Thursday: Football Notebook

Thursday: Football Notebook

ATHENS - Georgia coach Mark Richt has yet to splash down with a backflip like he's done in past preseasons.

No worries.

Toby Johnson has that covered minus the splash.

The defensive end, not a small man at 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds, did his own back flip earlier this summer that created some social media buzz.

"I was really scared before I did it," Johnson said. "I just wanted to test my knee out to see where it was at."

At least it showed that Johnson has indeed "healed up fast," as he put it, from ACL and MCL surgery to his right knee on Nov. 28 after being injured when he was hit by a fullback in a game at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College.

The backflip video was sent out on Instagram and had 2,100 hits on YouTube as of early Thursday afternoon.

Johnson did the flip outside of the Ramsey Center after a game of pickup basketball while hanging out with freshmen Shaq Wiggins, Tray Matthews, DeAndre Johnson and Davin Bellamy.

"I saw (tight end) Jay Rome put up video of him doing it," Johnson said, "and I said `Let me try and do this again."

Name game

So there would be no confusion with Wiggins, junior college safety Shaquille Fluker wanted to be known around the Georgia football team by his full first name.

"I told them they can call me Shaq, but now that we have two Shaquilles, you can't call both of us Shaquille because we don't know who you're talking to," Fluker said. "I said if you call him Shaq, you might as well call me the whole name."

That didn't clear things up exactly, so Fluker told his teammates "that where I'm from they call me Fluke as in Fluker from my last name so I said `Y'all can start calling me that, Fluke.'"

Cornerback Kennar Johnson, a Florida native who played junior college ball at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, goes by "K.J."

Said Johnson: "The only people that really call me by first name is my family back home."

Atkins learning on the job

Nose guard John Atkins hasn't played his first game at Georgia, but he's already been on ESPN with the Bulldogs.

Unfortunately for him, it came on that 3-on-3 drill when tailback J.J. Green escaped on top of a pile for a touchdown run.

"I saw it," Atkins said. "I just dropped my head. …I didn't wrap up and he spun out. It was a good one."

Atkins enrolled at Georgia in time for spring practices after playing at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.

Defensive end Toby Johnson also was in that 3-on-3 drill. "We were all in it together," Johnson said. "We all lost."

This and that

Tailback Todd Gurley and tight end Arthur Lynch were named second team preseason All-America by SI.com.

…Offensive guard Austin Long has yet to practice this preseason. Richt has said that Long was dealing with "academic stuff."

…Rome (sprained ankle) is among players still out of practice. So are outside linebackers Chase Vasser (ankle), James Deloach (thumb), Leonard Floyd (hand), and Davin Bellamy (thumb). Kennar Johnson wore a brace on his left thumb after practice Thursday but said the injury isn't limiting him in practice.

…Freshman Brice Ramsey worked as the third-string quarterback in practice behind Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason. Ramsey was 4 of 7 for 36 yards with two interceptions in the first preseason scrimmage.

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