Georgia football coach Mark Richt gave a rundown on his team following spring practices to the Touchdown Club of Athens on Monday night.
His appearance at the group’s spring meeting came just four days after the Bulldogs’ closed the book on their spring work, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have some items worth sharing:
–Freshman receiver/tailback Tramel Terry took another step Monday in his return from a torn ACL when he ran on ground for the first time, according to Richt.
“When I say running on the ground, you run in some underwater treadmills, you run in this little chamber that reduces your weight,” he said. “Then (Monday) for the first time he got to run on the grass. We’re really excited about that so we think he’ll be able to come and play.”
Terry could end up seeing playing time this season, although he’s still behind receiver Michael Bennett in his recovery.
–More love for Tray Matthews, who has all but locked up the starting free safety spot. “It may be tough to knock him out of the box,” Richt said of the No. 1 spot.
Matthews came in looking like “he was ready to play,” Richt said. “He had a plan of showing up and winning a job. He didn’t come here to try to be everybody’s friend, he didn’t come here and try to meet all the ladies. I’m not saying he’s not meeting the ladies, but he was really truly focused on wanting to come in and winning a starting position.”
–Mike Thornton had a strong spring by most accounts, but one reason he’s held onto the starting job at nose guard may be that junior college transfer Chris Mayes was slow out of the gates this spring.
“He started out a little bit tentative, not tentative as being scared or anything like that, but just not being sure on exactly how to line up, how to handle certain blocking schemes and all that kind of thing but as the spring went on, he got a lot better,” Richt said of Mayes. “He’s a big, powerful man.”
–Richt seems to be distancing himself, sort of, from the “Dawg Bite” video that was shown at halftime at G-Day. The video featured Richt’s son David and country rapper Colt Ford.
Richt said his wife Kathryn recruited him to take part in the video
“Did everybody see that?” Richt asked. “That was pretty bad. It’s amazing what you’ll do for your children. …A lot of former players gave me heck about it but a couple of recruits thought it was kind of neat that the head coach would do something like that so it wasn’t all bad.”
–This has surely been out there in recruiting circles, but Richt mentioned that defensive line coach Chris Wilson’s son will play for North Oconee High School. Caleb Wilson is a 2015 quarterback prospect.
–Richt was talking about talent at the top at tailback with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and said: “Kenny Malcome looked at the situation and decided he didn’t want to fight that competition. He moved on.”
Malcome rushed for 25 yards and a touchdown on seven carries in Southern Illinois’ second spring scrimmage on Saturday. Another transfer, Tay Willis, from East Coweta High via Highland Community College, rushed for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Malcome rushed for 14 yards on nine carries in the team’s first scrimmage.
Richt said fullback Quayvon Hicks “really stepped up and is going to push Merritt Hall for that starting job.”
–John Theus doesn’t have a starting offensive tackle job nailed down (at least not publicly but it would be a surprise if he isn’t in the lineup), but his older brother Nathan is “our starting long snapper right now,” Richt said.
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