Bulldogs Blog

Georgia football notes: Not full strength, but Isaiah Crowell returns to Bulldogs' practice

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell (Carver High), who is dealing with a groin injury, got some snaps during the team’s brief 11-on-11 drills at the end of Thursday’s practice.

“He didn’t look full speed, but he was healthy enough to get out there in a green jersey and get a few reps,” coach Mark Richt said.

Junior tailback Richard Samuel, who has a left quad strain, isn’t expected back at practice until next week.

More than CBs

Branden Smith and Brandon Boykin again will do more than just play cornerback.

Smith, who led the team in punt return chances last year, appears set to reprise that role. But Boykin, who has concentrated on a record-setting career on kick return, could get some chances on punts too.

Richt said after Thursday’s practice, which centered on special teams, that Smith was first in the “pecking order” at punt return, while Boykin was second. Freshmen Malcolm Mitchell, a receiver, and Damian Swann, a cornerback, are “battling out” for the third spot.

“The freshmen are very talented, but, as always, they’ve not done it before,” Richt said. “And Boykin and Smith have both handled the ball in big-time games, whether it’s as a punt returner or a kick returner.”

Smith returned 10 punts last year, averaging 14.3 yards per return, including a long of 40. Boykin didn’t get any punt chances last year, but the Bulldogs lost two players, Logan Gray and A.J. Green, who combined for eight returns last year.

Boykin holds the program record for kick return yardage (1,813) and has four touchdown returns. But Richt wouldn’t divulge whether Boykin would have any company on the back line of the return unit.

“That’s classified information,” Richt said.

Rambo not secure

When the preseason began, the given at safety was that Bacarri Rambo was a starter. That’s in doubt now.

Rambo, a junior who started every game last year, was working second-team in Wednesday’s practice. That was according to junior Shawn Williams, who said he and Sanders Commings were working first-team at safety.

Richt was asked after Thursday’s practice whether Rambo is now fighting for his starting spot.

“They’re all fighting for the starting job right now,” Richt said.

The situation is muddied a bit also because Rambo has not been made available to the media this preseason.

Commings, a junior, has been first-team at cornerback. But Smith has had a strong preseason.

“I think he’s ready right now to play safety,” Richt said.

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