August 14, 2009

Richt gives team a cool refresher

Head coach Mark Richt pulled a fast one on his Bulldogs Friday morning.

Decked out in full pads, Georgia players prepared themselves for what they thought was going to be a long, hot special teams scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

But Richt had other ideas.

Instead of pulling up next to the stadium, Richt had the busses turn right up East Campus Road toward the Ramsey Center and the facility's Olympic size pool.

"We were in full pads, everybody was taped up," safety Bryan Evans said. "We started going to the stadium, but drove on by and everybody was "All right, we're going to Ramsey!' But we got there and he had the bus drive all the way around (the Ramsey). We thought we were going back to the stadium. He (Richt) was just playing with us a little bit."

Once there, one of the highlight was the sight of 320-plus freshman Kwame Geathers jumping off the 10-meter board, a task each of the freshmen were instructed to do.

Even Richt got into the act, jumping twice off the 10-meter - in his slacks and coaching shirt.

Evans and sophomore Brandon Boykin took their turns as well.

"It was my first time," Boykin said. "I went over to the edge about five times to look over before I just went and did it."

Other players took part in races matching skill players and linemen alike.

Georgia was set to return to Sanford later this afternoon.

Pugh showing his versatility

Redshirt freshman Makiri Pugh has added free safety to his resume following yesterday's news that Quintin Banks will miss at least three weeks with cartilage damage in his right knee.

Pugh had been working primarily at nickel back and short corner before Banks' injury forced defensive coordinator Willie Martinez to add safety to his repertoire.

"It's a little difficult to learn three different positions but one thing I pride myself on is the ability to pick up systems quickly and my knowledge of the game," Pugh said. "The way I look at it, it's just an opportunity for me to play more football."

The 6-foot, 196-pounder,who hails from the same high school (Independence) as quarterback Joe Cox and former wide out Mohamed Massaquoi, is comfortable playing wherever coaches see fit.

"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "I think we've got a good young secondary. I just want to be part of it any way I can."

Murray's big bro fitting in just fine

Call it a passion for the game.

Those were the words of walk-on Josh Murray as to why he decided forgo his pro baseball career to give football the old college try.

A second-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002, the older brother of quarterback Aaron Murray hung around the lower minor leagues before deciding enough was enough.

Now, a backup safety with the Bulldogs, Josh Murray (who is classified as a junior) is sure he made the correct choice.

"After I was drafted there were a lot of expectations and everything, but for some reason after that first season my heart just wasn't in it anymore," said the 25-year-old. "The Brewers tried to do everything they could for me. It was such a great organization and I really tried to push through it and push through it. But spending so much time working on one craft when you really don't have anything into it, it's really tough."

Murray even sat out a year to try to see if could regain his love for baseball but football kept calling his name.

"Sometimes it's tough throwing yourself out there, especially with me because I haven't played in like a decade," said Murray, who only played one year of high school ball. "But I told myself I need to make the most of the opportunity that God gave me because he's blessed me with so much and I felt like I wasn't taking advantage of his blessings."

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