Georgia coach Mark Richt can already predict a byproduct of his cornerbacks‘ inexperience. Not that it’s a problem exclusive to youngsters still learning the position.
“They’re gonna get beat from time to time,” Richt said. “All corners get beat from time to time.”
Richt and his coaches are encouraged, however, by the talent level and fieriness the group has exhibited. Sophomore Asher Allen has already turned heads in preseason practice and is first in line to assume the boundary corner spot vacated when all-SEC candidate Paul Oliver was declared academically ineligible and left for the NFL supplemental draft.
Sophomores Prince Miller and Bryan Evans, junior Ramarcus Brown and senior Thomas Flowers are the other leading candidates for playing time at corner.
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“I like 'em, I like the guys,” defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said. “I know there's inexperience. We're just trying to teach them the basics -- don't give up big plays. The good thing about it is that Prince and Asher played last year, so they've been in the battle and they're gonna be playing a lot this year.”
What impresses Richt about the bunch is their confidence in their own abilities -- even when they get beat, which will inevitably happen.
“I don’t think any one of them’ll go in the tank. You’re gonna get beat,” Richt said. “There’s great quarterbacks and receivers. And in some coverages, all it takes is one little stumble and you’re beat for a touchdown.”
Evans became the first casualty of preseason camp when he was helped off the field late in Sunday’s practice with a hamstring injury.
Richt didn’t know the severity of the injury, “but he won’t be able to go (Monday), I know that,” he said.
The heat and the volume of the workload in preseason camp make hamstring injuries fairly common in August, Richt said.
“Even when guys train hard in the summer, they usually don’t train for two and a half hours or whatever it is,” he said. “And they’re not competing the way they do. They may compete for a few minutes out there, but nothing like a full day’s work.”
True freshman offensive lineman Chris Little was again the only Georgia player wearing a green no-contact jersey on Sunday. Little worked in some drills, but watched from the side on others to protect his injured right wrist, which was covered with a black cast.
Letting them fight
Training camp fights are fairly common at most schools, but Georgia’s coaches try to keep them from becoming habit as the season approaches. The penalties for an in-game fight are simply too great.
That’s why they have a rule in place that players who needlessly jump in on other players’ fight -- like the one that occurred late in Sunday’s practice between Brown and receiver Tony Wilson -- will have to report the next day for an early morning running session.
“If you noticed, everybody just kinda walked away and let it go,” said Richt, who jumped into Sunday’s fight himself to break it up. “It’s mainly because if they get in the habit of doing that, they’ve got a chance of getting kicked out of that game and the next game and a penalty that could cost us a game.
“I like it sometimes for guys to get after it and get excited, but in the fall, there’s kinda no tolerance of it,” he added. “In the spring, we let it go a little bit.”
Georgia’s practice Sunday afternoon was cut back slightly by rain and lightning in Athens. The team left the field for about 30 minutes to allow the weather to clear before returning to complete the workout. … Richt singled outAllen and quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Joe Cox for strong performances in the first two days of practice. … The Bulldogs return to the field for the third of eight consecutive days of practice this afternoon at 3:20 p.m.