Odum's notes from Athens 8/28/2002

Various notes from the best beat writer in Athens.

NOTES: Backup center Russ Tanner will miss at least four weeks after tearing two tendons between his index finger and middle finger on his right hand in practice Tuesday. Tanner, just returning from a knee injury, suffered the injury when his hand  was caught on the chin strap of another player's helmet.

Tanner had one tendon surgically repaired Tuesday night and will have another surgery Thursday.

The Tanner injury will force starting guard Kevin Breedlove to serve as the backup center behind Ian Knight. If Breedlove is needed at center, Chris Hewitt  freshman Bartley Miller would move up at guard.

Offensive line coach Neil Callaway said he plans to play three true freshmen on the line - Miller, Josh Brock and Max Jean-Gilles - against Clemson. Callaway said two more freshmen - Daniel Inman and center Randall Swoopes - still could earn playing time. The situation at center could affect plans for Swoopes. ...

Cornerback Brandon Williams returned to practice Wednesday after he was reinstated to the team Tuesday. Williams will be suspended for the first three games - a punishment Richt said came from him. Williams was suspended even though he was cleared of rape charges by a jury last week.

"Anytime someone does something that embarrasses our program, that deserves some discipline in itself,'' Richt said. "We want our players to do the right thing. If they stub their toe, we've got to get them back in line.''

Williams practiced with the scout team defense. Richt said it was too early to know if Williams, a senior, can contribute after missing all of preseason practice while suspended from the team.

Charles Odum is the beat writer for Dawg Post in Athens. He has over 20 years of experience covering Georgia football. He can be reached here: CEOdum@aol.com

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