough, strong enough, and physical enough
to play guard or tackle. We will get the best five in there."
The Bulldogs expect two more JUCO players to sign before
the end of the day. The Bulldogs may bolster their roster shortly when mid-year
players are eligible to come in.
"We are recruiting some other guys that could come
in mid-year for us," said Richt. "It is awesome for us to get some
of the people in and I am fired up. If we did not get some of these people in
during the mid-year it was going to be really rough in the spring."
The Bulldogs have seven offensive line and twelve defensive
linemen returning from the 2006 team in 2007.
Johnson still pondering NFL
Junior defensive end Charles Johnson
is still deciding on his future and whether he will stay in Athens for his senior
season. Johnson is still weighing the pros and cons of life in the NFL while
he waits to find out more information on his draft position.
"If I leave early I may not get drafted where I
want and if I stay I might get hurt and it is the same thing everyone else has
to go through," said Johnson. "I would like to go first round, but
if you do not get what you want then you will not be satisfied."
Watching senior Quentin Moses go through
a similar situation last season may influence he decision, but Johnson thinks
it is too early to tell if it helped or hurt Moses to stay for his final season.
"You cannot really tell the outcome of it now because
you have to see what the draft looks like, but if you look at he says he did
a good thing coming back, getting his degree, and having a good year like he
did," said Johnson.
"I am leaning on my momma and different types of
people that have been in this type of situation and getting all the types of
information you can to help you out," said Johnson.
Agents have been calling Johnson since mid-season but
he has his own way of handling them, "if I do not know the number then
I do not answer the phone," said Johnson.
When Johnson gets back all of his draft projections and
information from the NFL he will make his decision on his future at Georgia.
Dawgs Work Hard in Classroom
Fifty Georgia Bulldog football players have at least
a 3.0 GPA for the fall semester according to coach Richt. Those players with
3.0 GPAs will receive an incentive allowed by the NCAA from the coaching staff.
The players are broken down into ten-person academic
teams lead by a coach and they are given awards based on performance throughout
the season on a weekly basis.
"Every week we will see who won in that time frame
for attendance, study hall, good grades, papers, reports, and anything else
good. They have a points system and whichever team has the most points in season
gets out of agilities," said Richt. "In the spring season we give
movies passes for that and at the end of the year there is a cumulative deal
and different places get different things."
Bulldog players can also receive awards if they take
30 credit hours a year.
Smith Happy to Practice
Redshirt freshman center Ian Smith is
on permanent probation with the University of Georgia for the remainder of his
time in Athens, but he is still awaiting a final decision from coach Richt on
Smith is just happy coach Richt and his teammates are
allowing him back on the field to practice.
"Things are going well right now and I am happy
to get a chance to practice with all the guys," said Smith. "I made
a mistake and I did not learn from the first time it happened, but I will definitely
learn from this time and get everything back on track."
Smith is suspended for the bowl game and the first four
games of the 2007 season by coach Richt, but Richt is still deciding if he will
lengthen Smith's punishment.
"Coach Richt has said he has not really made a decision
what he is going to do with me yet so I am out here practicing waiting on his
decision," said Smith. "It is tough hanging out wondering, but coach
Richt is the man in the position of authority and he has to do not only what
is right for the team, but what is right for the university and what he thinks
is the best decision. I was a little surprised they let me back out here, but
I am grateful that they gave me the hint they might want me to stay, but whatever
his decision I will respect it and suffer the consequences for it."
If Smith has another alcohol related incident at Georgia
he will be automatically expelled from school. Coach Richt has no timetable
for a final decision on Smith's future with the program.
Senior wide receiver Mario Raley and
senior offensive tackle
Michael Turner did not practice on
Other Notes and Quotes
"The bike was the worst bowl gift I got and nobody
rides bikes anymore. I rode it one time and gave it away because I realized
I was too fat to ride a bike," said senior defensive tackle
Ray Gant about the worst bowl gift he received at Georgia.
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