Like most of Georgia's players, Mohamed Massaquoi had not heard the news of broadcaster Larry Munson's retirement until told so by reporters following Monday's workout at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility.
The news certainly seemed to catch the senior receiver off guard.
"I can't get him back for one more Blackout?" Massaquoi said. "I actually had a chance to sit down and talk with him my sophomore year at the Gala. He's a tremendous guy and he means so much to us. To have a guy like that who has done so much for our program
he's surely going to be missed."
A North Carolina native, Massaquoi admits he didn't know a lot about Munson until he actually signed with [tm]Georgia[/tm]. But it didn't take him long.
"Coming in you don't understand the magnitude of it, but the more you stay around, the more you hear his name and the more you hear his calls, you start to understand that he kind of is 'Georgia,'" Massaquoi said. "You hear all the great things that Georgia has done and his words have actually backed it."
Fullback Brannan Southerland and tight Tripp Chandler, a pair of Georgia natives, began listening to Munson as young kids.
"I wish Larry would still be calling them, but he had an incredible career. He's something special," Southerland said. "You always watched the games but you'd listen to the radio clips."
Chandler can't even recall the first time he listened to Munson growing up in Woodstock.
"He's been the voice of the Dawgs for as long as anybody can remember. He'll be missed, but never be forgotten here. He'll live on, and just his name just goes hand in hand with Georgia football," Chandler said. "Larry Munson's been such a big part of this program for so long. Whoever has to fill his shoes will have big shoes to fill. I wouldn't want that job."
Players say Blackout can still be special
Saturday's game will mark the third time that the Georgia football team has broke out the black jerseys for a game following last year's contest against Auburn, and later against Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl.
While some might suggest that three times in two years might be overkill, the Bulldog say it's not that way at all.
"I think we kind of wanted to do it against Alabama but at first Coach (Mark) Richt) didn't like the idea because it was early in the year and we were thinking it was going to be a day game and it was going to be hot," Chandler said. "But after we heard that Gameday was going to be here and it was going to be a night game, Coach said to go ahead. I think the whole team likes to do it, it's a new look. I think our fans like to do it as well."
According to Chandler, nobody is under the illusion that the black jerseys will create the same "type" of effect as last year's Auburn game. Still, he said players are thrilled with the prospect and fans seem to be energized, so why not?
"It's just s much a part of our team as anything else. The back jerseys come out on occasion. Obviously we can't repeat what happened last year just because nobody knew about it. We came out in red jerseys and me being a junior, we were back in the locker room and they just started throwing them out," he said. "We know we can't relive that, but we think it's still a very big deal."
Southerland ready for new role
Southerland will make his first appearance with the Bulldogs following two off-season foot surgeries and will serve as the punt protector for Brian Mimbs Saturday against [tm]Alabama[/tm].
"That's the goal. We did special teams practice and that's what I did today. I was finally able to go out and hit somebody," Southerland said. "It felt good. I've been waiting for a while to actually go out there and hit somebody. It wasn't anything big. It was just some protections for the punt team plus a little bit of covering and a little bit of running. It just felt good to be back with the guys running around making some calls."
Southerland said he will resume his fullback duties in three weeks against Tennessee.
"This hasn't been the initial schedule I thought I'd be on. I thought I would have one surgery, rehab it and be out for just a little bit," he said. "But sometimes things change. You've just got to go with it and go from there."
Banks to return
Backup safety Quintin Banks is expected to return to action Saturday after missing the last three games with a sprained MCL.
"I'm ready to go. I've been taking it by the week, so we'll see how it goes," Banks said. "Hopefully, I'll be ready to go."
Banks, who was injured in the season-opener against Georgia Southern, has been running for the better part of two weeks. He practiced with the special teams Monday and reported no problems.
"There were no issues or anything like that," he said. "My running has been coming along good. It's just a matter of keeping it warm."
Bulldogs relish their rest
Quarterback Matthew Stafford said last week's cross-country road trip to Tempe, Arizona was fun, but the time change and the lack of sleep has been somewhat hard to overcome,
"We got back and I was in bed about 7:30 a.m. and I slept till 3," Stafford said. "Joe Cox told me he slept from 7:30 to 9 the next night and last night he could not sleep at all."
Although he still felt tired, Stafford said he and the rest of the team will be back to normal by Tuesday.
"You don't feel physically tired, but you still feel like you need some sleep," he said. "I need some sleep, but I'll be fine by Tuesday."
Green takes success in stride
Freshman wideoutA.J. Green is not exactly a novice when it comes to media coverage and expectations.
After all, the Summerville, S.C. native dealt with his all four years in high school as one of the country's most heralded prospects.
Experts predicted that he'd eventually have to start dealing with those same types of expectations at Georgia. But this soon?
After his performance in Saturday's 27-10 win over Arizona State, there's no doubt about that. Green was named the SEC Freshman Player of the Week for his eight catch, 159-yard performance in Saturday's 27-10 win over Arizona State.
"When I got home I had a lot of text messages," Green said. "Everybody telling me I had a good game."
The soft-spoken Green shrugged off a question if he ever allowed him to relish his first huge collegiate game.
"Naw, I'm just taking it in," Green said. "I'm just trying to stay humble."
Defensive end Roderick Battle still wore green Monday after straining his neck three weeks ago.
Chandler said his strained neck is not a problem and he will play Saturday against Alabama.
It appears that freshmanA.J. Harmon has been moved to the offensive line. Harmon was requested for interviews by UGASports but was told he was unavailable. Offensive linemen, with the exception of Chris Davis, have been off-limits to the media for the past week.
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