Georgia Spring Notebook 3-30


Posted Mar 30, 2004


ATHENS - Sophomore center Randall Swoopes, who spent a year at Georgia Military College fighting his way back on Georgia's football team, quit on Tuesday.

"Swoopes has decided he doesn't want to be a Georgia Bulldog anymore," Georgia coach Mark Richt said.

The move came as a shock to his teammates.

"I was very surprised. It was all of a sudden," said Nick Jones, who now will be moved back to center from guard to back-up starter Russ Tanner. "We were shocked. I still don't know why he left."

Randall Swoopes missed several days of practice last week, Jones said.

"Coach asked us if we knew if anything was going on," he said. Richt knew Monday that Swoopes was thinking of leaving the team.

"I said if you're at practice at 2:30 (Tuesday), I'll assume you're with us," Richt said. "If you're not there, I'll assume you're not. He didn't show up."

Many thought Swoopes, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound Athens native, might push for a starting job in the fall. He played defensive line at Clarke Central High School, but he knew his future was on the offensive line when he signed with the Bulldogs two years ago. Along the way, he was kicked off the team prior to the start of last season. He played last year at GMC and re-joined the Bulldogs in time for spring practice.

"He was doing good," Richt said. "He's a fine football player. He's a good kid, too. He just didn't want to be with us."

Georgia will train Ryan Schnetzer and possibly guard Josh Brock as emergency centers.

Tanner returned to practice Tuesday after being held out due to an ankle injury, is the first-team center. Fernando Velasco is working at first team split guard, and converted defensive lineman Darrius Swain is the first team tight guard.

ANOTHER ONE OUT: Fullback Chris Hickman was kicked off the team Monday, Richt said.

"He was doing a lot of very good things, but he broke a rule he couldn't break," Richt said. "I really hopes he gets a good opportunity. He deserves an opportunity."

INJURY UPDATE: Wide receiver Tyson Browning injured his thumb in Tuesday's practice, and it's unclear when he will be able to return.

Wide receiver Sean Bailey (ankle) returned to practice. Running backs Michael Cooper (migraine) and Danny Ware (leg) and wide receiver Reggie Brown (hamstring) continued to sit out. Brown probably won't return until next week.

THIS AND THAT: Running back Albert Hollis competed in his first "inside drill" in three years on Tuesday. Hollis hasn't played since dislocating his right knee three years ago but expects to return this year. "I was very proud of how he stuck it in there," Richt said. "He was not timid at all. I was very pleased with how he did." He may scrimmage Saturday, Richt said. ... Quarterback David Greene is down to 223 pounds after playing at 234 last year. ... The Bulldogs will scrimmage Saturday at Sanford Stadium, but it is closed to the public.


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