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UGA Gets Commings, Vasser Back… But Richt’s On The Injured List

After serving two-game suspensions, Georgia cornerback Sanders Commings and linebacker Chase Vasser are returning to the Bulldog team.  Both players were arrested during the offseason and received their suspensions as a result.  Now they are — in the words of Vasser — “free.”

According to The Macon Telegraph, Commings will likely step right back into the starting lineup, but Vasser’s suspension “might have cost him a starting spot at outside linebacker.”  (The suspension status of starting inside linebacker Alec Ogletree and starting safety Bacarri Rambo is still unknown, but it’s been reported both players will likely sit for two more games.)

Vasser was arrested for a DUI.  Commings was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, but his issues were later settled.  Richt still chose to suspend him for two games.  According to the coach:

 

“He needed to be disciplined for what he did.  It’s one thing to miss a game, and that hurts them. They don’t like it, but also part of the punishment is what you have to live with as a person because of all the attention that it gets.  You have to look your parents in the eye, you have to look your teammates and coaches in the eye, you have to go to class.  There is a lot of embarrassment to what happens when everything comes to light and is talked about over and over and over.

He certainly didn’t behave the way he should, and he’s paying his debt to society, he’s paying his debt to the program, in my opinion.  I’m glad he’s handled everything the way he’s handled it, and I think he’ll move forward and be a positive person and a positive teammate.”

 

Speaking of Richt, he’s on the DL with “an abrasion and slight contusion of the chin” which he received during a celebratory hug with Richard Samuel during last Saturday’s win over Missouri.  “I think my chin just rubbed back and forth on his shoulder pad and the meshing of his jersey and just wore a hole there.  But that was a lot of fun.”

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UGA’s Samuel Could Be Ready By SEC Title Game

So long as Kentucky doesn’t pull one of the year’s biggest upsets on Saturday, Georgia will be headed to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game on the first Saturday in December.

And the Bulldogs might have tailback Richard Samuel dressed out and ready to play in that one.

Mark Richt said yesterday that the running back — despite having ankle surgery on November 1st — could be healthy enough to play in the title game.

“(Team trainer) Ron (Courson) feels like Richard could have a shot at it,” Richt said.  “I think Ron felt that way when it happened, that if we were fortunate enough to get into the game that he’d have a chance at it.  And that was when it first happened, and since that time he really feels like he’s on schedule to do well.”

Georgia would not have defeated Florida last month if not for Samuel.  His powerful, fast, between-the-tackles runs in the second half proved to be the difference in the game.



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SEC Headlines – 8/30/11 Part One

1.  Will Muschamp says there’s still a lot of work to do at Florida this week.

2.  The Gators look to start two true freshmen in the secondary for the first time in school history.

3.  Howard Schnellenberger knows that his Florida Atlantic Owls aren’t likely to get a hoot out of playing in The Swamp.  (Hoot?  Owls?  Get it?)
 
4.  If Georgia tailback Richard Samuel is healthy on Saturday, he’ll split carries with Isaiah Crowell.

5.  Mark Richt won’t say if safety Bacarri Rambo is suspended for the opener or not.

6.  Boise State’s Chris Petersen says he’s put a blowout loss at Georgia in ’05 out of his mind.

7.  A dozen freshman are likely to contribute for Kentucky this season.

8.  There’s not as much hype for a UK-WKU opener as their is a UK-Louisville opener.  Big shock.

9.  UK has stupidly banned its own student newspaper from today’s basketball interview sessions because a college reporter did his job.

10.  Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw are listed as co-starters on South Carolina’s depth chart.

11.  Akeem Auguste has reinjured his foot… meaning CC Whitlock will start at corner for USC against East Carolina.

12.  Gamecock freshmen are getting a crash course in SEC football.

13.  Tennesssee — including return specialist Devrin Young — is getting healthy at the right time.

14.  UT will have two true freshmen flanking a senior in its linebacking corps this fall.

15.  Vol players are excited that the season is finally upon them.

16.  Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith seems to have more confidence this season.

17.  James Franklin has decided not to call plays on offense… for now.

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SEC Headlines – 8/18/11 Part One

1.  Florida’s players say there’s no internal strife in Gainesville this year.

2.  The spread-option may be gone, but the Wildcat lives on at UF.

3.  The strength and conditioning coach for the Gator basketball team has left for a job with the San Antonio Spurs.

4.  Georgia has lost another body in Jakar Hamilton, but at least the Dawgs have built some depth at safety.

5.  Isaiah Crowell is closer to returning to action than Richard Samuel.

6.  Egads!  UGA’s not in the Sports Illustrated’s preseason Top 25.

7.  Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton is listening to advice from ex-QBs Tee Martin and Andre Woodson.

