ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia tight end Bruce Figgins still has three more games remaining on his six-game suspension, but coach Mark Richt said the team hasn’t determined yet if Figgins will see any action this season at all.
The junior from Shaw High School underwent offseason shoulder surgery and missed spring practice.
The injury is getting closer to being fully healed, but given that Figgins has already missed so much action, Richt said there was a possibility he would take a medical redshirt for the season.
“That has really not been determined at this point,” Richt said. “I think a lot will have to do with just where we are and where everybody is at that time.”
If Figgins should sit out the year, Richt said the Georgia Athletics Association has already determined that he would not have to miss additional playing time next year because of the suspension.
Cuff doubtful for ASU
After cornerback Vance Cuff sprained his MCL during last week’s win over Arkansas, Richt said it’s doubtful that Cuff will be ready to play against Arizona State on Saturday.
Cuff was Georgia’s top option off the bench in nickel situations, but that job will now fall to a combination of players.
Richt said Sanders Commings, who had been working at safety, will get some action at corner this week. While Prince Miller is generally the nickel back, Richt said the senior could stay at wide corner and Makiri Pugh could see increased action at nickel, too.
The most likely option, however, will be for freshman Branden Smith to get more work at corner with Cuff missing the game. While Richt said Smith isn’t exactly polished yet in terms of his defensive aptitude, the work he’ll get this week could prove important down the line.
“(Smith) is getting better at it as (he) goes,” Richt said. “He’s still young and got a lot of things to learn, and you just have to experience some things before you can really get good at them. I’m sure he’ll get that –—he’ll get more experience.”
Banks definitely out
Richt said safety Quintin Banks will not play this week as he continues to recover from a knee injury that cost him much of the preseason.
“He’s still trying to get back to where he can really run and change direction like he needs to to have a positive performance,” Richt said. “He’s still not there yet.”
A series of injuries, including an offseason surgery on his knee, has kept Banks on the sidelines for much of the past two seasons. It’s frustrating, Richt said, but he has been pleased with how upbeat Banks has remained.
“He’s an awesome kid, he’s always trying to keep a positive attitude, and he’s always trying to motivate his teammates even when he’s down and out as far as practicing,” Richt said. “It just hasn’t worked out for him like he would hope, but we’re all still holding out hope that it will for him.”
Wooten to see more time
After earning just one snap during the first two games, freshman receiver Rantavious Wooten saw a big increase in his workload against Arkansas last week.
While Wooten was targeted for just one throw and ran a sweep that failed to gain, he was in on a number of plays, and Bobo said that’s a trend that will continue this week.
“We’ve just got to play some of those guys and Wooten has done a good job at practice,” Bobo said. “He’s extremely quick and explosive and does a nice job running routes. He hasn’t had many opportunities to catch the ball. We tossed him a sweep. But you’ll see more of him this week just because of our number issue at receiver.”
Bring on USC
With the Pac-10’s Arizona State making its first trip to Athens this weekend, linebacker Rennie Curran was asked which team outside the SEC he would most like to play. He said he’d like to stay in the Pac-10, but set his sights a little higher.
“Southern Cal because they are respected across the nation and they get a lot of hype,” Curran said. “Also, because of the kind of program they have. I was hoping we would get them a couple of years ago in the Sugar Bowl, but they had their rule with the Rose Bowl. I think that would have been bigger than the national championship.”