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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Notes from the first Georgia spring scrimmage

The media wasn’t allowed to view Saturday’s scrimmage, but Mark Richt and selected players were available to give us their versions of what happened. The consensus: Everyone was happy.

Richt called it an “outstanding” scrimmage, with nice plays on both sides of the ball.

“By no means was it just an offensive juggernaut,” Richt said. “But there were some good plays made on both sides of the ball. I wouldn’t say either side dominated.”

Quarterback Aaron Murray even said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had good things to say at the end. Murray said Bobo told the offense it was ahead of where it was this time last year.

The defense had a good day too. Inside linebacker Christian Robinson said he was taking the defensive line to lunch (Weaver D’s) because he had promised them that if they had a good scrimmage, and they did.

Kwame Geathers drew praise from both Robinson and Richt, continuing what has apparently been a good spring for the nose tackle.

“Kwame, I’m just really proud of him. DeAngelo (Tyson) and Abry (Jones), and Derrick Lott – Derrick Lott’s gonna be contributing this year,” Robinson said. “They’ve really stepped up. They’re holding their gaps, and letting us get to where we need to get to. We’re eliminating those double teams, and it really frustrates the offense.”

Tight end Orson Charles, who was the first player Richt mentioned, was the most effervescent.

“Aaron looked good. We all looked good,” Charles said. “We were just relaxed. We came out there and had fun. A couple days in practice we’ve been really getting after it, so today we just came out and had fun. Today was like a real game.”

Well not too much of one. There were a lot of controlled simulations, and it wasn’t a traditional four-down game. (There were no official stats kept.)

Caleb King had a good running day, and drew some praise from Richt.

“Caleb’s been practicing very well,” Richt said. “It seemed like he’s been practicing with great focus, and a physical attitude, and seems to be in good condition. … (When a play is over) he pops up and sprints back to the huddle.”

The surprise star of the day was walk-on Brandon Harton, a running back from Tatnall County. He took advantage of hamstring injuries to Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas and had a couple long runs, including a 65-yarder.

“Obviously everyone here is good,” Harton said. “But you just have to go out every day, work hard, and whenever you get your opportunity, take advantage of it.”

A few of the other highlights:

- Murray said he and Hutson Mason each had two touchdown passes, and that there were no interceptions.

- Michael Bennett had a one-handed touchdown catch. Richt mentioned that Bennett “caught my eye.” Marlon Brown also had a touchdown grab, reaching up to make a catch in coverage.

- Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was in on a bunch of plays, according to Richt. The head coach also said Brandon Boykin had some nice coverage plays.

- Other injuries: Fullback Bruce Figgins was held out with a stiff neck. Linebacker Richard Samuel was held out with a rib injury, and tight end Aron White had an unknown injury.

Richt expected all of those players to be back early next week. He was hoping to get Ealey back by the end of next week.

- Bacarri Rambo, expected to miss the rest of the spring with a sprained knee, was not in attendance. Richt said the safety was attending his sister’s wedding.

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