Dawson Getting Looks, Too
Sheldon Dawson
Athens Banner-Herald
Posted Aug 21, 2012


ATHENS - Josh Harvey-Clemons may be the highest-profile freshman this preseason in Georgia’s secondary, but he’s not the only player trying to earn a spot in the Bulldogs’ rotation.

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Sheldon Dawson, from Memphis, is getting work behind Branden Smith at strong corner.

“I want to be able to step up when my name is called to prove that I can do it as well,” Dawson said.

The 5-foot-11, 186-pound Dawson said he came in “a little light,” and needed to hit the weight room “to be able to hang with those guys.”

“Sheldon’s made a bunch of plays out there,” coach Mark Richt said. “He’s already proved to me that physically he has the tools to play that position. He’s still learning and he’ll get better at what he does. The bottom line is you’ve got to have the physical ability to play the position and stick to a receiver. He has that. He plays the ball very well.”

Dawson said he’s put on about 20 pounds since he arrived in Athens on June 4.

“I started falling in love with the weight room with Coach T,” Dawson said of strength and conditioning director Joe Tereshinski. “I saw myself start to get bigger and started to like it. I already had a physical attitude about myself, but now that I’ve put weight on, I feel like I can play with anybody.”

Harvey-Clemons and Dawson are “getting a lot of reps,” in a secondary that will be shorthanded early in the season due to suspension.

Harvey-Clemons is working at safety and nickel.

“There’s no question that he’s going to be in there playing scrimmage downs and specials teams downs,” Richt said.

Washington, others in mix opposite Jones

There don’t seem to be too many questions about who will start on Georgia’s defense.

The outside linebacker spot opposite Jarvis Jones is one with some intrigue.

Cornelius Washington is among candidates to get the nod there since Chase Vasser is suspended two games.

Washington is working in practice again at his former position but still rotating back to defensive end.

“He’s been doing good,” Jones said. “It’s the same thing, he goes from one spot to the other spot. He knows the system so he can multitask. Coach (Todd) Grantham always moves him around.”

T.J. Stripling, Ramik Wilson and freshman Jordan Jenkins are other possibilities at the position.

“Those guys are working hard, they’re all getting reps,” inside linebacker Amarlo Herrera said. “We’ll see next week.”

Vasser’s court date on a May DUI charge scheduled for Tuesday was reset to Nov. 6, according to an official at Atlanta Municipal Court, because an attorney had a leave of absence.

Hunkering down

The doors of Georgia’s practices are closed the rest of this week to the media.

Word was given to reporters a couple of hours before practice Tuesday that there would me no viewing period.

Today’s scrimmage and Thursday’s situational scrimmage are also closed as are practices on Friday and Saturday.

Georgia opens the season Sept. 1 against Buffalo.

“Things are getting picked up,” defensive end Abry Jones said. “Guys are really realizing the countdown is getting lower and lower and the game’s really around the corner.”

The closing of Tuesday’s practice came after Richt already said Monday night that he would cut back by five minutes the viewing time for media after reporters saw Keith Marshall get dinged in a drill.

“If I’m mad at anybody, it’s myself,” Richt said Monday.

Marshall, who teammates said returned to practice Monday, wasn’t listed on Tuesday’s official injury report.

Suspension hits opponent

Georgia isn’t the only team in Sanford Stadium for the opener that could be missing a key player due to suspension.

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack is suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

The suspension comes after Mack got in a fight with a teammate, according to the Buffalo News, which reported he’s not taking part in team activities and isn’t allowed on campus.

Mack led the team last year in sacks (5 ½), tackles for loss (20 ½) and forced fumbles (five) and was fourth on the team in tackles last year with 65. He’s on the preseason watch lists for the Nagurski and Lombardi Awards.

Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings and Vasser are suspended two games and safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree are also expected to face suspension.

This and that

Tight end Jay Rome (strained hamstring), receivers Tavarres King (lowest leg strain) and Chris Conley (shoulder contusion) and offensive lineman Mark Beard (sprained knee) were limited in Tuesday’s practice in shorts, according to Georgia. Center David Andrews (illness) was no longer listed on the injury report

Georgia will hold its “practice game” scrimmage team with the frontline players on offense and defense going up against the scout teamers simulating Buffalo.


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