Bulldogs Blog

Spring Day 1 notes: Drew ticketed for DE, Crowell wants Heisman, Wilson absent

ATHENS - And now the promised post-practice notes and quotes:

- The indication is that Cornelius Washington is just cross-training between end and outside linebacker. Ray Drew, meanwhile, appears to be growing too big for outside linebacker.

"They're getting reps there for a reason,"  head coach Mark Richt said.

Washington was an end in a 4-3 defense, Richt pointed out, but already has a working knowledge of outside linebacker.

"But Ray, with the rate his body's growing and that kind of thing, he's certainly got to learn what to do at the end position," Richt said.

- Richt evaluated Malcolm Mitchell's first practice at cornerback: “It was fun to watch him get out there and compete. You could tell he wasn’t quite sure what to do out there on every play. But he’s playing with a lot of enthusiasm and he can really break on the ball and change direction. I like how our cornerbacks looked in general. They did a nice job.”

Later, Richt's comments reinforced that this is not necessarily a permanent move for Mitchell.

"In order for Malcolm Mitchell to really be able to function back there I felt he needed the entire spring to really know what to do, and get his technique to the point to where he could really play SEC football when the season begins," he said. "Now in the offseason my guess is he'll be running routes half the time and playing defense half the time. But if we tried to split practice and split meetings half the time he'd just get lost. ...

"I do think over the course of time he'll still play a good bit of offensive football. Now like I said, through game one and two, I don't know if there'll be a whole lot of that. There may be a spot play or two, but he has to primarily be ready to play defensive back."

Richt then confirmed that no other players have been moved to cornerback, and that no decision on discipline for Branden Smith has been decided.

- Outside linebacker Ramik Wilson was not at practice, and Richt said it was for personal and family reasons.

"Ramik will be here soon," Richt said, emphasizing it was not a disciplinary issue.

- Regarding Carlton Thomas, Richt said the tailback decided to transfer over spring break and told him of the decision on Tuesday morning. His fellow tailbacks said they would miss him.

"I know he had to leave, it was something he wanted to do, so I wish him the best of luck," Ken Malcome said.

- Kenarious Gates said he will be working principally at left tackle this spring, and Watts Dantzler said he'd be working at right tackle. How much that means for the season - especially with John Theus looming - remains up in the air.

- Isaiah Crowell was asked his goals for the 2012 season. He's not shooting low.

"My first goal is to be a good teammate, help my team get to the national championship," he siad. "My second goal, I'm trying to run for the Heisman."

Crowell smiled and laughed, but he did seem serious. I followed up by asking him how realistic that seemed.

"Real realistic," he said, laughing again before adding: "Really, my main goal is helping my team win a championship."

- Freshman tailback Keith Marshall isn't available to the media during spring practice, but Crowell and Ken Malcome both had kind words for him.

"Keith is gonna come in and help us out a lot," Crowell said. "I think it's gonna be a good backfield."

"He's gonna be all right. He's gonna be OK," Malcome said, adding that Marshall was the fastest tailback on the team.

Richt echoed the idea that Marshall was a speedster.

"He's very quick. You can tell he's got very good quickness, good speed, seems to have good running instincts," Richt said. "For a guy in his first college practice, and considering everybody else knows the system and has practiced under the system, I think he did a very good job. You could tell he did a lot of studying from the point he got here to (today) to be able to function."