Georgia's preseason press conference wasn't two minutes old when head coach Mark Richt went ahead and answered the question many in the Bulldog Nation are dying to know - where is Kwame Geathers?
Geathers, for those of you new to the recruiting game, signed with Georgia back in March but has of yet been given the go-ahead by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
"Kwame is still not here yet. He's still going through the NCAA review. He's still jumping through hoops. Every one that's been put in front of him he's jumped through successfully to this point and we're still very optimistic that he will still be here," Richt said of the defensive tackle. "I just don't know exactly about the review. You can't predict exactly how long that will take but that's what we're dealing with."
The rest of the Bulldogs arrived with no problem at all.
All total, 104 were on hand for Tuesday's first day of preseason drills.
Richt hopes that Geathers will make it 105 very soon.
"It's academic review, just course that he has taken to check the validity of everything," Richt said. "We're very confident that everything is going to go through. There has been nothing, we have not hit a wall, it has just been a slow process."
Curran not worried about NFL
Predictably, junior linebacker Rennie Curran brushed aside any real comment on whether or not he would consider leaving Georgia for the NFL at the conclusion of this year.
"I'm just focused on helping this team as much as I can and cross that bridge when I come to it," he said. "Right now I'm just excited about this season, coming off this great offseason and getting back with my coaches and teammates."
The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder does keep a close eye on the pros, however.
The Snellville native talks regularly to former Bulldog Thomas Davis now of Carolina in the NFL, along with several other members of the Panthers who give their share of tips and advice.
But Curran says those discussions do not include whether or not he should turn pro a year early.
"Whenever I do talk to guys who are in the league I'm asking them what can I do to get better, maybe give them some film and have them give me some tips," he said. "When I talk to Thomas, it's just about becoming a leader and holding up to that position (linebacker). He's always telling me to be a guy who goes down and make plays, but not just do it for yourself, bring other guys along with you."
New freshmen numbers
Georgia finally released their preseason roster Tuesday.
Freshmen numbers are as follows: Branden Smith (1), Zach Mettenberger (5), Orson Charles (7), Jordan Love (10), Aaron Murray (11), Marlon Brown (15), Rantavious Wooten (17), Washaun Ealey (24), Brandon Bogotay(32), Chase Vasser (33), Shawn Williams (36), Michael Gilliard (55), Dallas Lee (64), Chris Burnette (68), Derrick Lott (85), Arthur Lynch (88), Montez Robinson (90) and Abry Jones (93).
Offensive line breakdown
Georgia's starting offensive line is not set in stone, but Richt gave a hint Tuesday as to how things may shake down.
"If you take (Clint) Boling, (Trinton) Sturdivant, (Justin Anderson) Bean, Ben Jones, Cordy (Glenn) and Vince (Vance), I think five of those six would be our starters at this point," Richt said. "Chris Davis might be there, but he is not quite as far along as those others and we did lose Tanner (Strickland) which was a shame."
Richt also had high praise for junior walk-on Casey Nickels, a native of Tignall who is listed at 6-4 and 274 pounds.
"Casey has put himself in a good position to be a very reliable guy," Richt said. "I don't know if he's going to break into the starting lineup, but he's looked good. A.J. Harmon had a productive spring and summer and by the looks of his body, has done a good job in that area."
This and that
Richt said there will be no restrictions on defensive end Demarcus Dobbs who is recovering from a break to his fifth metacarpal.
Richt repeated an earlier statement that freshmen who play skill positions like linebacker, cornerback, running back, linebacker, tight end and wide receiver would have the best opportunity for playing time among the newcomers.
Richt said that redshirt sophomore Logan Gray does not necessarily have the No. 2 quarterback locked down but is "in a strong position to claim the spot."
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