Charles Has Pre-Spring Jitters

ATHENS - Tight end Orson Charles said he woke up a few times during the night Wednesday with some pre-practice jitters.

Energy high in first day back

Each time, his roommate, quarterback Aaron Murray, was awake, too.

"We woke up and were like, boy I'm nervous and excited. We wanted to see what the coaches were going to say and just be out on the field once again," Charles said. "That's everybody. Everybody came out and was nervous to be back in pads, the defense had a new scheme and didn't know what to expect. But it was very good. It was exciting."

It may have been nervous excitement, but by the time the players and coaches got onto the field, it was simply enthusiasm about playing football again.

In his first day of practice, Grantham barked orders at his new defensive players – even making them re-do a drill when he was displeased with how the team broke the huddle. New linebackers coach Warren Belin and secondary coach Scott Lakatos made similar points during Day 1 of spring practice, and head coach Mark Richt said his new staff looked as if it had been working together for years.

"I got a chance to walk around the field a little bit and observe our new coaches do their job," Richt said. "They were all very locked in, very decisive about what they were doing, they all looked as if they'd been working together for quite some time."

While the finer points still left much to be desired during drills, Richt said the enthusiasm was strong, and that was all he could ask during the first practice of the spring.

"The thing I enjoyed the most was there was just a lot of energy out there, a lot of enthusiasm out there," Richt said. "Guys were moving around quickly, coaches doing a good job of barking out instructions, and guys really working hard to do what coach says."

Gone but not forgotten

While Georgia's defensive players were busy learning new schemes, Thursday's practice also marked the first day without some old leaders.

The Bulldogs are replacing six starters from last year's defense, with linebacker Rennie Curran perhaps the most notable absence. But while Curran wasn't there to help his former teammates through the first day of drills, linebacker Marcus Dowtin said he was there in spirit.

"Rennie set a foundation since he's been here amongst the linebacker corps, showing them how to act and the right things to do and the people to meet and how to practice," Dowtin said. "That's just rubbed off on us and we're just taking it from there. So it really hasn't been like he hasn't been here. We've taken what he's taught us and used it to our best advantage."

Extra points

It was just Day 1 of spring practice, but a handful of players donned green non-contact jerseys Wednesday. Kiante Tripp, Kwame Geathers, Brandon Wood, Marlon Brown and Israel Troupe were all limited or held out of practice, but none of the injuries appeared serious… The Bulldogs will now take the next 12 days off for spring break, returning for the team's remaining practices on March 16.

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