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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Pratice Notes 8/9

First it was Georgia's receivers dropping like flies, now it's the safeties. Quintin Banks tore his medial collateral ligament during Saturday's morning practice the first of preseason with full pads and contact and will likely have surgery Tuesday to repair the injury. Head coach Mark Richt said Banks will miss about six weeks.

"He was a guy who had really come on and was ready to play," Richt said. "More than likely, we're going to have to have some young guys get reps."

Freshman safety Makiri Pugh also went down with an injury Saturday, suffering a sprained ankle that Richt said will keep him out at least a week.

The injuries put a significant dent in Georgia s depth chart at a position defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said he had hoped to have a five-man rotation for.

Redshirt freshman John Knox will move up to third on the depth chart following Banks injury, while Richt said any number of younger players could jump up to grab the fourth spot, including Baccari Rambo, Nick Williams and senior Andrew Williams.

The injuries may also affect possible redshirt decisions for Richt, who said currently there are no prime candidates on defense to sit out the season.

"There could be a redshirt in the works for one of those guys," Richt said, "but right now we re saying there s not a one of those guys that we re saying he s probably not going to go. We re trying to get them all ready to go."

-- Running back Knowshon Moreno was in a green jersey for the second straight day of practice Saturday, but he quickly put any concerns about missed playing time to rest.

"It was just precautionary," Moreno said. "It's just sore. Just trying to keep after it to make sure everything s alright. Just don t want to make anything worse."

Moreno said the soreness stemmed from an old injury he suffered in high school, and avoiding contact early in camp was a just a step to make sure he was ready for the start of the season.

"Running backs, we get hit the most -- every time we carry the ball," Moreno said. "So you've really got to watch out for your body."

-- Beyond Moreno, there aren't many running backs on the depth chart with experience, but that doesn't mean Richt isn't happy with the crew he has.

Freshmen Carlton Thomas, Dontavious Jackson and Richard Samuel have all impressed the head coach during the first week of workouts.

"They're talented runners, they're eager to learn, they'll try to stick their face in there on pass protection, every one of them will," Richt said. "We did a good job recruiting those guys."

Moreno is clearly the go-to guy in Georgia's backfield, but Richt said plenty of playing time was still up for grabs among the freshmen -- assuming they can grasp the basics by the time the season kicks off.

"I think they all see it's pretty wide open," Richt said. "There's a lot of playing time to be earned. They all know if they can do well enough of pass protection, they're in the race. If they can't do that, then they're going to be watching someone else do it."

-- Saturday was Georgia's first two-a-day practice, and while the Bulldogs will have today off except for team meetings, the double sessions will resume Monday. Richt said the team will scrimmage in both the morning and afternoon sessions Monday. Georgia will hold its final two-a-days on Wednesday and Friday.

-- That's probably all for tonight as I'm exhausted from waking up before noon, but I'll have a wrap up of Week 1 tomorrow, plus I'll be kicking off a new series of posts.

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