Georgia figures to have at least some of its walking wounded back for Saturday's G-Day game at Sanford Stadium, with a few notable exceptions, including running back Washaun Ealey who head coach Mark Richt said Thursday still has not recovered sufficiently from his strained left hamstring.
Ealey suffered the injury during the first full week of spring drills which caused him to miss the majority of spring drills.
"Washaun has never had a hamstring before and what happens is, a lot of times you feel like you're good enough to play or you might start jogging early in the process," Richt said. "But when you compete or go through a practice and start getting fatigued, you're getting close to pulling it again. Usually, once they feel like they're ready; it's usually another week or 10 days."
The news is better for some other Bulldog regulars.
Richt said that linebacker Christian Robinson (concussion) was likely to play, as will as linebacker Alec Ogletree (strained groin) and running back Ken Malcome (groin). Cornerback Brandon Boykin (concussion) and safety Sanders Commings (concussion) are both questionable, while tight end Aron White (cartilage) is expected to play. Defensive end Garrison Smith (strained neck) and cornerback Jordan Love (hamstring) will not play.
Saturday's game, which kicks off at 1 p.m., will consist of four 12-minute quarters.
The winners will receive a meal of steak and lobster while the losers will get beanie-weenies.
Richt laughed he already knows what meal he'll be having.
"I always eat the beanie-weenies," he said. "I don't eat steak if I don't pick the team."
Grantham sees progress
Despite missing key performers at different points throughout the spring, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham feels his defense has made progress.
"The first two weeks were really good, I saw a lot of progress, I saw some carry over and there's no doubt that the decision we made on Jarvis (Jones) and (Alec) Ogletree were the right ones," he said. "We don't get to finish, but at the same time it does give us the opportunity to look at younger guys, to move some guys around."
Moving Commings from cornerback to safety was part of that plan.
"We were going to do that anyway, move Commings to safety, but (the injuries) allowed us to move guys around to see if they can play more than one spot," he said. "Injuries are part of the game so what you do is take the guys you've got and move them around, plug them in and get them in spots where they can help you win."
Geathers' improvement has been critical
Of all the defensive storylines, Grantham said Kwame Geathers' continued improvement has been one of the biggest this spring.
"I think it's real important because it creates depth, it gives us another body and what he did is he basically came back in the winter, busted his tail, kept working in the weight room and got in shape," Grantham said of the 6-foot-6, 350 pound redshirt sophomore. "He's running and you progressively saw him improve his range. He's taken advantage of his opportunity."
Even position coach Rodney Garner has been impressed, which doesn't happen often.
"I think he's using his hands much better than he did last year. He's playing stouter," Garner said. "He's always going to have to be concerned with his pad level, but he's been more conscientious of it."
Garner believes the impending arrival of junior college transfer Johnathan Jenkins has also been a factor in Geather's improvement.
"I'm sure it does. Competition makes you better, but obviously he's a year older," Garner said. "The kid is just a redshirt sophomore."
As for Jenkins, Garner said the 6-foot-4 player will be at Saturday's G-Day game, although there will be a lot more of him to go around.
According to Garner, Jenkins said he is up to 361 pounds, approximately 10 pounds heavier than he was when he signed with Georgia back in March.
"He says he's working really hard, he says he is. We'll see," Garner said.
Grantham didn't sound too concerned with Jenkins' added weight.
"I think we've addressed that and I think those guys are going to be in shape the way Coach T is going to run them," Grantham said. "We'll be OK."
Richt says Sturdivant "making the best" of it
Richt said Thursday he doesn't know what plans Trinton Sturdivant might have after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair his torn right ACL.
"Our only goal right now is to rally around him, encourage him and help him rehab," Richt said. "We just want to help him go through this process and also help him follow whatever path he chooses to go."
NCAA rules would allow Sturdivant to apply for a sixth year, if he so desired.
This and that
Richt said both Black Team captain Aaron Murray and Red Team captain Ben Jones were excited about their respective teams, which they drafted Monday evening. "They all liked their strategy. Ben and (Robinson) leaned more on the offensive and defensive line, while Murray and Boykin were more concerned with the perimeter, so both of them went out thinking they kicked rear end on it," Richt said. "Murray called (Mike) Bobo and said 'We killed 'em. We got 'em.' Ben called (Will) Friend and said 'Coach, we're stacked.'
Grantham said there "could be" situations where 350-pound Geathers and 361-pound Jenkins could line up together at the same time.
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