ATHENS - Thursday is the first time this preseason that freshmen are available, so look for updates on that throughout the day. (The media room is already crowded, and I'm calling up Mike Lough from Macon for reinforcement.) Defensive players such as Ray Drew, John Jenkins and Damian Swann are available; the offensive freshmen speak on Friday.
We also just returned from the media viewing periods of Thursday's practice. Some notes from that:
- Tailback Ken Malcome, cornerback Jordan Love and cornerback Nick Marshall were all sitting out. We'll find out what their status is after practice.
- A bunch of players were back practicing after sitting out with injuries: cornerback Brandon Boykin, linebacker Cornelius Washington, cornerback Derek Owens, safety Jakar Hamilton, tailback Brandon Harton and linebacker Sterling Bailey.
- Linebacker T.J. Stripling was sitting out drills and riding a bicycle, but he wasn't in a non-contact jersey, so he may have just been giving his surgically-repaired knee a rest.
- After the offense's poor showing in Wednesday's scrimmage, particularly in the passing game, head coach Mark Richt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo were getting on players in the throwing drills.
During a quarterback-tight end passing drill, Richt was getting on the quarterbacks: "These guys are working too hard not to get a good ball thrown at them!"
But then Richt got on the receivers too when they joined the drill: "I'm watching the effort after the catch! I'm watching the fundamentals after the catch!"
Bobo cited a former receiver, Kris Durham, for doing something on a touchdown against Georgia Tech last year: "We didn't do that yesterday," Bobo told the receivers.
- In the meantime, in case you haven't seen it here is my story from Jarvis Jones' session with the media on Wednesday. The takeout from the sophomore linebacker was that everyone else was a whole lot worried than he was about his situation.
And here's also a bit more on the Bulldogs' first preseason scrimmage, which was ruled by the defense, by all accounts.
Late last night we also posted a new video: The Seth and Gentry show, or depending on how you look at it, The Gentry and Seth show.
- Speaking of Gentry, his site Dawgs247.com has confirmed, along with other reports, that recruit C.J. Curry has decommitted from Georgia and committed to Oklahoma State. Curry, rated mostly as a three-star recruit, is from Flowery Branch. That brings Georgia down to 12 scholarships, but may free them up to make some more offers.
Now, some other items:
Story from elsewhere in the SEC: What started as a Twitter/random radio station story earlier in the week is now getting some legs. Could Texas A&M be seriously considering a move to the SEC, and could something be imminent?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also the guy about to jump into the Republican presidential race, confirmed to the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday that Texas A&M and the SEC are indeed talking.
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has responded by telling the Austin-American Statesmen that he's taking it seriously.
So they are talking. What does it all mean?
SEC is clearly interested in Texas A&M for obvious reasons. And commissioner Mike Slive is probably eager enough to add the Aggies that he won't worry yet about pairing them with another school or three. Sign them up, worry about the logistics later.
But Texas A&M's true intentions are the question here: Are they so mad about the Longhorn Network (the sweetheart deal that Texas formed with ESPN) that they're willing to walk to the SEC and its greener pastures? Or is Texas A&M using the SEC's interest as leverage to better its situation, or mitigate Texas' power?
Frankly, I'm not sure Texas A&M is sure which it's doing right now. My guess is the school is keeping its options open and seeing what happens. Surely it wants something to change with the Texas-Big 12 arrangement. Texas A&M also has to truly gauge the feeling of its fans and community as to what it wants to do.
Obviously, this is a story worth following. Maybe Texas A&M releases a statement in the next few days re-affirming its love for the Big 12. But it's had several chances to do in the past few days and it hasn't. Is it just looking for a bit more love from its conference, or does it have one foot out the door?
Song of the day: Let's go old-school rap today. While groups like Public Enemy, NWA and maybe even Run DMC were more socially important, I always felt Tribe Called Quest was the best group that had the best songs without quite selling out. Here's my favorite of theirs, "Check the Rhyme." You'll notice near the end the shot at M.C. Hammer.
YouTube flashback of the day: Obviously there were a lot of cheesy videos in the '80s. But this one, REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" is, in all my experience, the cheesiest. You can tell with some videos that they know it's going to be cheesy, that they're actually going for it. But from all appearances it seems REO Speedwagon actually thought they were doing something profound and meaningful. And it's just ... awful, in a delightful way. The graphics, even taking into account the technology of the time, are laugh-out-loud. At one point there's a line about "bring this ship to the shore" and there's actually a ship in the window. The lead singer never looks at the camera. The piano player in the band has a mustache that makes him look like your Uncle Craig, the one that always had a beer in his hand and who your other family members said you should probably stay away from. Oh, and the band members' hair, their hair, it's just so ... They really though that was cool, didn't they?
Tweet I wish I'd written: "I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Joe Paterno is in far better football shape than Albert Haynesworth..." - Eric Stangel, head writer, David Letterman's "Late Show."
Inspirational quote of the day: "Buy and read a newspaper every day. In print or online, there is information in newspapers you will never get from other media.” - actor Alec Baldwin, this week on Twitter.