Returning starter John Theus and Kolton Houston are both working at right tackle.
Offensive line coach Will Friend said Thursday night that he could play up to eight players.
Houston, a junior eligible now after a three-year fight with the NCAA after testing positive for an anabolic steroid administered in high school, has earned his place with Theus.
“Both of those guys are going to play,” Friend said. “Whether it’s half, whether it’s two-thirds and a third whatever it may be, they will be both play a lot. They’ve both got to be ready as if they’re going to be a starter and whoever goes out there, that’s what competition’s is for. Whoever over the next six or seven days is doing the best, that guy will go out there first.”
Georgia’s other expected starters on the line are left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews and right guard Chris Burnette.
Guard Watts Dantzler and tackle Mark Beard are the other players who have worked their way into playing time.
Friend said Burnette, coming off offseason shoulder surgery, “is fine now,” and “he’s ready to go.” Theus has also worked at right guard.
Friend said coaches have an idea of who will start on the line, but offensive coordinator Mike Bobo wants the competition to continue a bit longer.
“We’ve still got probably another couple of practices before we settle on who those guys are,” Bobo said. “I’m not ready to say who the starters are.”
Dawson returns to banged-up secondary
Cornerback Sheldon Dawson, who missed Wednesday’s practice game scrimmage with a sprained shoulder, no longer was listed on Georgia’s official injury list on Thursday when the Bulldogs held a situational scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.
Safeties, however, continue to be missing in action.
Tray Matthews (strained hamstring), Shaquille Fluker (illness) and Corey Moore (knee sprain) all were held out of the Thursday’s practice.
“All I go is by the day and today everybody was getting a little bit better,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. “We’re going to practice on Friday and Saturday so hopefully we can get some reps for those guys to start preparing for Clemson.”
Grantham said that Fluker felt better on Thursday and he could return on Friday.
“I’m not counting anybody out,” Grantham said.
Grantham `confident' in Langley
Freshman cornerback Brendan Langley from Kell had an interception in each of Georgia’s three preseason scrimmages.
Given the need for newcomers to make an instant impact in the secondary, Langley hasn’t disappointed.
“I think Langley’s done a great job,” Grantham said. “He’s been serious about learning our system really since we signed him in February. He’s taken ownership in trying to learn the defense. …He’s a very conscientious guy, understands leverage. I’m confident in where he’s at and what he’s doing. Just keep working him and develop him. He’s a young player who’s going to continue to get better the more he plays.”
This and that
Bobo has seen continual progress from his side of the ball as the preseason has wound down. “I think we’ve gotten better each scrimmage and that’s what we wanted to do,” he said. “We haven’t really had any setbacks as far as scrimmages and playing games. We’ve had some practices that probably weren’t up to par but the (scrimmages) have been good and we’ve gotten better and that’s what we want to see.”
Aaron Murray wasn’t completing 11 of 14 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns against just scout-teamers in Wednesday’s scrimmage. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons played on the “Clemson” squad since he’s suspended for the opener.
Fullback Merritt Hall missed Thursday’s practice with a strained neck and wide receiver Tramel Terry was out with a left knee contusion.
Freshman Jordan Davis is still being prepared to play this season, tight ends coach John Lilly said. He’s competing with walk-on Hugh Williams behind Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome.