That’s hardly the biggest news for the senior.
Gates and girlfriend Kethia Booker welcomed the birth of daughter Kennedy McKenzie Gates on Aug. 13 in Augusta.
“I’ve got a beautiful young girl,” Gates said. “It’s a special moment. I’m not playing for myself anymore. I’ve got a family to take care of. That’s my motivation each and every day.”
Gates said he gave teammates candy cigars after the new arrival.
Gates, back at practice Monday after dealing with neck spasms Friday, isn’t celebrating holding on to the left tackle spot he occupied last season.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve got the position down,” said the 6-foot-5 Gates, who says he’s now at about 312 pounds after dropping weight in the offseason. “We haven’t played the first game yet so we don’t know who’s going in. Maybe sometime next week or later this week, we’ll know who actually will be starting.”
Marshall nearly picked Tigers
Keith Marshall rubbed Howard’s Rock during his official visit to Clemson
“It was cool to do in recruiting,” the Georgia sophomore tailback said on Monday. “You get caught up in all the hype. It was a cool experience. I enjoyed my trip to Clemson. I was close to going to Clemson.”
On the eve of his college announcement in December, 2011, when he picked the Bulldogs, Marshall said that he thought he was heading elsewhere.
“The night before, I was going to Clemson, but it didn’t feel right in my heart,” said Marshall, who will face the Tigers when Georgia plays in Death Valley on Aug. 31.
The tailback from Millbrook High in Raleigh, N.C., spoke the night before his commitment for a couple of hours to his friend and fellow North Carolina high school star tailback Todd Gurley, who later picked Georgia. He also spoke to Ronald Darby, now at Florida State.
“I kind of told them I was going to Clemson, but then I changed my mind,” he said.
Marshall said he woke up in the morning of his announcement and “knew I didn’t want to go to Clemson.”
“I’ve said it before I didn’t feel right in my heart,” Marshall said. “It’s a great place, great coaches, great people, but I knew Georgia was the place I loved so I had to come here.…The places are very similar. Both have good head coaches and do the right thing. It was a tough decision, but I’m very glad I came to Georgia. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
His decision is way in the past.
“Recruiting, that’s over,” he said. “That’s been over for two years so that has no effect on how I feel about this game. It’s a big game.”
Douglas providing depth
Tight end Arthur Lynch thinks Georgia has depth at tailback behind Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
“Two guys that have come in have proven themselves right away, which is awesome,” he said.
That would be freshmen Brendan Douglas and J.J. Green.
The 5-foot-11, 220 pound Douglas, from Augusta, impressed coaches and teammates in the scrimmage last week. He left practice Monday with what Lynch thought was a shoulder injury but indicated it didn’t appear to be serious.
“I don’t know what the number was yards after contact, but I don’t recall him getting knocked back all night,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said last week of Douglas. “Just a lot of positive yards after contact, just a lot of good runs with vision. He did an outstanding job.”
Bobo said Green, 5-9 and 183 pounds, also ran physical, running over a safety to ignite a drive.
“Brendan probably does a better job in pass pro just because of his size, but both of them have done a nice job,” Bobo said.
Another freshman tailback, A.J. Turman, remains out with knee and ankle injuries.
This and that
Georgia safety Tray Matthews missed practice on Monday with a strained hamstring.
He was asked by a Twitter follower afterwards “do you think you will be ready game 1?” His answer: “yep 100percent positive.” Elsewhere in the secondary, safety Corey Moore (sprained knee) remains out. Cornerback Sheldon Dawson is still practicing in non-contact with a shoulder injury, safety Shaquille Fluker (back) returned to practice without contact and cornerback Devin Bowman (hamstring) was out.
Added to the injury list on Monday was starting receiver Malcolm Mitchell, listed with “knee swelling.” He was not at practice. Receivers in non-contact: Chris Conley (shoulder), Rantavious Wooten (hamstring), Reggie Davis (knee) and Rhett McGowan (ankle).
Nose guard Chris Mayes (concussion) returned to practice without contact.