When Georgia and Florida kick off Saturday at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Bulldog receiver A.J. Green and Gator defensive end Carlos Dunlap will be on opposite sides - again.
As youngsters growing up in South Carolina, two respective stars always found themselves on different teams, from rec league football and basketball to high school where Green starred at Summerville and Dunlap at Ft. Dorchester.
"We've been playing against each other since the sixth grade, ever since I was little," Green said. "I used to look at him and think 'Man, he's huge, there's no way we're the same age.'"
These days, they're two of the best players in the SEC.
Green continues to lead the conference in receiving yardage (682), receiving yards per game (97.4) and catches per game (5.9), while Dunlap is a force at defensive end for the defending national champs with a team-leading five sacks.
"We talk some," Green said. "I was talking to him a couple of weeks ago, that we're the face of South Carolina, that kind of stuff. A lot of people there look up to us, a lot of little kids look up to us."
No doubt many recall one instance when both players went nose to nose during a game between Summerville and Ft. Dorchester when the 6-foot-6, 290-pound Dunlop slid over to cornerback to front Green, had split out wide to the left.
"He came over and tried to jam me," Green smiled. "I'm just glad he didn't get his hands on me."
So what happened next? Did Green blow by him?
"Yeah," Green chuckled. "But if he would have got his hands on me it would have been over."
Both Green and Dunlap remain good friends.
"He's a great guy and really grown as a person," Green said. "In high school, he just had an attitude pretty much but now he's a good guy."
Bobo will remain on the field
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo confirmed Tuesday that he'll be back on the sideline for Saturday's game against Florida after a successful effort two weeks ago against Vanderbilt.
"It went about as well as expected," Bobo said. "Obviously, you can't see as well down there but it was more just to get some energy and show the guys some confidence, to look them in the eye and let them know this was going to work."
Bobo said having wide receiver coach Tony Ball in the press box to be his eyes enabled him to make the move.
"You've got to have guys up there who are capable of giving you a picture and Coach Ball does a good job of that," Bobo said. "You've got to prepare well where you can recognize their looks and make sure they're playing the way you thought they would, and if not be able to find ways to make adjustments. But it wasn't that difficult because they were able to give me a good picture from up top."
Still no solid food for King
Tailback Caleb King said he's still unable to eat solid food since fracturing his jaw four weeks ago against LSU.
"I'm still on a liquid diet," King said. "I don't know when they're going to let me actually eat anything."
When he does, King's already got his first meal planned out.
"Man, I'm going to get me a cheeseburger," King said. "You don't realize how much you miss them until you can't have one."
Rain moves Dawgs inside
Rain forced the Bulldogs (4-3, 3-2 SEC) from their Woodruff Practice Fields to the Georgia Basketball Facility Tuesday afternoon.
The offense worked out in the women's practice gym, while the defense worked out in the men's gym as the team prepared for Saturday's matchup with Florida.
The 90-minute session was conducted in shoulder pads and shorts.
"It was a good day with good focus," head coach Mark Richt said. "We walked through things, which is important mental preparation and also helps get the sensation of what your body is supposed to do during the game. It really didn't hurt us in our physical preparation either because we had our typical Tuesday practice on Sunday and we'll get our regular Wednesday practice in tomorrow."
This and that
According to linebackers coach John Jancek, both Akeem Dent (hamstring) and Marcus Dowtin (finger) have both been cleared to play Saturday.
Georgia is 11-3 under Richt following an open date, including 1-0 when it comes before the Florida game.
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