Georgia starting outside linebacker James Deloach was to undergo surgery on his left thumb Monday, but is expected to be out of practice for less than a week. He is expected to be available for the Bulldogs’ season opener on Aug. 31 at Clemson.
The surgery for DeLoach was to take place at St. Mary’s Hospital. Also undergoing left thumb surgery there was freshman outside linebacker Davin
Bellamy, who already was limited in practice with a shoulder injury sustained while playing at Chamblee High School.
“They’ll be practicing relatively soon,” coach Mark Richt said. “You don’t miss an awful lot on that. …It will probably be a couple of days (out), but it won’t be a long time. It won’t be a full week or two weeks or anything like that.”
DeLoach, a sophomore from Millen, was at Georgia’s fifth preseason practice Monday morning, but was not participating. He sustained a sprained ulnar collateral ligament.
“He knows enough of what to do that I don’t think it will (set him back),” Richt said.
Bellamy has a broken left thumb, according to Georgia. He’s also expected to be ready for Clemson.
“You’ve got a lot of hand to hand combat in there,” Richt said. “Your digits get pushed back sometimes, they get damaged. We’re going to clean them up with the surgeries and then club ‘em up to protect them.”
Both were injured in Sunday’s practice.
DeLoach was expected to start opposite Jordan Jenkins at outside linebacker. Senior Chase Vasser was working as a first-team outside linebacker today with DeLoach sidelined.
“We’ll roll other guys in there, too,” Richt said.
Starting free safety Tray Matthews was limited for the second straight day due to what Georgia said was a sprained shoulder. Freshman cornerback Shaq Wiggins was out with a strained groin.
“It’s not good, but like I told them after practice, `That’s football,’” Richt said of his secondary.
Freshman WR Davis has speed to burn
Reggie Davis caught his teammates’ attention back in summer workouts, but the thinking was that the freshman would probably be redshirted given how deep the Bulldogs are at the position.
Maybe that’s not a lock for the 6-foot, 159-pound product of Lincoln High in Tallahassee, Fla.
“He can fly,” receiver Michael Bennett said. “He’s really good on those deep routes.
Davis has worked some on the offense’s second-unit this preseason, Bennett said.
“His speed is in a different class than really everybody else on the team,” quarterback Huston Mason said. “He got here in the summer and I didn’t even know who he was. He made a name for himself real quick when he ran a go route or a takeoff. He’s pretty little. He’s going to have to put on some weight, but he’s got kind of a fiery attitude.”
That trait, Mason said, is something offensive coordinator Mike Bobo loves.
Davis, who won’t turn 18 until Nov. 22, finished fifth in the Florida State 3A 100-meter dash with a time of 10.43 seconds. He helped lead Lincoln’s 4x100 relay team to a state championship in 2012.
`Very physical' first full pads practice
The first full pads practice of the preseason left Richt pleased with the energy and effort.
“I thought the guys got after it really good,” Richt said. “Very physical, very intense practice. Guys played as hard as I could hope them to play on a day like today. I was just pleased with the physicality of the day and the energy of the day.”
Georgia went “live” with tackling to the ground in 3-on-3 drills with three on each side and a runner.
Freshman tailback J.J. Green caught Richt’s eye when he “somehow ended up on top of the pile and rolled over the top and landed on his feet, and scored a touchdown. It was a pretty impressive run.”
Among other newcomers Richt mentioned as standing out so far: outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, defensive end Toby Johnson, cornerbacks Brendan Langley and Wiggins.
Reggie Carter, a freshman inside linebacker who practiced in the spring, continues to get second-team reps, Richt said.
Freshmen inside linebackers Tim Kimbrough and Johnny O’Neal are “very physical, thumper-type linebackers,” Richt said.
This and that
Richt was asked Monday about Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly saying he thought Georgia would be a natural matchup. “I don’t know how in the world we got in the conversation of a Notre Dame schedule, but we’re all for playing Notre Dame or whoever else.”
Offensive right guard Chris Burnette didn’t practice on Monday. The senior missed the spring following shoulder surgery and Richt said the plan is to give him a break physically at times this preseason. “We’re just trying to go kind of every other day or at least the plan is every other day,” Richt said. “We’ll see how it goes.” Watts Dantzler worked with the starters at right guard.
ESPN’s Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and David Pollack (the former Bulldog All-American) set up in the indoor multi-purpose room Monday morning for broadcasts throughout the day, but reports of Johnny Manziel getting paid for autographs dominated the network’s college football coverage Monday. Athens was the first stop on a preseason bus tour.
Georgia is scheduled to scrimmage for the first time this preseason on Wednesday. The team will hold a special teams practice Tuesday morning and practice in shorts Tuesday afternoon.