8.  Learning Rick Minter’s new defense is “an upper-level course.”

9.  UK hoopster Darius Miller and Team USA moved to 5-0 in the World University Game yesterday.

10.  South Carolina quarterback candidate Connor Shaw looked good in last night’s scrimmage, until he dislocated his thumb.

11.  True freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had a pair of sacks, a forced fumble and a touchdown. 

12.  Tennessee has plenty of options in its secondary.

13.  Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox says freshman Curt Maggitt is “a linebacker and he’s pass-rusher.”  And he admits there aren’t too many guys like that.

14.  Vol strength coach Ron McKeefery wants the weight room “to be the nerve center of the entire operation.”

15.  Receiver Jordan Matthews brings big play potential to Vanderbilt’s offense.

16.  James Franklin says his players must treat football like a job.  “They’re going to have to wake up every single morning and go earn it.”

17.  VU defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff — who served at Miami for the last three years — isn’t talking about the Yahoo! Sports report.

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UGA’s Crowell And Samuel Could Be Out Til Next Week

If you’re Mark Richt, the last thing you needed were injuries at the tailback position.  After a wave of departures this offseason, the Bulldogs’ coach found himself with a tailback-turned-linebacker-turned-tailback and a true freshman as his 1-2 options heading into the fall.  Now both are on the shelf for a few more days.

First-team tailback Richard Samuel has already missed two practices with a left quad injury.  “I don’t know how long he’ll be, but he definitely isn’t ready yet,” Richt told The Macon Telegraph.  “My guess is it’ll be early next week before we even start thinking about it.”

Isaiah Crowell — the all-everything freshman who some are expecting to be this year’s version of Marcus Lattimore — is still limited with a groin injury.

“He still can’t really move quick enough to be safe and be competitive,” Richt said.  “I mean he gave it a go today, but it’s not ready yet.  He thought he was ready and he wasn’t.  He’s farther along than I’d say Richard right now.”

Richt said he expects both players to be back for the opener against Boise State.  But in Crowell’s case especially, any missed practice time — true learning time — has to be a concern.

No one is worried about the rookie’s ability to run the football.  And so far, he’s gotten good grades for picking up the offense.  But if he’s going to be a complete player right from the get-go, Crowell will also have to master blitz pick-ups and quarterback protections.  The more reps he misses in practice, the more likely it is that Samuel will get the bulk of the work against the Broncos in the Georgia Dome.

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SEC Headlines – 8/10/11 Part Three

1.  Today will be a big challenge for freshmen at Mississippi State.

2.  It’s two-a-day time in Starkville.

3.  25-year-old assistant coach Angleo Mirando is handling MSU’s receiving corps this season.

4.  Trying to raise $150 million, Ole Miss is eyeing a new basketball arena and an expanded football stadium.  (So UM can have even more empty seats will fans mill about The Grove during games.)

5.  Houston Nutt is taking it easy with oft-injured defensive end Kentrell Lockett.

6.  Quarterback contender Zach Stoudt turned in an impressive practice in pads yesterday.

7.  A knee injury will cost Florida tight end AC Leonard up to two months.

8.  The Gators have already identified their top three receivers.

9.  UF’s O-linemen are hoping off-field camaraderie leads to on-field success.  (The off-field camaraderie involves dressing up in professional wrestling costumes, by the way.)

10.  Will Muschamp has been trying to build a closer, tighter team in Gainesville.

11.  Just-cleared Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones says he “never stressed” the NCAA’s decision.

12.  Isaiah Crowell and Richard Samuel put up good numbers in UGA’s scrimmage this morning.  (So does that mean they’re good or the Dawgs’ defense is bad?  That why we pay little attention to scrimmage stats.)

13.  Receiver Marlon Brown’s stock is finally rising in Athens.

14.  You can add Louisiana-Monroe to Georgia’s 2015 football schedule.

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UGA Just Looking For Guys To Step Up

Yesterday it was learned that linebacker Brandon Burrows’ name can be added to the long list of players Georgia has lost this offseason.  The redshirt freshman underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

Burrrow’s unavailability adds to depth concerns at that stretch from linebacker to tailback to O-line and almost across the board in Athens.

Just don’t say that to linebacker Christian Robinson:



“People think we have depth issues.  I just think we need guys to step up.  That’s at any position.  We have enough guys here at Georgia to get it done.  Richard (Samuel) is going to step up and help us at the running back position and somebody’s going to step up at linebacker and make those plays.  They may not have as many reps, but it’s a matter of guys realizing they have shoes to fill.”


