April 3, 2012

Focused on the future



At the end of Saturday's scrimmage, Bulldogs Cornelius Washington and Christian Robinson talked about all the unwanted distractions caused by the latest round of bad news that Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree had allegedly tested positive for marijuana.

Tuesday, quarterback Aaron Murray said the Bulldogs have turned the proverbial page.

"We really haven't talked about it as a team. We're really close as a team, so we're not going to start yelling, going after guys. They understand what they did was wrong and they're facing the punishment for it and we move on," Murray said. "As a team our goal right now is to get better with every practice this spring and I think that's what we're doing."

Wide receiver Tavarres King said it does the team no good to worry about what happened now.

"You can't dwell on the past. You've got to live in the present. What's happened has happened has happened," King said. "Right now we're not doing anything different. All we're trying to do is find ways to win ball games."

For the record, Richt has still not announced the punishment for Rambo and Ogletree, nor that of cornerback Branden Smith, who was arrested last month in Alabama for a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession while en route to Panama City for Spring Break. Cornerback Sanders Commings will miss the first two games following his suspension as a result of his January arrest for simple battery and domestic violence.

"I think we'll be fine as long as guys understand they've got to be careful with what they're doing with things like that," Murray said. "We've got tons of depth on our team right now who are going to have to step up and make plays, but we'll be fine."

Scott-Wesley has weight under control

Wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley likes to eat. He admits that up front.

When last season concluded, Scott-Wesley's weight had ballooned to 230 pounds, before an off-season running track helped get it back down to its current level of 210.

"Gaining weight has never been a problem for me," Scott-Wesley said. "I feel I'm a naturally big person so trying to stay down is the biggest challenge."

But so far it's a challenge he's meeting.

Scott-Wesley, who joked that coaches threatened to make him a tight end unless he dropped the pounds, continues to draw raves from teammates.

"He's a lot more fluid," fellow wideout Michael Bennett said. "He was fast straight ahead, but side to side, he was really, really stiff. But he's dropped a few pounds and doing a lot better getting in and out of his cuts."

Scott-Wesley says it's just been a case of mind over matter.

"I just came in with the mentality to work and be the best I can be," he said. "That's what I'm trying to do."

Mitchell pushing his former position mates

Tavarres King said he's enjoyed going against Malcolm Mitchell in passing drills.

"It's been fun; it really has, because Malcolm is a competitor. I'm a competitor. There's a lot of jawing going on. He likes to talk, I like to talk," King said. "But it is fun going at it. He wants to kick my butt and I want to kick his, but it's all fun."

Mitchell continues to see most of his time at cornerback for the Bulldogs this spring, a position he's expected to predominantly play come Georgia's first two games against Buffalo and Missouri.

Burnette say defense will make O-line better

Right guard Chris Burnette says the Bulldogs' first-team defense has made life difficult for the offense this spring. But in the long run, it's probably going to be a good thing.

"It's only going to make us better," Burnette said. "It's hard and it's frustrating when you're not able to do what you want to do, but I feel if you go hard against the best every day, it's not going to do anything but make you better - you won't get worse."


Burnette said members of the offensive line continue to cross-train as well, something everyone has had to do.

For Burnette, cross-training has meant taking some reps at center along with sophomore David Andrews.

"It's been cool," he said. "I didn't do much of it at all last year and it was new my freshman and redshirt year, but I'm working hard because again, it's going to make me more versatile and give me more ways to help the team."

Injury update

Freshman running back Keith Marshall was not at practice on Tuesday due to hamstring injury. It's not clear how long he will be out.

Also, linebacker Amarlo Herrera wore a green non-contact jersey, as did wide receiver Rantavious Wooten (hamstring).

Running back Richard Samuel missed practice due to an undisclosed reason while defensive end/linebacker Ray Drew was not able to do due to an illness.

This and that

The Bulldogs were eventually forced inside due to lightning after the first hour and half of practice Tuesday. "There was some lightning in the area and we had to gather the team up and get them indoors," head coach Mark Richt said. "I was very pleased with what we were able to accomplish once we moved inside and I thought we got some good skill work done in there." …. Former Bulldogs Ben Jones, Darryl Gamble and Akeem Dent attended practice Tuesday. … Georgia will return to the practice field on Thursday before the team's second scrimmage Saturday at Sanford Stadium. … Walk-on quarterback Greg Bingham is now wearing the No. 7 jersey instead of No. 10.