ATHENS - As No. 13 Georgia began its game-week practice schedule Monday for Saturday's visit from Oklahoma State, coach Mark Richt had praise for tailback Thomas Brown, who has returned from a knee injury to regain his starting job.
"His work ethic is unbelievable,'' Richt said. "You just can't keep him off the field. We could not have predicted that he would come back that strong and that confident. He practices with a lot of energy. He gives maximum effort every day.''
Brown tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while returning a kickoff against Vanderbilt last October, knocking him out of the final six games.
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Brown, a senior, had to beat out Kregg Lumpkin, redshirt Knowshon Moreno and top recruit Caleb King. Lumpkin led the 2006 team in rushing with 798 yards.
Richt announced safety Antavious Coates suffered a season-ending knee injury on Saturday. It is Coates' fourth knee injury.
Richt said Coates, a sophomore listed as the third-string strong safety, would like to coach and will serve as a student coach this season.
"He will still help us and be a contributor,'' Richt said. "He's a beautiful kid who hasn't complained once. He has a wonderful attitude.''
Richt said he was happy with Monday's practice.
"It was a pretty good day,'' Richt said. "I thought the guys were grinding it out. It was not as hot, so we didn't take as many breaks. I thought the guys held up pretty well. We had pretty good energy.''