“Now it doesn’t mean anything,” he said. “That’s nothing now. I’m just out here just like every other guy busting my butt.”
The 6-foot-6, 309-pound Theus has busted it enough that the freshman from Jacksonville has the inside track on the Bulldogs’ starting right tackle job.
“I don’t know if I would name him the starter right now, but he’s definitely lining up No. 1 right tackle,” coach Mark Richt said Friday. “John’s getting there. He has a ways to go, but he’s getting there.”
Richt feels good about the players lining up as the starting offensive line: Theus, right guard Chris Burnette, center David Andrews, left guard Dallas Lee and left tackle Kenarious Gates.
“That’s been the lineup that’s probably been together the most snaps with the ones and they are beginning to jell and play well,” Richt said. “Watts (Dantzler) certainly has a chance to still compete for a starting position.”
Dantzler, a sophomore, is getting snaps at right tackle and right guard.
Richt says Theus is getting better daily and sees improvement in the offense, signaling out the No. 1 unit.
“Everybody out there is trying to work to get playing time and that’s what I’m doing,” said Theus, who sustained the gash because a loose helmet cut him. “Whether it’s one play a game or however many plays a game. …I’m just trying to show them that I don’t take plays off and that I bust it every play.”
Big plans for `Big boy' Hicks
Tailbacks Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley aren’t the only freshmen in the backfield that won’t be redshirted.
Neither will fullback Quayvon Hicks, Richt said.
“No, they’re playing,” Richt said.
Hicks is working as the No. 2 fullback with Richard Samuel, Richt said. Samuel is also playing tailback.
Hicks played fullback at Pierce County High, but in a Wing-T offense.
“The leads, the blocking, I never did none of that,” Hicks said. “It was just pass protection and I would get back on defense (where he played end)"
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Hicks certainly looks the part.
“He’s a big boy,” No. 1 fullback Merritt Hall said.
“I feel like Quayvon is making tremendous progress,” Richt said. “I think he has got a tremendous body type for the position and attitude.”
Injury to backup lineman
Backup offensive lineman Hunter Long broke his left foot in Friday’s practice.
The sophomore from Memphis will undergo surgery and is expected to be out six to eight weeks, according to the school.
Long, who appeared in three games last season, was lining up as the No. 2 center, but Georgia already planned to use Burnette at center in case something happened to Andrews. Dallas Lee also can play center.
Bailey working way back
Sterling Bailey spent his first year at Georgia working his way back from a shoulder injury and then foot surgery.
Along the way he put on 30 pounds making him more suited to defensive end than outside linebacker.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound East Hall High product is now trying to show coaches he should play.
“It’s pretty amazing right now,” Bailey said. “Every time I step out there on the field, I’m giving it my all. …If I can show the coaches that I can play, that I can play, than the door’s going to open for me to get more plays and maybe start rotating in.”
Bailey got some stern words from defensive line coach Rodney Garner early in Friday's practice for running in the wrong gap.
Bailey sustained a torn tendons in his right foot during the first Outback Bowl practice last December. That kept him out of spring practices.
Bailey hasn’t been limited in preseason practice. He’s getting some second-team work.
“He’s coming,” Garner said last week. “Every day I think he will get better. It’s a confidence thing, too.”
Bailey says he’s not fully back like he was before the foot injury.
“I’m still a little hesitant on it, but it’s a process,” he said.
This and that
Freshman quarterback Faton Bauta, as expected, is likely heading for a redshirt season, Richt said. “We’re not expecting him to have to play for us this year,” Richt said.
Richt said he noticed his players tired after the 10th preseason practice. “You could see the affects of camp starting to show with their energy level and that’s when you’ve got to dig a little deeper,” Richt said.
Georgia continued to practice outside while the Butts-Mehre building was evacuated for more than a half hour on Friday morning after a fire alarm went off. Rain water apparently triggered the alarm.