Ware still questionable for Auburn

Danny Ware

ATHENS -- Danny Ware missed his third straight day of practice Wednesday, and that's only part of No. 8 Georgia's tailback worries.

"I think to be real fair about it, (Ware) would be questionable," Coach Mark Richt said. "He's not out of it, but he's not a shoo-in either."

Ware, who is battling a right ankle sprain and a less serious knee sprain, spent most of the afternoon in the Bulldogs' training room.

Michael Cooper, a prime candidate for the No. 2 tailback behind Thomas Brown if Ware is out, just returned to practice Wednesday after missing the last two days due a dental procedure. Tyson Browning, another option for the backup spot, practiced but still isn't 100 percent due to a hyperextended knee, Richt said.

On Wednesday, junior Tony Milton, who carried the ball seven times for 23 yards against Kentucky last week, was working at No. 2 tailback."He's probably the healthiest, and he really had a good showing in the last ballgame," Richt said.

Still, it seems like Brown can look forward to a big workload. The freshman is coming off a career-high 130 yards against Kentucky. He had his career-high in carries three weeks ago against Arkansas when he got 23 attempts, but that mark looks more and more likely to fall as the week progresses.

"I can take as many carries as the coaches dish out to me," he said.

Brown has already been announced as the Bulldogs' starter regardless of injuries. It will be his first career start, but he doesn't feel any added pressure, he said.

"But I'm definitely a lot more excited"," he said. "As soon as I got the word, I felt my excitement level rise and I knew I had to try to not let that overwhelm me."

SMARTY PANTS: Asked what safety Thomas Davis brings to the Bulldogs now that he's back from an injury, defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder was overcome earlier this week by a wave of sarcasm.

"Have you seen him play?" VanGorder asked. "He's kind of slow, misses a lot of tackles, not a very physical guy."

DOWN TO 12: Thomas Davis has been named a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, which goes annually to the nation's best defensive back.

HOOPS UPDATE: South Gwinnett guard Mike Mercer was expected to sign a national letter-of-intent to play for Georgia's basketball team at a Wednesday evening ceremony at his school, South Gwinnett athletic director Phil Davidson said. In an event that is sure to get more attention, Mercer's teammate, guard Louis Williams, is expected to sign with the Bulldogs at a noon ceremony today.

Williams is considered the No. 1 prospect in the nation by Scout.com. Once he signs his letter-of-intent, Georgia only will have to worry about him bolting for the NBA, where he could be a lottery pick next year. Wednesday was the first day of the early signing period for many collegiate sports.

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