August 25, 2011

Still gettng healthy

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Questions about injuries continue to be a popular subject for discussion as Georgia continues its preparation for next week's season-opener against Boise State.

On Wednesday, head coach Mark Richt attempted to ease some of the concerns by stating that he expects each of the team's walking wounded to be able to play.

However, as Thursday's practice came to an end, several players remained on the outside looking in.

According to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, fullback Bruce Figgins (hamstring), wide receiver Marlon Brown (ankle) and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (leg) and running back Richard Samuel (quad) did not take part in the 11-on-11 drills, following a special teams practice during the early part of the 90-minute session.

Earlier, there appeared to be some confusion on the status of Samuel, who despite now missing over a week is still expected to play a huge role next week against the Broncos.

Prior to Bobo speaking with the media, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said Samuel was back and taking part in all aspects of Thursday's practice.

"He was back today and able to do 11 on 11, things of that nature, but getting him back, that helped," said McClendon.

Bobo later disagreed.

"He didn't do any 11-on-11," Bobo said of Samuel. "He did a little individual work."

Regardless, both coaches made it clear that Samuel will definitely play a role against Boise State, although neither coach is quite ready to say what type of rotation Bulldog fans might see.

"One, we've still got to get Richard back healthy and two, we've still got nine days to go to see who we think is the most ready and who can contribute the most that first game," Bobo said. "If they're both healthy it will be more by feel, but right now it's too early to say what we're going to do this first game. It's close, but we've still got a lot of work to do."

There was some other depth chart news regarding the running backs.

According to McClendon, Brandon Harton - who suffered an undisclosed injury during Wednesday's scrimmage - remains the No. 3 running back ahead of Ken Malcome.

McClendon said Harton's injury was "minor."

"I still think outside the order of Isaiah and Richard, right now it would be Brandon going into the game first of those two," McClendon said. "His consistency, him being able to do the right things in all things, including our pass game definitely as well as the running game, so yeah, he would be the first one going in of those two."

Quick hits

• Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said outside linebacker Ray Drew (shoulder) will definitely play against Boise State. Drew and fellow linebacker Amarlo Herrera returned to practice Thursday, said Grantham.

• Nose Jonathan Jenkins did not practice Thursday but is expected back Saturday. "We're going to hold him out until Saturday," Grantham said. "That's when we'll do more hitting so we'll do that, go from there and see what happens. He's a hard worker; he'll be back and be fine."

• According to secondary coach Scott Lakatos, freshman cornerback Damian Swann and freshman safety Corey Moore are both running with the second team.

• Offensive line coach Will Friend said redshirt sophomore Dallas Lee will be the first linemen "off the bench" at both guard spots and perhaps center. Friend also said that freshman David Andrews would be the second man off the bench, and mentioned redshirt sophomore Austin Long third. Also, Friend stated that freshman Watts Dantzler will "prepare to play" but indicated redshirt freshman Kolton Houston still has some work to do. "He's done some things to get better, but we're going to have to wait and see to see how it goes," Friend said.

Will Rambo play?

There's been no shortage of rumors regarding the first-game playing status of junior safety Bacarri Rambo, who as of yet has not been made available for interviews despite numerous media requests.

Typically, Georgia officials don't allow players to be interview if A, they are hurt, or B, if they are suspended.

Rambo is not injured and there have been no answers to questions regarding his unavailability to the press.

Lakatos was asked directly of Rambo's status for Boise State and seemed surprised of the notion, insisting the he's in the battle to win one of the two starting safety spots.

"He's not (suspended) that I know of," Lakatos said. "He's working hard and doing as much as anybody else is doing. Like I said, we're switching four guys in. He's worked with the ones, he's worked with the twos, he's been around the younger guys and they seem to be getting better with them."

This and that

Grantham said that Amarlo Herrera is working at the No. 2 Moe linebacker behind starter Alec Ogletree. Mike Gilliard is listed as the top backup to Christian Robinson at Mike. … Freshman Ramik Wilson will start out as an outside linebacker, but can and likely will play some inside as the season moves along. … Jordan Love continues to get some love. "Jordan has done a good job, he's fired up and playing well right now," said Lakatos. "He's doing a nice job of communicating out there, and he's playing fast. He can play in the nickel and he's able to play both corner spots which gives us some depth."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.