August 16, 2010

Morant glad to be back with team

Homesickness - pure and simple, homesickness - that was the lone reason Dexter Morant said he almost threw his Georgia football career away, before returning to the Bulldogs earlier this month.

"I was a little homesick. It was difficult at first. I was getting used to it (during the summer), but then I just started wanting to go home," said Morant, in his first interview since returning to the team back on Aug. 6.

He admitted it didn't take him long to realize that he was making a bad decision when he hopped in his car for the long drive back to Manning, S.C. back on Aug. 3.

"It was probably on the way back," Morant said. "When I got home I realized there was nothing there for me, so that's when I started calling my teammates and asking if they thought I could come back and they were like, they didn't know. That's when I called Coach (Mark) Richt. I started praying that he would let me come back and when he finally did that night, he told me to come back in the morning."

Morant said he had barely arrived back home in South Carolina before family and friends started asking what in the world was going on.

"Everybody was like 'What's up? What are you doing here?'" Morant said. "Everybody was like what's going on? I was already thinking I had made the wrong decision, but after that I was like 'Oh, man, what have I done?'"

Morant said he almost immediately began texting teammates to see if they thought he would be allowed back on the team.

It wasn't until Richt gave the final OK that Morant could finally breathe a sigh of relief and head back to Athens.

He doesn't plan on changing his mind again.

"I'm not used to being away from home this long. Where I'm from, that's home. I've just never been away from my family so it was hard," Morant said. "But once I came back, everybody has welcomed me with open arms. Everybody has been asking him I'm all right, things like that. Ever since then I've felt a whole lot better."

Smith happy to be back, but mum on recent academic situation

Sophomore cornerback Branden Smith didn't provide many details about the eight days he missed to clear up his "academic issue" other than he's happy the whole episode is behind him.

"I'm just glad to be back; I'm ready to play," he said. "I have a 3.4 GPA and I'm ready to get the season started."

Smith would not answer a direct question regarding exactly what the issue was.

"It was just hard times, man, just hard times," said Smith, who missed eight days before being allowed to return to practice.

Sailors awarded scholarship

Walk-on fullback Josh Sailors has been awarded a scholarship, Richt announced Monday.

Sailors is a 5-foot-9, 230-pound junior who graduated from Oconee County High School. He is in his fourth year in the program, serving as a valuable reserve and member of the scout team during his career.

He is the fourth walk-on to be awarded a scholarship this year. Earlier, Richt placed cornerback Chad Gloer, snapper Ty Frix and linebacker Reuben Faloughi on scholarship.

Defensive line will sub extensively

Members of Georgia's defensive line won't have to worry about whether or not they'll get reps this fall.

Every player who is able to prove they belong on the field, will play, Richt said Monday.

"I'm not sure who all will start, but everybody who proves that he's ready to play, will play," Richt said. "We know we have to sub up front especially with all the heat that we're going to be dealing with, so every man who can prove he's ready to play, will play. We want at least a two deep - at least."

Richt said that senior Demarcus Dobbs is the only defensive lineman assured of a starting role.

"I'd say from my vantage point, the only shoo-in to start would be Dobbs," Richt said. "Everybody else is battling to see who will start, but there's going to be a bunch of them playing."

This and that

Richt said that center Ben Jones underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery Sunday and will be able to return to practice the week of the season-opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. … Georgia was scheduled to take Tuesday off, but after the trip to the Ramsey Center they will return to the practice field instead. … Richt took his players on their annual trip to the Ramsey Center pool, where once again the Bulldog coach dove off the 10-meter platform in slacks and a shirt. "I got caught up in some things before we went, so I was in my street clothes," Richt said. "They were getting on me, so I decided to go. I will tell you this, after jumping in and getting out, I can tell you that H. Stockton makes some quality stuff."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!