August 19, 2009: Georgia Practice Report

Posted Aug 19, 2009

ATHENS - Georgia continued preparations for the 2009 season opener with a two-hour practice Wednesday in jerseys, shells, shorts and helmets.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said the workout went well and that the cooler conditions led to a productive day.

“The boys did a lot better today, I saw a lot more energy, and the weather probably helped,” said Richt.

The 13th-ranked Bulldogs have 12 more practices scheduled before the season begins at 11th-ranked Oklahoma State on Sept. 5.

“If we were less than a week away, we’d feel like we need more time, but at this point, we’re getting our work in and realize there’s still a long time until that first game,” said Richt. “It’s time to stay strong and create good habits because you’re going to need that when the emotion is gone.”

Richt provided a special teams update on the return candidates. He said senior cornerback Prince Miller is the main guy on punts and that sophomore backup quarterback Logan Gray continues to be an option from the 10-yard line like he did last year.

“Logan will be back there for a fair catch and to decide whether to let it roll,” said Richt. “It’s not a high risk unless somebody takes a shot when he’s trying to fair catch one, and he might return one if it’s a shank.”

Miller led the team last season, averaging 21.2 yards per punt return including a 92-yarder for a touchdown against Alabama. Gray ranked second on the team with a 12.0 average on six returns.

On kickoffs, Richt said that the options include sophomore tailback Richard Samuel, sophomore cornerback Brandon Boykin, senior safety Bryan Evans and freshman defensive back Branden Smith.

In 2008, Samuel finished second on the team, averaging 21.1 yards per kickoff return. He had 19 returns for 401 yards including a career-best 60-yard kickoff return against Florida.

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