December 29, 2008

Eason eyes future

ORLANDO, Fla. - Wide receivers coach John Eason is already formulating plans for how he's going to work his players when the Bulldogs begin spring practice in March.

Of course, freshman wunderkind A.J. Green is back to head up the group, but with the graduation of senior Mohamed Massaquoi, it's left a void that Eason is currently pondering how to fill.

One thing he is planning is to move junior Kris Durham from the flanker position to Massaquoi's split end role.

"Kris has played all three (receiver) positions throughout his career and he started out at that position his first year," Eason said. "Mike Moore will be back so we'll have him inside. Right now going into spring I would imagine they would be the Top 3."

But they won't be the only ones figuring heavily into the mix.

Eason has high hopes for Tavarres King, who has practiced at both the flanker and split end position for the Bulldogs and is someone still expected to accomplish great things.

"We've also got Israel Troupe who is over there with (Green)," Eason said. "Tony Wilson (foot), I would imagine, is going to be out for the spring. So right now that's it besides some of the non-scholarship guys, who will be getting an opportunity to compete."

Eason is counting on getting some help from the 2009 signing class. Currently, the Bulldogs have a verbal commitment from Rantavious Wooten, but would like to add two more.

"I'd like to have three," Eason said. "We're looking at the idea, it just depends on the way things go, we're looking at the possibility of two or three in the recruiting process. We've told them all we need three.

"When you look at the numbers we have now and what we're going to have in the spring, the way that we practice and through games, I really think we've got to pick up three."

Although Eason can't comment specifically on recruits, the Bulldogs are known to be focusing hard on Cameron Kenney (Garden City CC) and Memphis prepster Marlon Brown.

"Obviously there a couple that I really want, that I'd love to have, but just about everybody out there is recruiting those guys," Eason said. "If I could pick up maybe one or two guys, which I think I've got one already. If I could pick up another one that would be great. I know I'm not going to get them all, but I've got to try. I've got one committed, but I feel good about some others."

Eason said he's probably talking to between eight and 10 different receiver prospects.

"Just not all with the same intensity," Eason laughed.

Samuel's wrist OK

Freshman running back Richard Samuel continues to practice with a cast over his left wrist and thumb by head coach Mark Richt said Monday the injury is not serious.

"He banged it a little bit, but the X-rays were negative so it's not a factor," Richt said. "At this point we're just trying to protect that hurts right now."

Samuel practiced Sunday and Monday with the cast.

Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs (ankle) did not practice during the team's Monday morning practice session at Olympia High.

Richt said that Dobbs injured the ankle Sunday.

"He's on crutches but a lot of times the goal for us is to just have a guy stay completely off it, wrap it up tight and keep the swelling down," Richt said. "Ron Courson (head trainer) is hopeful that he'll still be able to play and maybe practice (Tuesday)."

Bobo impressed by redshirting trio

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said he's been impressed by three of Georgia's redshirting offensive players - wide receiver King, along with running backs Carlton Thomas and Dontavius Jackson.

"Tavarres can be a very good player for us, although he still has to get stronger," Bobo said Monday. "Carlton Thomas has had a great bowl practice along with (Jackson). Those guys are excited and doing things against our No. 1 defense. They're out there making plays."

Thomas has been particularly impressive.

"He's just picked it up. He's making plays in space, catching the ball out of the backfield and he's pretty tough for a little as he is," Bobo said. "He'll take a shot and bounce right up. He's taking every rep right now and doing great."

More on Searels

Bobo said one of the biggest reasons Stacy Searels decided to spurn alma mater Auburn to stay with the Bulldogs had to do with the offensive linemen Georgia has returning.

"I think that had a lot to do with it," Bobo said. "There are a lot of young guys here that he recruited and have a chance to be a good group. He knows they still have a lot of growing up to do, and he wanted to be part of that process."

That said, Bobo indicated he and the other assistants gave Searels plenty of reasons to stay as well.

"Obviously you want to talk to him and talk about staying, and what he means to this program, especially for us offensively," Bobo said. "We told him we had a good thing going here, but at the same time he had to do what's best for him and his family. We just wanted him to know that he's much appreciated here. That's the main thing I tried to convey."

In the Christmas spirit

On Sunday, each Georgia player got a $400 gift card to use at Best Buy, and they purchased a variety of items including televisions, cameras and video games.

The Bulldogs were also able to make a donation to the Athens Boys and Girls Club as well after an idea from someone affiliated with the program.

"The guys had a great time and cleaned up pretty good at Best Buy," Richt said. "Before we went, someone had an idea to add up all of the money left on the gift cards after the guys were done and give whatever was leftover to the Athens Boys and Girls Club. The guys agreed to it and I think it was neat that we were able to donate about $3,000 worth of equipment."

The Bulldogs also bought four Xbox 360 systems to give to the organization.

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