August 30, 2011

Charles can't wait

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Tight end Orson Charles was having a hard time sitting still.

With the opener against fifth-ranked Boise State now just four days away, the junior from Tampa, Fla., allowed himself to dream, imagining for a second, what it would be like to show the nation - and perhaps a few in the media - that the Bulldogs are indeed ready to reclaim their seat on the national football stage.

"If we win the game, everybody will say, OK, Georgia is back. That's what we're trying to prove. That's why we've been working in the field, off the field, in the weight room," Charles said. "We didn't get anybody arrested; it's just been a great offseason. We're just trying to show y'all that we're better."

Charles knows the Bulldogs still have plenty of doubters.

After finishing 6-7, culminating with an embarrassing 10-6 loss to Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl, why wouldn't there be?

"We're ready to tee it up. I remember back in the summer when it was like 140 days on the monitor to the countdown, but now its four days," he said. "I get excited when I think about it. I can barely sleep at night and I know for a fact a lot of my teammates can't do it either. We're tired of hearing about this game. We're just ready to go play."

Defensive back Sanders Commings concurred.

"We're all excited about this game - offense, defense, coaches - everybody in this building (Butts-Mehre) is very excited," he said. "We're going to use this game to show the world that we're not the 6-7 team that we were last year."

Charles said coaches, along with Georgia's strength and conditioning staff have done their due diligence to make sure the Bulldogs understand what's at stake Saturday night in the Georgia Dome.

"Ever since we lost to UCF, Coach Richt has kept reminding us who we're playing - 'get ready for Boise, get ready for Boise, Boise is working harder than y'all are, you got to get ready, you got to get ready,'" Charles said. "We've been hearing 'Boise' so many times we're tired of it."

Charles admits, though, getting the opportunity to challenge a team the caliber of the Broncos right out of the chute has definitely helped the Bulldogs with their preparation.

"When Coach Richt first told us (about Boise State), he said it (opener) was between two teams and one of those teams was Boise," he said. "He asked who we wanted to play and we were like what kind of question is that? Of course, we want to play Boise. In order to be the best, you've got to beat the best, right? "

Richt hopes Samuel, Crowell will split carries

Although running back Richard Samuel is still listed as the starter for Saturday, head coach Mark Richt said he expects that true freshman Isaiah Crowell will likely split time in the Bulldog backfield.

"I don't have any doubt that we hope for them to split the time, to share the load," Richt said. "Most every college and pro team would prefer to have two guys who can get it done and I think Richard's style and Isaiah's style contrasts enough where it would really be good for us, too."

Still, Richt hasn't totally ruled out Crowell starting the game.
Samuel was still dressed in green for Monday's practice, and Richt hinted that if the junior is not able to go today or Wednesday, Crowell could get the nod.

"If no one had gotten hurt all camp, I don't think there's any doubt that Richard would start and Isaiah would be No. 2," Richt said. "But again, both of them are going to get the opportunity to get a good bit of playing time."

Walsh feels at home in the Dome

Blair Walsh said he felt quite comfortable kicking on the field turf at the Georgia Dome during Friday's practice at the facility.

"I think we did pretty well. All the specialists were hitting it well," Walsh said. "The ball travels straight, it travels pretty true as to how you hit it."

There were no issues with depth perception.

"I honestly didn't even think about it," said Walsh, who will be kicking indoors for the first time since taking part in the U.S. Army All-American Game at the Alamodome in San Antonio. "It never even crossed my mind. I just went out there and kicked.

Ten freshmen among the two-deep

Georgia released its depth chart for Boise State Tuesday morning and 10 of the Bulldogs' "Dream Team" find themselves listed among the two- and three-deep.

Of course, two of those include Crowell along with wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who is listed as the third-team X-receiver, behind starter Marlon Brown and redshirt freshman Michael Bennett.

David Andrews (center), Amarlo Herrera (Moe linebacker), Watts Dantzler (right tackle), and Jonathan Jenkins (nose) are each listed on the second team, with Chris Sanders (short corner), Damian Swann (boundary corner), Corey Moore (strong safety) and Ramik Wilson (Will linebacker) listed as members of the third unit.

"Malcolm has made some plays, so he will play. Will he do something spectacular this game? I don't know, but he is one of the young guys who have done well," Richt said. "Damian Swann has had an awful lot of practice time the last few days with Branden Smith out with his setback, so he will play as well."

Richt expects Smith to play, if not start against Boise State.

Outside linebacker Ray Drew was not listed on the depth chart, but Richt said he will play as well.

This and that

Richt was asked again if any player other than tailback Carlton Thomas was due to be suspended for Saturday. "There's nothing to report on that - nothing to report," Richt said. "At this point anyway." … Bulldog legend Herschel Walker and former Bronco quarterback Jared Zabransky will handle the ceremonial coin flip for Saturday night's game.



Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.