The second scrimmage of the month on Wednesday will provide a clearer picture to coaches, but assistants Saturday provided a glimpse into some movement on the depth chart through the first 11 practices.
--Kolton Houston, eligible to play for the first time in his career, is competing for the starting right offensive tackle spot with John Theus, offensive line coach Will Friend said.
With Houston working some at tackle, Theus has split time between guard and tackle the last few practices. Houston also can play guard.
“A lot of it is just trying to figure who the best group is, what lineup we like the best,” Friend said.
Kenarious Gates has solidified his position as the starting left tackle with probably the best camp of any lineman, Friend said.
The line is better than a year ago at this time and the number of players competing means “guys will have to worry about performing throughout the season.”
Right guard Chris Burnette has missed some practice time in an effort to keep him fresh after offseason shoulder surgery, Friend said
Of his lineup, Friend said: “We’ve kind of got a good idea. They’ve got one more scrimmage to try prove some things.”
--Starting nose guard Mike Thornton continues to have a hold on that spot. “He hasn’t done anything to hurt himself,” defensive line coach Chris Wilson said.
--Freshman quarterback Brice Ramsey has had “an excellent camp,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. The Camden County product is “pushing” for the No. 3 position.
“He’s a guy that’s been productive and made plays when he’s in there,” Bobo said. “Does he understand what we’re doing? No, but I’ve seen a guy that’s picked up on some things.”
Georgia has a clear pecking order with Aaron Murray as the starter and Hutson Mason as the backup.
Bobo said that Ramsey could be the No. 3 quarterback and still be redshirted. Christian LeMay and walk-on Parker Welch are also competing with Ramsey.
--There is not a clear leader to be the No. 3 tailback, but Bobo indicated that J.J. Green could have the advantage because he practiced in the spring and “has made plays for us offensively,” Bobo said. That includes in the passing game.
A.J. Turman has shown positive signs before missing practice time late this week with ankle and knee injuries. Douglas has shown good vision running and has been an “excellent pass protector,” Bobo said.
Green, Turman and Douglas, all freshmen, could all play this year.
“We’ve got to get all three of them ready to play special teams,” Bobo said.
Pool trip breaks up camp grind
With 18 players on Georgia’s injury list, there probably wasn’t a better time for the team’s annual trip to the Ramsey Center for some pool time.
After nine straight days of practices, scrapping a morning practice to jump off the high dive and splashing around was a cool break before an afternoon practice.
“Had to conquer my fear this morning,” Green tweeted. “Did a 30 foot drop off the high dive!”
Wilson said he showed up at Sanford Stadium for a scheduled special teams practice, but was told to turn around because the session was scrapped.
“You’ve got to give them a day to get refreshed because the grind is real as the kids like to say,” Wilson said. “It’s not 105 scholarships anymore like when I played, it’s 85 so you’ve got to get those guys prepared for three weeks from now.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt still went off the high drive with a back flip even after hip replacement surgery before February’s signing day.
As for the injuries, secondary coach Scott Lakatos downplayed the impact of safety Tray Matthews missing practice time with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
“It’s not been a major issue,” Lakatos said.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Matthews’ absence has allowed junior college transfer Shaquille Fluker to get increased practice work.
Grantham said he expects Matthews and outside linebackers James Deloach (thumb), Leonard Floyd (hand) and Davin Bellamy (thumb) to be back at practice next week after being sidelined during the last week.
Georgia has Sunday off, but will be back at it on Monday, the first day of fall semester classes. The Bulldogs will take Tuesday off and then practice Wednesday through Saturday.
This and that
Freshman Brendan Langley has joined Malcolm Mitchell, Damian Swann and Rhett McGowan as players being considered to return punts, confirmed assistant coach Bryan McClendon, who oversees that unit.
Freshman guard Brandon Kublanow is the closest of Georgia’s true freshmen offensive lineman to being able to play this season, Friend said. “He’s more physically ready. He’s a guy that as he gets it a little bit more and more he’ll get better because he’s a strong guy.”
Offensive guard Greg Pyke missed “four or five days” of practice this week with a sprained ankle. “We were kind of hoping he’d be further along,” Friend said.
Nose guard Chris Mayes is trying to stay involved despite being sidelined with a concussion “The thing that Chris is doing a good job of he’s at all the meetings, he’s watched all the practices, he’s in all the walk-throughs, he’s very attentive,” Wilson said. “I think he’ll get right back into it.”