08 09 2004 Notebook

Posted Aug 9, 2004

The battle for Georgia’s starting place-kicking job will heat up early.

The Bulldogs are expected to name either Andy Bailey, Brandon Coutu or Dublin’s Brian Mimbs the starter by the midpoint of camp.

“We’re going to have a kicking scrimmage early on in camp, and by the time that one is over, we’re probably going to have to make a call,” Richt said.

Bailey, the only scholarship kicker on the roster, said he had a bad day Monday but thinks he’ll get plenty of chances to prove himself.

“I’m hoping it’s me, but I’m trying to stay calm, not get to nervous or excited,” he said.

Mimbs, who had a scholarship offer from Middle Tennessee State but chose to walk on at Georgia, has been practicing in Athens since June 7.

He was happy with his first official day in the competiton, he said.

“I try not to worry about (the competition),” he said. “I live for today.”

The players are vying to replace Billy Bennett, who last year set the NCAA record for most field goals made and attempted in a season.

“No matter what, people are going to compare us to Billy,” Bailey said

HAYWOOD STILL RECOVERING: Central Fellowship graduate Cedric Haywood was on the practice field Monday but is not officially with the team. The sophomore receiver is still recovering from a knee injury suffered last August, and he won’t officially report until classes start on Aug. 19.

He ran hard on the practice field Monday and left the field before practice ended with an ice bag on his knee. Receivers coach John Eason said he’s hopeful Haywood is healthy enough to contribute this season.

NO DEAL YET: Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has not yet signed a three-year deal the school has offered him, he said Monday.

“I really don’t want to talk about personal things like my family and my contract,” he said. “I’ve always stated that I’m grateful I’m wanted here at the University of Georgia.”

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Darrius Swain’s battle with weight problems and problems holding down a position apparently aren’t over. The junior from Decatur showed up for camp weighing more than 360 pounds, and he has been moved back to defensive line.

“We’re concerned about his weight,” Richt said. “He is definitely not in any kind of playing shape.”

Swain was moved from defensive line to offensive line during bowl practice last year and made an immediate impact in practice due to his upper body strength. However, his continued weight problem and the season-ending illness of defensive lineman Marcus Jackson forced a return move.

NOT MUCH FANCY STUFF: Richt got some fans excited last week when he said quarterbacks David Greene and D.J. Shockley would be on the field at the same time this year. On Monday, he admitted he said that mainly to appease all the fans who write in with that suggestion and even suggested plays for the pair.

“We’re not going to make an offense out of that,” said Richt, who added it might happen only one time all year.

Greene predicted Richt would really try to confuse an opponent by putting him rather than the more athletic Shockley at one of the skill positions.

“Y’all thought it would be Shock out wide, but it’s going to be me,” he said.

Shockley is still a full-time quarterback and will share time with Greene this year, Richt said. How many snaps Shockley will get and when will be determined on a game-by-game basis, Richt said.

SLOW AND STEADY: New NCAA rules mandate the Bulldogs can’t begin two-a-day practices for the first five days of fall camp, and that’s fine with Richt.

“It does slow things down a little bit,” he said.

In previous years, teams started two-a-day practices immediately and, therefore, installed two new parts of their system each day. Now, they are forced to slow that down to one installation per day.

“I think it’s really going to help everybody put things in,” Richt said.

THIS AND THAT: Linebacker Arnold Harrison graduated over the weekend.... True freshman Chester Adams didn’t practice Monday due to irregularities in an EKG taken Sunday, but he expects to return to the field today. ... Offensive lineman Josh Brock (shoulder), wide receiver Mario Raley (foot) and running back Tony Milton (leg) are close to 100 percent healthy but will be eased into contact work due to long periods of inactivity.

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