MEMPHIS–Still warming up after getting back from Memphis University School, where Georgia is holding its first Liberty Bowl practice here in town in some chilly weather.
It was about 25 degrees when I got there this morning. It was a balmy 30 degrees by the time I was out of there this morning.
The high school has facilities that some colleges would take including a $4.5 million multi-sports complex that opened in 2006 and includes a huge football press box, hospitality boxes and an artificial turf field similar to the one found at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
“This is a nice place,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’s beautiful. Look at it. You couldn’t ask for a better facility to practice at. That includes lockers and a place to eat. The whole thing is really nice.
–Richt said he went without any head covering because his son David forgot his. “Here I am freezing my ears off,” Richt said.
–Cornerback Jordan Love, who did not get out of the Washington D.C. area on Sunday, arrived early in today’s practice. Richt wasn’t sure if tight end Arthur Lynch got on a plane out of Massachusetts today or not.
–Richt called tailback Caleb King not making the bowl trip after missing his fifth academic appointment “sad. It’s sad that it happened. We’ve got some parameters academically for these guys to stay within to help them succeed. He just fell short of that and it’s cost him the game and hopefully it doesn’t cost his teammates.”
Richt dismissed the suggestion that it might be frustrating to have a policy like Georgia does where a player can be suspended for a game for missing a third unexcused class absence or a fifth academic appointment. The policy has been in place since 2007.
“I’m not mad at the policy,” Richt said. “We’ve rarely run into this at all. I just think it’s another way to tell our players, tell our players’ families, tell recruits, that we’re serious about academics. We have a plan for them and if they follow it, they’ll be fine. If they don’t, then they’re going to have to suffer the consequences for it. Is there really an excuse for that happening? It’s not the policy’s fault, it’s Caleb’s fault for not following through with his responsibility.
–Georgia indicated that reserve offensive lineman Tanner Strickland was going to return for his final season of eligibility despite graduating earlier this month.
Strickland didn’t go that far this morning.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do in that regard when I get back to Athens as far as talking to people and figuring out what I’m going to do next semester,” Strickland said.
–One new injury to report. Inside linebacker Richard Samuel, who is redshirting this season, is dealing with a swollen knee, Richt said. “He got a lot more reps than he’s used to getting during that bowl practice before we got to town,” Richt said.
–The team will be eating barbecue from Rendevous after practice today. “We’re ready,” Richt said. “I think they’re catering it in.”
–Wide receiver A.J. Green will show off his basketball skills at tonight’s NBA Grizzlies-Raptors game here in Memphis He’s taking part in 2-ball challenge vs. a UCF player.
“A.J.’s doing it,” receiver Logan Gray said. “We had a little team vote. I was trying to persuade people to let me shoot, but I guess A.J. was unanimous.”
Green scored 25 points in Summerville High’s South Carolina state Class AAAA championship victory as a senior.
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