Say this for Georgia receiver Michael Bennett this spring – he’s certainly busy.
"He’s getting a lot of reps with the lack of numbers," offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said.
The redshirt freshman from Alpharetta has a chance to make an impact in his first season playingafter Georgia lost its top two pass-catchers in A.J. Green and Kris Durham.
"I want to make a big contribution to the team," Bennett said Thursday. "I’m really getting in the film room and working my butt off to learn every position and make some plays."
Bennett is one of just four healthy scholarship receivers, along with Tavarres King, Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, currently available for the Bulldogs.
Bennett said that senior Israel Troupe is out with a shoulder injury. Freshman Chris Conley also did not practice Thursday due to an unspecified injury.
"The issue right now is we don’t have a lot of depth there," Bobo said. "We’ve just got to push through."
Bennett is trying to take advantage of the extra work.
"I’m getting six or seven plays in a row," Bennett said. "It’s tiring, but it’s good at the same time."
Bennett impressed Bobo with a couple of catches in Tuesday’s practice, including a screen he took about 80 yards, but receivers coach Tony Ball was more cautious with his appraisal.
"There’s nothing to write home about right now," Ball said.
Ball said the total numbers at receiver are enough – he said there’s at least 10 when walk-ons are included.
"We’ve got a limited number of proven playmakers," Ball said. "We’ve got to find out who those guys are and those guys have got to be consistent."
Sturdivant adjusts to playing both tackle spots
Trinton Sturdivant hasn’t played right tackle since his senior season at Anson County High School in Wadesboro, N.C., in 2006.
There’s a good reason why Sturdivant didn’t line up at left tackle then.
"We were just a straight running team," he said. "Just coming off the ball running to the right. That’s all we did."
The fifth-year senior is switching between left and right tackle this spring as new offensive line coach Will Friend also works Cordy Glenn at both tackle spots.
"It’s extremely, extremely different," Sturdivant said of playing right tackle. "In high school, I came off the ball. We didn’t throw the ball. Pass blocking in a right-handed stance was 100 percent new to me. It’s a big difference. I’m just now learning how to pass block in a right-handed stance."
Sturdivant said he "really doesn’t know" if he’ll start at left tackle Sept. 3 against Boise State. He says Friend is more focused on the offense as a whole than that position battle.
Sturdivant has returned from two season-ending knee injuries.
Offense responds after Jones’ inspiration
It may only be spring practice, but players and coaches are keeping score.
The offense was happy to finally have the edge on the defense during Thursday’s practice after the defense dominated Tuesday’s practice.
Quarterback Aaron Murray called it a "pretty good day" for the offense.
"Ben Jones got on us a little bit the other day after practice and really got us pumped up," Murray said of the Bulldogs’ senior center, who he said did some screaming, yelling and even pushing to get the attention of his teammates. "We just came out there today with some energy, some life and just made some plays. It was a good day. A lot of fun."
Sturdivant said a lot of the drills are designed for the defense to have the upper hand.
"You’ve got safeties coming in the box, and we don’t have a chance to block them because we don’t have enough people," Sturdivant said. "The drills are lopsided, but we’re just out there battling."
This and that
Ohio State coach Jim Tressell said one of the schools that his staff has visited this offseason was Georgia, according to the-ozone.net. … Washaun Ealey missed his second straight practice due to a strained hamstring. He lifted weights on the side. Offensive tackle Austin Long (shoulder) also did not practice. … Georgia’s high school coaching clinic began Thursday with about 175 coaches attending practice and more are expected today.