HOOVER, Ala.—Georgia finally gets its turn at SEC Media Days Thursday when the Bulldogs kick off the last day by getting their time in front of the cameras, microphones, laptops and notepads.
Mark Richt is making his 14th appearance here as Georgia football coach.
They keep records of such things dating back to the first media days in 1985.
It turns out that places Richt second in most appearances by one coach at a single school. Tennessee’s Philip Fulmer had 15. Steve Spurrier made his 22nd combined appearance this week at Florida and South Carolina.
Todd Gurley, Chris Conley and Ramik Wilson are the Bulldogs’ players on hand today.
Keep checking back here during the day for updates.
The media’s preseason All-SEC team and predicted order of finish comes out this morning.
Richt is meeting with a smaller group of reporters before his turn in the big room.
–Georgia is picked to finish second in the SEC East behind South Carolina. Alabama is the pick to win the SEC West and become champion.
Coaches usually don’t make much of such things, but Mark Richt was asked in the small group if being picked second sounded about right.
“No,” he said. “I’d have us first.”
Richt said he likes the chemistry he sees with this team this summer.
Georgia will ride first-team preseason All-SEC pick Gurley as much as they can, but there is depth at the position.
Others on the first team from Georgia: linebacker Ramik Wilson and kicker Marshall Morgan.
The second-team selections are wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, linebacker Jordan Jenkins and cornerback Damian Swann.
Tailback Keith Marshall, offensive lineman John Theus and defensive lineman Ray Drew are third-team picks.
-Richt provided updates on two players returning from season-ending knee injuries last season.
Marshall is on track to be ready to go for preseason practices.
“Keith looks great,” Richt said. “I’ve watched him run straightahead. He looks outstanding in that area. He is changing direction. I don’t know if he would say he’s 100 percent today but he has no limitations whatsoever in his training. He can run routes, he can do pass skelly, he can do anything. We think Day One he’ll be 100 percent ready to compete.”
Receiver Justin Scott-Wesley’s timeline for returning is a little more fuzzy.
“I think he might be available to play Day One, but I don’t know if he’ll be playing at a tempo where we feel like he’s ready to do it at the highest level and there’s a lot of competition at that position as well,” Richt said. “I’m not 100 percent how long it will before he gets in there can go full speed.”
Richt said that receiver Malcolm Mitchell, another player coming off an ACL injury, is “doing great. He looks great.”
–Richt was asked in the big room about wanting other teams to have the same strict drug policy as Georgia does. “We’re not worried about that part of it. We don’t want our guys to do drugs, OK?”
–Richt said he spoke on Wednesday to Gurley, who usually doesn’t enjoy answering questions from the media, about his role here this week. “I talked to him about embracing it,” as he prepares for a career in the NFL as early as next year.
Gurley was going all in on the hours of interviews he has ahead. “It’s a once in a lifetime chance so I think I’d take that.”
–Defensive back Dominick Sanders and receiver/returner Isaiah McKenzie drew praise from Gurley for how they look this summer. McKenzie’s route running was mentioned.