August 31, 2010

King says he welcomes expanded role

Caleb King doesn't know how many times he'll be asked to carry the ball Saturday in light of Washaun Ealey's suspension for Georgia's opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

But whatever the plan, King said he's ready to play as huge a role as he possibly can.

"If they ask me to carry the ball 100 times, I'll do it with a smile," King said after Tuesday's practice.

No, King won't come close to that, but he will certainly establish a new career high.

King's career high for carries in a game is 18, something he's done twice in his career, the last coming in the Bulldogs' season-ending victory over Georgia Tech.

"I still don't know what the rotation is going to be like," King said. "C.T. (Carlton Thomas) has gotten some reps with the ones. I still don't have a clue as to how it's going to be."

King did reveal a slight injury Tuesday, showing off his left pinkie that was wrapped in gauze.

"It's just a little sprain; they (trainers) just want to keep it from swelling," said King, who added the injury does not hamper him when he carries the football.

Searels proud of Sturdivant

In a rare interview Tuesday, offensive line coach Stacy Searels said he's proud of the progress being made by Trinton Sturdivant.

"Trinton's worked very hard for a guy who's been through two years, two hard off-seasons," Searels said. "He's worked hard, he's had his ups and downs but I think he's coming back and I'm looking forward to him playing some."

Searels said he expects Sturdivant to play Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette.

"We don't have to work him in quick right now but I would like him to play Saturday and get some quality reps, get some confidence," Searels said. "Anytime you've got two major surgeries like he did it's going to take a while to get some confidence back, but I look forward to him getting out there and playing well."

Dent making a big impact

Inside linebackers coach Warren Belin could not stop smiling when talking about Akeem Dent, who returned to the practice field Saturday and is expected to start in the Bulldogs' opener.

"During the injury, Akeem prepared himself very, very well. While he continued to recover from the injury he continued to take all the mental reps he could take and it's showing up very well," Belin said. "He knows our defense very, very well. He's a little rusty, but the more reps he takes the more he's producing like we expect."

Dent will open alongside redshirt sophomore Christian Robinson, who will be making his first career start.

"Akeem has got a burning desire to have a great senior season to help this football team win, Beling said. "Akeem has prepared himself very, very well and it also helps to have Christian out there with all the checks that have to be made and everything that we're having to get accomplished. Christian having been through camp I think can really help him."

Lakatos clears up who starts at safety

Secondary coach Scott Lakatos made it official - Jakar Hamilton will start at free safety with Bacarri Rambo getting the nod at strong.

"Right now we're kind of focusing on Jakar at the free safety because Nick's (Williams) more of a strong safety," Lakatos said. "Bacarri has the ability to do both but we're still using different combos of guys. We haven't officially settled everything yet but we're basing a lot on how they do the rest of the week."

Both Rambo and Hamilton will be making their first career starts.

This and that

Head coach Mark Richt said he was pleased with Tuesday's practice. "Today was much better than yesterday in terms of tempo and effort," Richt said. "For the first time this fall, the defense had zero penalties. And the offense only had one penalty. Overall, that was the fewest of the fall. That's pretty good." … Defensive line coach Rodney Garnersaid he will rotate six or seven players on the defensive line Saturday. … Louisiana-Lafayette was given 4,500 tickets for Saturday, but sold only 490, according to UGA officials.

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