August 17, 2010

Richt says Gray will get playing time

No, Logan Gray isn't ready to break into the starting rotation at wide receiver for Georgia this fall. However, it certainly appears that he is going to play.

Following Tuesday's practice at the Bulldogs' Woodruff Practice Facility, Richt made it a point to single out the Missouri native who is quickly proving that he's ready to become a contributing member of Georgia's receiving corps.

"Logan has been very impressive to me. He's making very nice plays and looking like a seasoned receiver. He's only been playing it just a couple of months but I've really been impressed with that kid," head coach Mark Richt said. "You'd have thought if he was going to play receiver, we should have done it in the spring and all that but he worked his tail off in the summer and he's doing a nice job."

Gray is seeing time at the X, Y and Z receiver spots. He's also continuing to make big plays.

Just three days after leading all receivers with three catches for 70 yards in Georgia's most recent scrimmage Saturday at Sanford Stadium, Gray caught Richt's eye hauling in another long pass on a deep post route.

"It was outstanding throw, tight, right on the money and he came down with that thing. He's just been making plays," Richt said. "He made some nice plays in the last scrimmage and is beginning to look like a pretty solid receiver."

Richt would not divulge where Gray might currently fall on the depth chart, simply stating "I'd say he'll play. He's not a starter right now, but he'll play."

Apparently, wide receiver was not the only position coaches considered asking him to try after Aaron Murray was named the starting quarterback back in April.

"Our defensive coaches would have loved to have tried him at safety, too, maybe even corner. Coach (Tony) Ball wanted him, Coach (Scott) Lakatos would have loved to have him, so it wasn't like we were just doing him a favor because it didn't work out for him at quarterback," Richt said. "We felt like he could contribute, and he will contribute. If he stays healthy, he will contribute."

Mason opening eyes

It's been a question Bulldog fans have asked themselves since the start of preseason camp: If Murray goes down or Georgia manages to grab a big lead, who will Richt bring into the game as the backup quartetback?

More and more, it's looking like freshman Hutson Mason might be that man.

"Hutson is quickly gaining my confidence and Coach (Mike) Bobo's confidence as the No. 2 guy," Richt said. "I'm not saying that right now he's the second-team guy, but he could be before the season is over and maybe even by Game 1."

Mason has worked extensively with the second team offense throughout practice thus far.

Benedict to redshirt

Richt confirmed that freshman offensive tackle Brent Benedict (knee) will redshirt this year.

"I think that's probably going to be the case," Richt said.

Despite the decision, Benedict is back on the practice field where he has begun to take part in non-contact drills.

"He's starting to do some drill work," Richt said. "It's non-contact, but any drill that's not construed as contact, he's going to get as much as he can."

Benedict is recovering from a major knee injury which saw him tear his ACL, MCL and PCL during a game last year while playing with The Bolles School.

No more records for Wood

Senior defensive end Brandon Wood said don't look for him to try to set any more Bulldog weight-lifting records anytime soon.

During the summer, Wood set the Georgia record for the heaviest squat, lifting an incredible 715 pounds to break the old mark of 705 set by Gerald Anderson in 2004.

"That was my goal, to break the record," Wood said. "The record was 705 and I was going for 710, then 715. After I did it I hurt for the rest of the week."

He won't be trying that, again.

"I'll be happy to squat 225 pounds the rest of my time here," Wood laughed after crediting his teammates with the record-breaking lift.

"That's what got it for me. If not for my boys, it wouldn't have happened," he said. "That's a lot of weight coming down on our back but there were a lot of guys encouraging me to get it up, so I got it up."

Wood is battling sophomore Abry Jones for the starting position at left defensive end.

This and that

Richt said that linebacker Richard Samuel (leg) is still a week away from returning to practice. … Starting right tackle Josh Davis (ankle) returned to practice Tuesday. … Barring a setback, Trinton Sturdivant will be able to see some action in the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. … Georgia will hold its next full scrimmage on Wednesday, Aug. 25 in what will be a full-fledged practice game at Sanford Stadium. The NCAA allows four scrimmages per preseason. … Tuesday was Quintin Banks' first day as a student assistant coach with the team.

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