That’s certainly the attitude a team leader should share.  There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking. 

But if teams with depth issues weren’t so often undone by those very issues, you wouldn’t have such hand-wringing all across the country over… depth issues.  Truth is, depth issues are a concern at Georgia.  A big concern.

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SEC Headlines – 7/15/11

Lot of headlines today as we have a previously schedule engagement.   So here goes:


1.  ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman has apparently been suspended for his role in writing Mike Leach’s new book… which took a lot of shots at ESPN’s Craig James.

2.  And media members are rising to defend Feldman and rip ESPN.

3.  Like us, this writer believes Gene Chizik did the wrong thing by peppering the head of NCAA enforcement in a room full of people.

4.  This writer says Les Miles and Derek Dooley are oddballs.

5.  Arkansas will travel to Oklahoma for a December basketball matchup.

6.  MSU quarterback Chris Relf is a big ol’ boy.

7.  State will open football practice on August 4th.

8.  These six Florida Gators could have breakout seasons.

9.  Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower is one of the SEC’s best players.

10.  And Georgia’s game with Boise State should be one of the SEC’s best games.

11.  Richard Samuel is indeed moving back to running back at Georgia.

12.  This writer says Chizik’s “conversation” with an NCAA official might be the “most-buzzed-about SEC conclave” since Steve Spurrier and Johnny Majors got into it back in 1991.

13.  Work on Commonwealth Stadium’s new scoreboard has begun in Lexington.

14.  Joker Phillips says there’s “a lot of buzz going around” UK’s football team.

15.  The Wildcats have released next season’s nonconference basketball schedule.

16.  Mix and match those uniforms, South Carolina.  The monochrome look went out with “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

17.  Those changes to USC’s unis are more obvious in photos than in yesterday’s sketches.

18.  Tennessee’s Dooley is no fan of summer rules.

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SEC Headlines – 7/14/11 Part One

1.  The Gainesville Sun says the South Carolina-Georgia game should be a doozy.

2.  The paper also ranks Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery as the league’s 6th best player.

3.  Was Steve Spurrier’s field goal to beat Auburn in 1966 the greatest moment in Florida football history?

4.  Speaking of Auburn, the Tigers struck out at last night’s ESPY awards.  (As millions tune-in and fall into ESPN self-hype trap.)

5.  Georgia looks pretty good on special teams… again.

6.  With major attrition at running back in Athens, Richard Samuel — a tailback turned linebackers — could soon become a tailback-turned-linebacker-turned-tailback.

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SEC Headlines – 3/25/11 Part Two

1.  Florida’s Kenny Boynton says BYU’s Jimmer Fredette “kept crying to the ref toward the end of the game.”

2.  The Gators and Cougars set an NCAA Tournament record by jacking up 71 three-pointers last night.

3.  Star kick returners — like Georgia’s Brondon Boykin — could see their future draft stock fall due to the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

4.  There’s a battle at linebacker in Athens between Richard Samuel and Alec Ogletree.

5.  The Dawgs say their defense and their attitude are better this spring.

6.  UGA is easing some restrictions it had placed on football tailgating.

7.  Kentucky’s 22nd Sweet Sixteen matchup figures to be a toughie against Ohio State tonight…

8.  But the Wildcats say they aren’t scared.

9.  John Calipari says he’s “still trying to figure” out how he can nullify his team’s lack of experience.

10.  UK players “bristled at any notion Kentucky would play second fiddle to any team, no matter its credentials.

11.  South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia says he’s “got to be smarter” and that “nothing bad is going to happen again — that’s guaranteed.”

12.  Garcia’s teammates supported him during his one-week suspension from spring drills.

13.  Apparently some idiot/drunken students threw bottles at police as they frisked Jadeveon Clowney early this morning. 

14.  Darrin Horn wishes guard Bruce Ellington success as he tries to become a two-sport star for the Cocks.  (But you know the coach would rather have his guy living basketball.)

15.  Derek Dooley says crazy weather in Knoxville is “good preparation” for his team.

16.  Sophomore center James Stone is getting used to snapping the football right-handed this spring.

17.  With all its baggage, it’s hard to claim that Tennessee is the best open basketball job in the country right now.

18.  This writer says Belmont’s Rick Byrd would be a good get for the Vols.

19.  Yet another writer is calling for UT AD Mike Hamilton’s head.

20.  With two players transferring out, Vanderbilt has some openings in its secondary this spring.

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