September 3, 2009

Richt doesn't rule out a tweak or two

Georgia coach Mark Richt was asked point blank Thursday if Bulldogs' game-plan Saturday against Oklahoma State that fans might consider an offensive surprise.

Naturally, Richt wasn't about to give away any plans, but his answer was interesting nonetheless.

"Mmmmm, maybe. If we do, I don't know if they'd recognize it as being different from anything else we've done," Richt smiled.

As far as what current defensive players could eventually contribute to the offense's side, Richt left his options open, although later seemed to shy away from the idea.

"I'll never forget my mom. She's like a lot of Georgia fans in that she'll grab that video of your signees and she'll go study and say 'I think Prince Miller should be playing offense.' She still says that today when she sees Prince," Richt said. "But yeah, they do but it's so hard to learn both sides of the ball, especially when a guy is young you want his best opportunity to compete at the position that he's probably going to make his home.

"If you have a guy who is a veteran who has been around a while it's easier to steal him and let him get some reps on the other side of the ball, knowing he's established and has a good understanding of what he does for a living, so to speak."

That's not to say that players like Branden Smith and Bacarri Rambo would not be capable.

Smith put up huge numbers at wide receiver for Washington High, while Rambo was an outstanding option quarterback at Seminole County and ran Georgia's scout team at the position last fall.

"Bacarri he would be capable of it, but again, to my first point he has had his hands full learning safety. It's one thing to be a scout team guy, look at the card and do what the card says," Richt said. "Nobody really expects it to be done to perfection because we're not actually coaching that offensive system. But with a guy like Bacarri in particular, there's a lot to learn at safety and we didn't have time to mess around with that kind of thing."

White knows the Big 12 well

So much of the talk surrounding Saturday's game between Georgia and Oklahoma State will play into the discussion regarding which is the toughest conference in college football - the Big 12 or the SEC.

Bulldog tight end Aron White certainly has a unique perspective on that.

Growing up in Columbia, Mo. where he was high school teammates with Logan Gray, White laughed that there was once a time when he thought that the Big 12 THE conference in all the land.

But that was before he signed to play with the Red and Black.

"I get harassed about it a little bit, being from 'Big 12 Country,'" White said. "But coming to the SEC was a choice I made. My allegiance is definitely to Georgia and the SEC now, but I definitely followed a lot of Big 12 teams coming up."

Most notably were the hometown Missouri Tigers.

"I grew up thinking Missouri was the greatest team of all time, because I'm obviously from Columbia, it's my hometown and I went to teams there when I was little, everything like that," Richt said. "But once I got out of there and started being recruited by schools from other states that there was more football than what is in the Big 12."

During a recent trip home to Columbia, White caught some good-natured ribbing from friends, asking him if he was ready to play a game in "Big 12 Country."

White assured them that he was.

"The SEC is a different brand of football," he said. "I think we command a lot of respect because of the level of athletes that are in the programs."

This and that

• Richt said that 12 true freshmen will make the trip - Smith, Washaun Ealey, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch, Abry Jones, Michael Gillard, Shawn Williams, Marlon Brown, Rantavious Wooten and Montez Robinson.

• Richt confirmed what was reported in Thursday's War Room that running back Caleb King has a pulled hamstring.

• Richt said he doesn't mind at all that OSU coach Mike Gundy has decided not to shake hands before Saturday's game. "We were willing to go either way. We understand he said no, and that's fine," Richt said.

• The Bulldogs will fly out to Oklahoma City Friday at 1:30 before bussing over to Stillwater the morning of the game.

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