February 5, 2009

Tripp feels at home

Center Ben Jones had a message for Kiante Tripp upon hearing that he was moving from the offensive line to defensive end.

"He said 'Watch you, I'm gonna cut you,'" Tripp laughed during an interview Thursday at the Butts-Mehre Building. "I just said you better get ready because I'm coming with a chip on my shoulder. It's time for me to show the rest of the world what Kiante Tripp is all about."

Tripp figures to finally get that chance.

Last season was a year Tripp would just as soon forget, as he started out at left tackle, moved to tight end and then back to the offensive line all within the span of 13 games.

This time, Tripp believes he's found a permanent home.

A plethora of injuries at defensive end led the Atlanta native to the conclusion that he should volunteer to move back to defensive end, his original position when he first signed with the Bulldogs three years ago.

"Monday after the first mat drills and before the second workout, I went to see Coach (Mark) Richt who walked me to the staff room," Tripp said. "They had a big board up an under the defensive end spot was Demarcus Dobbs and my name under his. It looks like they were already thinking what I was thinking."

Tripp said he currently weighs 295 pounds but says he wants to play at 285, although he added that defensive ends coach Jon Fabris believes he could play at his current weight.

Thomas ready to make special teams impact

Redshirt freshman running back Carlton Thomas said he's looking forward to competing for playing time in the backfield this spring.

However, it's special teams where the Florida native believes he will make his first impact with the team.

"I feel I can make an immediate impact on special teams returning kickoffs and punts," Thomas said. "I'm looking forward to getting my chance in the backfield, too, but it is special teams where I think I'm really going to get my first shot."

Thomas said he's gained approximately 10 pounds since arriving at Georgia last June and currently weighs 180 pounds and says he has not lost any of the 4.4 speed that he ran back at Frostproof High.

Jackson still unsure about spring

Running back Dontavius Jackson said Thursday he's still recovering from a microfracture procedure in his left knee to repair some cartilage and is currently unsure how much, if any, time he will see this spring.

"Right now it's kind of wait and see," Jackson said. "They don't want me to put a lot of pressure on it."

According to Jackson, he's still not able to run, but is doing stair work, along with riding the stationary bike and working out.

Jackson applauds New Jersey recruit

Jackson thought he had a good idea when during his commitment ceremony over a year ago when he carved the names of his final three choices into the backs of three pumpkins.

But even Jackson admits that idea doesn't come close to the one Atco (N.J.) linebacker Ka'lail Glaud came up with Wednesday morning when he flipped a coin between West Virginia and Rutgers.

"Are you kidding me?" Jackson laughed. "Man, that's crazy. But it's got me beat."

Heads was West Virginia. Tails was Rutgers. Glaud's flip came up tails.

"Tails came up, so that's when I decided Rutgers," Glaud told the Courier-post of Camden, N.J. "I didn't know where I was going to go."

Jones looking forward to having Smith around

Safety Reshad Jones was a senior when he and new signee Branden Smith were teammates at Atlanta's Washington High, so he knows what the 5-star cornerback will bring to the Bulldogs next fall.

"Speed," Jones said. "He's a fast guy. I know for sure that he's going to bring speed to the secondary."

Good friends on and of the field, Smith told UGASports recently that he and Jones were almost like brothers and still talk on a regular basis.

"We're still pretty close," Jones said. "I think he's going to come in and do a great job."

Honesty swayed Murray

Aaron Murray was recruited and offered scholarships by just about every big-name program you can think of. But there was one thing the new Bulldog said made Georgia stand out above them all.

"It was the honesty," Murray said. "There were a lot of schools that were definitely pushy, commit now, commit now. They make promises about this and that, but that wasn't how it was at Georgia. It was like get to know us and we'll get to know you."

That wasn't the way many of the coaches that the Tampa native visited. Many wanted him to hurry up and make up his mind.

"I talked to a lot of coaches, especially a lot of SEC coaches and the ones here (at Georgia) are definitely different and that's what I like about them. They weren't pushy, commit now or making promises. They never promised that I was going to start right away. They just said if you come out and work hard I'm sure you'll be able to play. They didn't promise anything, they told me straight up. For one, I appreciate the honesty."

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