April 2, 2011

Scrimmage pleases Richt

Although statistics were not available from Saturday's first scrimmage of the spring, head coach Mark Richt said there was plenty that impressed him during the nearly two-hour workout at Sanford Stadium.

"I thought today was outstanding, really outstanding in regards to guys playing with a lot of energy, making nice plays on both sides of the ball," Richt said. "It was good to see."

On offense, Richt said tight end Orson Charles and wide receiver Michael Bennett "caught my eye," as did walk-on running back Brandon Harton, who broke off a 60-yard run against the third team.

Wide receiver Marlon Brown also caught a touchdown pass from Aaron Murray off a flag route in the corner of the end zone. The touchdown was one of two thrown by Murray on the morning. Backup Hutson Mason also tossed a pair of scores.

Running back Caleb King also apparently ran well.

"Caleb did a nice job. He's been practicing very well, practicing with a great focus and a physical attitude and seems to be in pretty good condition," Richt said. "Every time he makes a run of late he seems to pop up and sprint back to the huddle. He's trying to play with a lot of energy."

Defensively, Richt had plenty to say about linebacker Jarvis Jones and cornerback Brandon Boykin also played well.

"I saw Jarvis in on a bunch of plays; Boykin did a nice job in coverage," he said. "We tried to throw his way a few times today and got nothing. By no means was it an offensive juggernaut but there was good intensity and just a competitive day. I wouldn't say either side of the ball dominated. Even on the goal line it was a tie then we had a one-play tiebreaker and the defense won that."

Nose Kwame Geathers had his moments.

"Kwame made some nice plays; going against Ben Jones is not easy," Richt said. "He's making very good improvement; he's really doing well."

Richt also said he sees the offensive line making strides.

"The thing I like the most is the mental edge of wanting to play physical, hard and wanting to compete and I think guys are gaining confidence in what they're able to do on each side of the ball," he said. "I think the last couple of days, the first day we were in pad the defense dominated but since then it's been a good battle and the 0-line has been a big part of it."

Georgia returns to practice Tuesday afternoon.

Hartman makes an impact

Richt had trouble recalling walk-on running back Brandon Harton's first name, but the former Tattnall County standout did enough for the coach to mention his name during Saturday's post-practice meeting with beat writers.

"He made some nice runs when we went 3s vs. 3s," Richt said. "He took one to the house."

Listed at 5-foot-6 and 174 pounds, Harton played his high school ball for former Bulldog defensive lineman Jeff Kaiser before walking on with team last year as a wide receiver.

"I asked Coach (Tony) Ball and Coach (Bryan) McClendon because on the scout team last year I played the other team's running back. They said it would be OK if I switched to running back," Harton said. "I switched over and I'm doing pretty good now."

Linebacker Christian Robinson said Harton's run went for approximately 60 yards.

"He's just so fast, and he's patient," Robinson said. "Most guys if there is a little space they will try to run over you or step back. He's got the speed to just run by you, just like the fastest guys in the SEC. We could use him."

Injury update

Richt confirmed that safety Bacarri Rambo (MCL) would not practice the rest of the year due to a strained MCL.

Rambo was not at Saturday's scrimmage while he attended his sister's wedding.

Washaun Ealey (strained left hamstring), Carlton Thomas (hamstring), offensive lineman Austin Long (shoulder), tight end Aron White, fullback Bruce Figgins, wide receiver Chris Conley, linebacker Richard Samuel, safety Marc Deas and wide receiver Rhett McGowan were in green non-contact jerseys and did not participate in drills.

None of the injuries are believed to be serious and Richt expects many to return to practice Tuesday. Ealey may be one of the exceptions, but Richt said he expects he'll be ready by Friday.

Georgia scrimmages for the final time next Saturday before the G-Day game scheduled for April 16.

Robinson gives D-linemen a treat

After Saturday's scrimmage, Robinson fulfilled a promise to the Bulldog defensive linemen by taking the entire unit out to eat at the locally renowned restaurant Weaver D's.

"I told them at the end of the season I would take them out to eat, so I've been saving up my money," Robinson said. "We'll have a good time."

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