December 29, 2007

Georgia Notebook: Atkins meets Brennan

NEW ORLEANS - Georgia sophomore Geno Atkins was with another group of teammates strolling down Bourbon Street Friday night when the Bulldogs bumped into a posse of Hawaii players, including quarterback Colt Brennan.

The conversation was friendly, as the two combatants chatted briefly before heading on their respective ways.

But not before Atkins got Brennan to pose with him for a picture, which Atkins took with the camcorder he along with the other players received as one of their Sugar Bowl gifts.

"Geno was acting like a groupie," Marcus Howard laughed. "I guess he's going to put it on YouTube or something."

Defensive tackle Jeff Owens just shook his head.

"Geno was like 'It's Colt Brennan, it's Colt Brennan," Owens said. "We had all started walking back and Geno ran over to get his picture taken with him."

Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe rolled his eyes when informed of Atkins' deed.

"He did that? Man, I'm glad you told me that. I'm going to have to get on him about that," Ellerbe joked. "That's cavorting with the enemy."

Actually, Atkins shouldn't be blamed for feeling a bit giddy about the Bulldogs' Sugar Bowl experience.

The sophomore said he's really looking forward to Tuesday's game because it will allow him the opportunity to play in the Superdome, where his father Gene Atkins performed for six years as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

"It's going to be a dream come true," Atkins said. "My dad actually called and talked to me about it. He was asking how I felt about it, thinks like that."

Gene Atkins played nine years as a safety in the NFL, six with the Saints and three with the Miami Dolphins. He finished with 25 career interceptions.

"I've got all these pictures of me here at the dome, some of me on his shoulders after a game," Atkins said. "It's really pretty cool that I'm going to be playing in the same building that he did."

Atkins said his father will be coming in from his home in Texas to watch the Bulldogs play.

Howard: "They're the best we've played"

All week long, Georgia coach Mark Richt stressed to anybody who would listen how he felt Hawaii would be one of the best teams his Bulldogs have faced all year.

Apparently, Howard agrees.

When Howard was asked by a Hawaii beat reporter if the Bulldogs thought they were in for an easy victory, the Georgia defensive end scoffed at the very notion.

"We just want to win. Period. It doesn't matter if it's one, two or three points. We just want to win," Howard said. "Hawaii is not a slouch team. They're the best offense we've played all year, at least that's the way we think as a defense. We know it's going to be a tough game. There's no doubt in our minds about that."

Bulldogs winding down workouts

Saturday's practice at the Superdome offered time for a little levity as players held a field-goal contest prior to the Bulldogs' morning workout.

Safety Reshad Jones kicked a 42-yarder, while center Fernando Velasco had the distance on a kick from 45-yards, although the football sailed right.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford kicked a 40-yarder prior to Friday's practice.

Later, players were scheduled to attend an NBA basketball game between the New Orleans Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Attendance at the game was mandatory.

"It's not that big a deal to me, I'm not that much of an NBA fan," said Ellerbe. "But if I've got to go, I've got to go."

Howard was only slightly more enthused.
"I'm not much on the NBA, either," he said. "But I'll enjoy seeing LeBron (James)."

Durham has pinched labrum

Richt said wide receiver Kris Durham has a pinched labrum, but is expected to play.

"It's something he may have to have surgery on, but we'll see," Richt said.

Durham suffered the injury during the early portion of practice Friday morning.


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