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December 27, 2011
TAMPA, Fla. - Linebacker Mike Gilliard figures his sprained ankle is good to go.
After all, if you can escape an angry bull during a night of cow tipping, how much more proof do you need?
Yes - cow tipping.
The junior from Valdosta conceded before Tuesday's practice at the University of Tampa that he actually went cow tipping with a bunch of high school friends during the Christmas break.
For those who've never had the pleasure, cow tipping is an "ancient country art form" where defenseless sleeping cows (cows allegedly stand when they sleep) are pushed over.
One particular bull apparently did not like the attention and chased Gilliard after he made the attempt.
"Those things can run, trust me," Giliard laughed. "Just say if you slow down they're probably going to catch you and I don't want to find out by letting them catch me. Those things are pretty fast."
Apparently, Georgia trainers weren't impressed.
Gilliard was still in green for Tuesday's workout, although he hoped to do some cutting drills. He still hopes to play in Monday's Outback Bowl against 12th-ranked Michigan State (1 p.m., ABC).
Teammate and former Valdosta teammate Malcolm Mitchell was not impressed, but said he would possibly give it a try."
"I never go to the country part of Valdosta, I'm always in the city," Mitchell laughed. "But if he had asked me to do, I would have gone to see what it's like. It sounds pretty good."
Status quo for Charles
Tight end Orson Charles maintained his stance on any future NFL plans when asked by one of his hometown reporters Tuesday.
"I've pretty much made it known that after the bowl game I'm going to sit down with my family and pray about it," said Charles, who added that he's looking forward to see what kind of rating he gets from the NFL Advisory Board.
"A lot of us (Bulldog teammates) did because we want to see where we are rated and stuff like that, so why not," Charles said.
But deciding whether or not to return to Athens isn't the foremost thing on Charles' mind right now - finding enough tickets for family and friends is.
"Shoot, I could probably use 20, 25, 30 ?," Charles said. "I'm trying to work some things with some of my teammates now."
But he's not complaining.
"It's just good to be back," the Tampa native said. "When I got back last Tuesday it was 9:30, 10 p.m., something like that and when I got out my car I was already sweating bullets," he said. "It's good to be back."
Malcome still first team running back
"Ken's No. 1 going into this game, going into this practice, but it's highly competitive, we'll see where it ends up," Richt said. "I hope he holds onto it, that would be great, but Richard (Samuel) is back in the fold and he'll have something to say about that, as well as Isaiah (Crowell)."
Richt will look for four things from whoever runs the ball.
"Ball security is No. 1," Richt said. "But also, play physical, finish their runs, pick up the blitz."
This and that
Crowell was at practice Tuesday but was not in full pads. Richt said the freshman was "feeling under the weather." ? Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson joined Gilliard in a green non-contact jersey Tuesday. ? Richt said that Samuel will remain at running back next fall, ending any speculation of him moving back to linebacker. "We're excited that he's going to play; he's going to be a tailback next year and he's going do well," Richt said. ? Freshman Nick Marshall drew praise from Richt when asked which of his young players have showed flashes during the team's seven bowl practices thus far. "Nick's getting a lot of reps at corner in the one on ones," Richt said. "Not many people have been able to shake him." Richt added that Marshall could get looks at safety in the spring. "He could play safety if he wanted," Richt said. "We'll just see how the dust settles."