March 31, 2009

Jackson glad to be back

One rarely sees Georgia running back Dontavius Jackson when he isn't wearing a smile and Tuesday he certainly had reason to do so.

Last week, head coach Mark Richt said that Jackson's knee (arthroscopic microfracture surgery) had healed to the point where the former Heard County star could actually begin taking part in spring drills.

So far, so good.

"I'm doing a lot of pass skeleton and doing some individual stuff, but so far no contact," Jackson said Tuesday. "Hopefully, I'll be able to do that before the spring is out."

Jackson certainly has his fingers crossed.

Caleb King and Carlton Thomas continue to split snaps with the No. 1 offense, leaving walk-on Kalvin Daniels to see most of the work with the No. 2 unit, which has Jackson chomping at the bit to show what he can do.

But running backs coach Bryan McClendon is taking a cautious approach.

"We'll see, we're still not going to rush it," McLendon said. "We're hoping he's going to get some work and we think he will. But we're going to let him take his time."

Even if he can't take part in any contact drills, Jackson just being back on the field should put him ahead of the game in preparing for the fall when he, along with sophomore Richard Samuel, will be ready to go.

"I just want to go out there and do what I can do," Jackson said. "But just being out here helps because I'll know that I'm ready to go once summertime rolls around."

Short practice for Bulldogs

Georgia practiced for just over an hour Tuesday and Richt said afterwards he felt a lot better about Monday's scrimmage after watching it on film.

"It looked a lot better than I thought it did when I walked off the field," Richt said. "We started out playing hard on both sides then kind of lost our edge that we need to maintain, but as I watched it we did some good things."

Richt offered praise for a number of players following Tuesday's workout.

They included (Richt quotes in parenthesis) defensive tackle Geno Atkins ("dominant player, I don't know if anybody can block him"), linebacker Nick Williams ("making great strides, a guy that will play hard and stick his face on you and try to run through you"), wide receiverA.J. Green ("I thought he was outstanding), offensive guard Cordy Glenn ("been practicing well), free safety Bryan Evans ("playing with great energy and enthusiasm), Vance Cuff ("really coming along), linebackerRennie Curran ("outstanding") and linebacker Akeem Dent ("playing well."

Georgia will take Wednesday off before returning to the practice Field Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Injury update

Richt said that redshirt freshman defensive end Jeremy Longo suffered a shoulder sublexation Monday but the injury is not expected to require surgery. He is, however, expected to miss the rest of the spring. … Linebacker Akeem Hebron (foot) is expected to return to practice sooner than anticipated and may see some action before spring is complete.

This and that

Richt said coaches will not move linebacker Darryl Gamble to defensive end, which he played from a standup position during Monday's scrimmage. However, he could see the Bainbridge native play some looks there when the Bulldogs are in a Nickel situation. … To help with the lack of depth at defensive end, Georgia has moved walk-on tight ends Ben Harbin (6-foot-4, 230) and Trenton Turner (6-foot-5, 238) to the position.

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