December 15, 2007

Practice notebook:

Junior defensive tackle Jeff Owens has submitted his name to the NFL to gauge where he might go in next April's annual draft. But like teammates Dannell Ellerbe and Brannon Southerland, he has no intention leaving school.

"You think what we've got returning, we're going to be solid next year," Owens said. "We're trying to compete for a national championship. That's why I'm here. I don't plan on leaving without a national championship."

Owens said he probably would not have even decided to send in the questionnaire, if not for strength and conditioning Dave Van Halanger, who asked if he wanted to have his situation checked out.

"He asked if I wanted to fill it out and I said, sure why not," Owens said.

Even if Owens were to be picked as high as the third round, he said his decision would be an easy one to make.

Draft expert Mel Kiper projects that Owens, if he were to come out, would be the fourth junior defensive lineman selected.

"If it said third round, I'm coming back," he sad. "I'm enjoying college. I've just been here three years. When you leave it's over and you step into the real world."

Owens said that Georgia legend Herschel Walker gave some great advice on that very subject during the football team's annual Gala last week at the Classic Center.

"Herschel said he regretted coming out early and that he should have come back for his senior year," Owens said. "I happen to agree. It's a great experience to be here with my teammates. I love them all to death."

No place like Georgia for Richt

If [db]Mark Richt[/db] has said it once, he's said it a thousand times; he wants to be the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs as long as the university will have him

"Personally, I'm not looking, and I'm not fishing," he said. "If someone were to ask me, I'd just tell them no before it ever got to be a public issue."

Davis unsure of position future

Redshirt freshman [db]Chris Davis[/db] said he isn't sure what his future holds as far as the position he'll play for the Bulldogs next fall.

"I think it's going to depends on what the guys coming in are going to be," said Davis, who thinks he could move from left guard to center. "It's still got to unfold a little bit."

Richt rolled his eyes when told what Davis had said.

"Chris talks a lot. That's why Coach (Stacy) Searels) doesn't like those guys to talk," Richt joked. "We don't know what we're going to do yet, but Chris is a candidate. If he's the best center, he'll play center."

Davis wouldn't be the only player in line to replace the graduating Fernando Velasco.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Perez and freshman Ben Harden also figure to get their shot, along with verbal commitment Ben Jones from Centreville, Ala.

Dawgs work out in drizzle

Georgia worked out for just over an hour Saturday at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility, with many of the freshmen getting extensive time during a scrimmage.

"Those redshirt guys got after it pretty good," Richt said. "We were glad to see a little rain, and hopefully we'll get a lot more (Sunday).

"The guys will have tomorrow off, no meetings or anything like and will be under no orders other than to behave."

Of the youngsters, Richt said that freshman tight end Aron White made a couple of nice catches, while quarterback Logan Gray made some nice plays, including a couple of impressive runs.

The going was a bit tougher for running back Caleb King.

"Caleb did not have lot of room against the defensive line for the most part. When it came time to run the ball, we didn't run it very well," Richt said. "Most of the plays that were made were made through the passing game."

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