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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Postcard from Memphis: UCF stuff, UGA pro updates, and a lot more of Lott

MEMPHIS - For a second there, I thought Akeem Dent was about to tell us he tamed a Bronco on Tuesday night.

“They had a rodeo last night,” the Georgie middle linebacker began to say Wednesday, then added: “I was going to go to it, but I didn’t have a chance to do it. The time slot was just crazy.”

Oh well.

Dent did go on to praise the barbecue, specifically Rendesvous, which the Bulldogs had catered to Monday’s practice. (We media types get our round tonight.)

“That was probably the best ribs I’ve had in a long time,” Dent said.

Well, there’s your free advertisement, Rendesvous. I’m expecting a couple free beers out of it. Or a dozen, whichever you think is best.

Here, for your enjoyment, are some other notes from the morning’s press conferences, which featured Georgia and Central Florida defensive coaches and players.

- There was a lot of talk about UCF quarterback Jeffery Godfrey – well not from Godfrey, whom UCF is keeping off-limits to the media. But Georgia players say of all the film they’ve seen of the Knights, Godfrey stood out.

“With his skill level he’s pretty much similar to a lot of guys we’ve played against, running the option,” Georgia linebacker Justin Houston said. “But size-wise, we haven’t played a small quarterback like that.”

- UCF linebacker Bruce Miller, his team’s defensive player, talked about growing up rooting for Georgia. His idol was David Pollack, and he attended a lot of games at Sanford Stadium.

Despite that, Miller said he wasn’t hurt when Georgia didn’t offer. He has about 45 people driving over from home to watch the Liberty Bowl, plenty of whom are probably Georgia fans themselves.

“They better be in the black and gold, I know that,” Miller said.

- UCF defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable, taking a break from making sandwiches at his New York in-home medical practice, had this to say about Georgia's offense:

“They’re a lot bigger than we are. They have tremendous skill players. We’re not as big a defense. But we play hard and we’re fast. Their skill players and their ability to get the ball down the field vertical – along with their run game – they’re big across the front. I’m sure they’re going to try and run the ball and pound us. And then they have a great play-action off the run.”

- Look for Georgia defensive end Derrick Lott to get more snaps in Friday’s game. The redshirt freshman has impressed coaches in bowl practice, and earned a shot at more playing time.

“Derrick Lott is a guy up front that he’s got some physical tools to him,” Grantham said. “He’s a young player. We’ve just got to continue to work with him, develop him. And he’s a guy that could see some snaps I the game as we move forward. That’s an area where we need to find out, we need to maximize our snaps there.”

Lott, freshman Garrison Smith and sophomore Abry Jones figure to be the main guys at defensive end next season, according to Grantham.

“As we move forward, we’re gonna try to find out what’s the best combination of those guys,” Grantham said. “So Derrick’s a guy, we’re gonna see what he can do.”

- In more look-ahead mode, this time the inside linebacker spot, Dent thinks Marcus Dowtin and Christian Robinson will be the main guys, with Richard Samuel, Mike Gilliard and Nick Williams behind them.

“Next year I look forward to Christian Robinson and Marcus Dowtin, look for them to have a big year next year,” Dent said.

- The requisite to-go-pro-or-no questions: Brandon Boykin and Houston each said they’re no closer to a decision. Houston sounded somewhat honest when saying he still hasn’t given it much though.

“It’s crazy. I keep putting it off, but I really need to start thinking about it now because time is flying by and the time to make my decision is soon,” he said.

Houston said he’d sit down with Grantham and family members after the bowl game. Grantham, given his NFL experience, said he planned to sit down with both Houston and Boykin.

“When you have quality people in your program, and you have players that are explosive as they are at their positions, you obviously want to keep those players in your program,” Grantham said. “Now in saying that, you’ve got to look at each of their situations individually. You’ve got to talk to them about the plusses and minuses of staying and going. And ultimately, you do want to do what’s best for them and their longevity. … I would say that I’ll sit down with both those guys and kind of discuss that with them once the bowl is over.”

- Finally, some players were still shaking their heads over A.J. Green’s performance in the shooting contest Monday at the Grizzlies game. Green airballed two shots, and was one-for-five from beyond the arc.

“When you focus on one sport, you can’t be great in both,” Houston said.


Anonymous said...

Seth, Love the updates from Memphis and wish I was there. The spelling of the BBQ restaurant is Rendezvous. Excellent BBQ and Sausage !

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming that you know it's Heathcliff Huxtable and not Dave!