November 21, 2011

Remembering Munson

Of all the current Georgia players who grew up listening to Larry Munson, senior kicker Drew Butler has a unique perspective of what the broadcasting icon meant to generations of Bulldog fans.

The year was 1984, the season Butler's dad Kevin kicked a 60-yard field goal to beat Clemson, drawing one of Munson's more well-known calls.

Munson died Sunday night of complications from pneumonia. He was 89.

"Obviously I've heard it many, many times, seen the videos, it gets replayed every Saturday here before the games," Drew Butler said. "Larry was a big part of my dad's career here; unfortunately he wasn't able to be a part of mine, but he's held very dear to my family as well as the Bulldog Nation. It's sad to see a damn good Dawg go."

On Monday, Georgia announced that a memorial service for Munson will be held at a date yet to be determined; however, it will be after Dec. 4.

In lieu of flowers, the Munson family requests that donations be made to the Noah Harris Cheerleading Scholarship. The endowed scholarship is awarded annually to a student-athlete on the cheerleading team who demonstrates outstanding character, leadership, and dedication to the athletic program and the community. The fund was established in 2006 in memory of 1st Lieutenant Noah Harris who was a cheerleader for UGA.

Donation checks should be made payable to the UGA Foundation with the designation "Noah Harris Cheerleading Scholarship in memory of Larry Munson." They may be sent to the Georgia Bulldog Club, PO Box 1472, Athens, Ga. 30603.

Head coach Mark Richt spoke briefly to reporters after practice Monday.

"My first memories of hearing Larry was riding in a car with Wayne McDuffie, the offensive coordinator when I was at Florida State," Richt said. "The team used to stay in Thomasville and we'd travel back and forth together, and if Georgia was playing that day, (McDuffie) would work the dial to find Munson, so I did get to hear Munson call a few games before I came to Georgia."

Butler said Munson's impact on the program is something everyone on the team is aware of.

"I think everybody is. Obviously, when I was here in 2008 it was his big ceremony, the passing of the torch on the field before the Georgia Tech game. He was a legend, and obviously everybody understands what he meant to this program and what he meant to the University," Butler said. "It's sad to see him go, but hopefully we can continue to honor him with our play and have a special season."

Charles a finalist for Mackey Award

Junior Orson Charles was named a finalist for the prestigious Mackey Award Monday, which goes to the country's top tight end.

"I thought there was no way I'd become a finalist, because there were guys with numbers way better than mine," Charles said. "I'm just so thankful. I'm thankful to Aron (White) and Artie (Arthur Lynch) for pushing me in the meeting and weight room, Aaron (Murray) for helping me understand the defense coverage and Coach (John) Lilly for making me the best tight end I can be. I thank my teammates on the offensive line, without them this doesn't happen."

Clemson's Dwayne Allen and Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert join Charles as the three finalists for this year's honor. Arkansas' D.J. Williams was the 2010 recipient as Florida's Aaron Hernandez claimed the 2009 award. Charles represents the first Bulldog to be named a finalist since the award started in 2000.

The Mackey Award winner will be presented live at the Home Depot - ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show in Orlando, Fla., on December 8 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

Malcome said he works with the first team

With Isaiah Crowell nursing an injured ankle and Carlton Thomas' status in question after last Saturday's suspension, redshirt freshman Ken Malcome said Monday he received most of the reps with the first team offense.

"I feel a lot more comfortable," Malcome said. "My first game actually playing (against Kentucky), I got a good feeling of what to expect against an SEC team. I'm still the same person, I'm not going to let one game change the way I am. I'm just going to keep working harder and do what they tell me to do. To beat Georgia Tech I'll lay down my life."

According to Malcome, redshirt sophomore Brandon Harton also received some reps with the first unit, while freshman Kyle Karempelis received most of the reps with the second team.

Malome did confirm that Thomas was at practice Monday and that he "took a few reps."

As for Crowell, the freshman running back was seeing leaving the Butts-Mehre Building and appeared to be walking fine, and without any kind of support boot. Richt said Sunday he expects Crowell to play in Saturday's game at Georgia Tech (Noon, ESPN).

This and that

The Bulldogs worked out in full pads for just over an hour under the lights on the Woodruff Practice Fields. "We needed to work on a few things, so that's why we were in pads today," Richt said. "We'll probably be in pads every day this week. … This game is crucial. If you don't (stay focused), you'll get whipped, No. 1, and you might get hurt too, so these guys have got to be ready." … The team held its annual Thanksgiving dinner after practice Monday.