ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 1-ranked Georgia’s preparations for the 2008 campaign stepped up a notch on Wednesday, as the Bulldogs worked out in shoulder pads for the first time.
“It was our first day with shoulder pads so we got a little more tempo out of them,” head coach Mark Richt said. “One of the things I like about this team is we have to rein them in a little bit. They’re not afraid to get after it. They enjoy competition and that’s a good thing.”
Richt also was pleased with his team’s performance considering the temperatures were in the high-90s and the heat index reached into the 100s throughout the two-and-a-half-hour session.
“I feel like the weatherman,” Richt quipped. “It was hotter than yesterday and probably as hot as the first day.”
Richt announced that special teams stalwarts Andrew Williams and Benjamin Boyd have been awarded scholarships for the 2008 season. Williams, a 6-0, 197-pound safety from Blairsville, Ga., is a sixth-year senior who also was on scholarship last season when he appeared in 13 games and recorded 11 tackles. Boyd, a 6-1, 210-pound senior from Thomasville, Ga., has played linebacker prior to this fall but is now seeing action at fullback. He posted five tackles while playing in all 13 games last season.
“We re-awarded Drew Williams two nights ago and awarded Benjamin Boyd with a scholarship last night,” Richt said. “I’m happy for both of those guys. They’ve worked hard and earned it. It’s always a pleasure to be able to award walk-ons with a scholarship. You can’t always do that as much as you’d like, but we were fortunate enough to do so with these guys.
“Actually, Boyd made a huge block at fullback today,” Richt said. “He sort of christened himself and his move from linebacker to fullback by picking up a blitz.”
Richt also said he’s been impressed with several offensive linemen, most notably Tanner Strickland.
“If you asked me who’s improved the most from spring to today it would be Strickland,” Richt said. “He’s pushing for a starting job at guard with (Justin) Anderson. Entering camp, I don’t know if we thought he would compete like he has. You look out there and just seeing how he carries himself in the huddle, you can tell he has a lot more confidence.”
The Bulldogs will also wear shoulder pads during practice on Thursday and Friday afternoons. The first two-a-day practices will take place on Saturday, with the initial full-pads session during the morning workout.
– Courtesy of Georgiadogs.com