ATHENS - While he's practicing with his fellow backs now, Bruce Figgins still keeps an eye on what his former position mates at tight end are doing.
"I'm always glancing at the tight ends," Figgins said on Saturday. "I think (freshman Jay) Rome asked me about five questions today, and I was able to answer them, so I’m still good with the tight ends. But I'm starting to get used to it (in the backfield). Of course I outweigh everyone by about 60 pounds. But it’s good, I’m getting more acclimated with it every day."
Figgins, listed at 6-4 and 272 pounds, stands out easily among the other backs, whether it’s fullback Zander Ogletree (5-10, 224) or any of the tailbacks.
Figgins, who switched from tight end before spring practice, said it's "starting to feel more natural." He's going through what he called "exaggerated" running drills that will help him firm up his technique.
As for blocking, Richt said there are enough similarities between fullback and tight end that Figgins should adjust fine.
"I've seen fullbacks that weigh 220 that do it well and seen fullbacks at 280 do well," Richt said.
A few other quick post-practice notes:
- Cornerback Brandon Boykin and safety Jakar Hamilton joined the group sitting out practice. The pair of defensive backs have hamstring injuries, along with linebacker Cornelius Washington. None of them are expected to miss too much practice time.
Cornerback Derek Owens was riding a bike during practice. Richt wasn't sure what Owens' injury was, but said it "wasn't serious."
- Sophomore quarterback Hutson Mason said he’s working about 80 percent with the second team and the rest with the first. That would seem to be an indication that the plan is still for Mason to back up Aaron Murry and Christian LeMay to redshirt, assuming no injuries.
But Mason said nothing has been officially decided or discussed.
"We don't talk about that," Mason said. "I just go in and day in and day out to practice and the meeting room, competing for the No. 1 spot. That's the goal. And when I get my opportunity I've just got to make the most of it. I'll evaluate myself at the end of every season and see where I am. But that's not on my mind right now. Just getting ready for Boise and any opportunity I have to play."
- Cornerback Branden Smith, who had five interceptions in Friday's practice, continues to stand out to Richt.
"Branden is competing extremely well. Right now he is a different guy to me," he said.
Richt also singled out Sanders Commings - working at safety and cornerback - for praise.