Georgia‚Äôs Outback Bowl practices on campus wrapped up around 10 this morning.
Players are heading home for the holidays.
‚ÄúI think everybody‚Äôs in a good spirit and hope everybody makes it home safely,‚Äù coach Mark Richt said. ‚ÄúI try to talk the coaches into making sure they got all the work done by the end of the day and hopefully they can spend some good quality time with the family here in the next few days.‚Äù
The team will meet in Tampa on Dec. 26, a week before the game against Michigan State.
Georgia is at the bowl site longer than usual because NFL games are on Jan. 1.
‚ÄúWe are there an extra day,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs really why I gave them an extra day of Christmas vacation. Usually we‚Äôd be leaving tomorrow, but that was my thinking there.‚Äù
Some other items from today:
–Richt said the contract extension he‚Äôs working on with athletic director Greg McGarity won‚Äôt be finalized until after the bowl.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not a major rush,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúGreg and I trust each other.‚Äù
–Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and linebacker Mike Gilliard, who haven‚Äôt practiced yet during bowl preparations because of ankle injuries, aren‚Äôt certain to play in the bowl, Richt said.
He said that he thinks offensive guard Chris Burnette (sinus infection) ‚Äúwill be fine.”¬† Richt said he thinks punter Drew Butler (ankle) ‚Äúwill be kicking” in the bowl. ” I‚Äôm hoping he‚Äôs punting the day we get there, but I‚Äôm not sure of that.‚Äù
–Junior linebacker Christian Robinson, one of the best quotes on the team, won the first GATA Award (Gracious Attitude Toward Answering) as voted on by the beat writers. The award was for the player who was most accommodating with reporters.
Tight end Aron White was second and cornerback Brandon Boykin was third.
I voted for kicker Blair Walsh second behind Robinson simply because he never ducked an interview request during a rocky season. Walsh showed up and stayed to answer questions from reporters over and over about what was going wrong when he hit a slump this season.
–Richt was asked about his talks with backup quarterback Hutson Mason, who is considering transferring after the season.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not going to get into any of my private conversations with Hutson, but I can understand where he‚Äôs coming from,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve talked and I‚Äôm trying to help him with whatever decision he makes, make it a good one.‚Äù
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer