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Off-day news and notes

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson and center Ben Jones have been selected to comprise one team at Monday night’s G-Day player draft, and quarterback Aaron Murray will comprise the other.

Brandon Boykin is one of the UGA players in charge of drafting G-Day teams.

That is according to the Twitter accounts for the players. After announcing the news, each side traded a few playful barbs leading up the post-practice draft.

Robinson ribbed that he and Jones were “preparing to destroy” Murray and Boykin.

“(Robinson) is talking way too much smack,” Murray tweeted. “I think he is a little scared about what (Boykin) and myself (are) about to do.”

The captain selections themselves made a little news in that Robinson and Boykin each missed Saturday’s scrimmage with reported concussions and evidently are expected to play in Saturday’s G-Day Game.

At least 18 players were held out Saturday, not counting tackle Trinton Sturdivant, who suffered a severe knee injury during the scrimmage. The injury numbers are so high that UGA director of sports medicine Ron Courson is join the players and Mark Richt to offer advice on Monday night’s draft picks.

It was Richt's decision to change the format of this year’s spring game to where players draft teams rather than divide according to offensive and defensive depth charts.

“I’ve wanted to do that for years,” Richt said, “but I always let the assistant coaches talk me out of it.”

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Jakar Hamilton has been 'very serious about wanting to earn playing time' this spring, according to Mark Richt.

ROLE FOR COMMINGS: Georgia coaches will continue to try cornerback Sanders Commings as a safety, and the position switch could carry into the fall.

“We know he’s not going to forget what to do at corner, and we want to give ourselves as much versatility as possible,” Richt said. “You never know what’s going to happen injury-wise and things of that nature. And you never know what’s going to happen with young guys rolling in. We’re going to find a way to get our best players on the field.”

At safety, returner starter Bacarri Rambo is likely out for the spring game with a sprained MCL in his knee and Jakar Hamilton (concussion) has been out of practice recently.

“I see a guy who’s very serious about wanting to earn playing time and earn a starting job,” Richt said of Hamilton. “He’s a guy who I know has been spending some extra time on his own trying to learn and get better, as compared to a year ago. I don’t think he was doing quite as much of that as he should.”

In Hamilton’s absence, Shawn Williams had a team-high seven tackles in Saturday’s scrimmage, though defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has indicated that neither has won the second safety job left vacant by Alec Ogletree’s move to inside linebacker

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MONDAY’S PRACTICE: Georgia’s 12th practice of the spring will be held Monday afternoon, though it is expected to be limited in nature. Much of the time will be spent going over Saturday’s scrimmage.

The Bulldogs originally had this practice planned as a pre-spring game walkthrough Friday but moved it back to Monday. The short workout is closed to the media, and there will be no interviews afterward (and thus no Monday practice report on this site).

Fullback Zander Ogletree was one of the players tapped by Mike Bobo as a standout this spring.

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NOTE: Richt, Grantham and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo each appeared Friday on the “Barnhart & Durham” show on Atlanta’s AM-790. Here’s a summary highlighting what the UGA coaches had to say …

-- Prior to Sturdivant’s injury Saturday, Bobo still offered a strong vote of confidence on the move this spring of Cordy Glenn from guard to tackle. Glenn now becomes a likely left tackle next season.
“I think he has the talent to play there,” Bobo said. “Two years ago, he had to play tackle for two or three games, and he did outstanding there at tackle for us. He actually played left tackle against a good pass-rusher from LSU here at home. It was just our best fit for us offensively to move him back inside to get the best five on the field. We didn't have a guy his size and power inside.”

-- Tight end Orson Charles “has had an outstanding spring,” according to Bobo.
“He has attacked spring ball,” Bobo said, “and really been a go-to guy.”

-- Grantham pointed to sophomore nose tackle Kwame Geathers as “really our most improved guy on defense right now,” even going so far as to suggest a possible position change to end to get Geathers and incoming JUCO signee John Jenkins on the field together at the same time this fall.

-- Offensively, Bobo pointed to reserve sophomore fullback Zander Ogletree (Alec Ogletree’s fraternal twin) as a spring standout.
“Zander Ogletree has been really impressive this spring,” Bobo said. “You’ve seen that movie “Twins” with (Arnold) Schwarzenegger and (Danny) DeVito? He's DeVito, but he's got heart. He will hit you. He's not afraid. He's a football player. He loves to practice, loves to play.”

-- Meanwhile, Alec Ogletree is “going to be limited from here on out,” with a pulled groin muscle suffered last week, according to Grantham.
“But I saw enough in him to know that was the right decision (to move Ogletree to linebacker),” Grantham said.
Grantham added of Ogletree’s switch, “This is a guy that's going to end up being 250-255 pounds on day. He can run as good as any safety. ... You've got another good athlete than can run and hit closer to the ball.”
Grantham also was pleased with the decision to have Jarvis Jones at outside instead of inside linebacker: “I can tell you to this point in spring practice, that decision is 100 percent correct. That one's the right one.”

-- As for his own philosophy, the rash of spring injuries hasn’t swayed Richt from a physical approach to practice this spring.
“I decided that I'm not going to flinch when it comes to practicing a certain way. We need to practice with intensity. We need to practice with a high competition level on a daily basis,” Richt said.
He described the 11-on-11 team drills this spring as “Forget all that cooperating with offensive and defensive coordinators exchanging scripts and all that baloney. Let’s go hook it up and try to win every day and get in the habit of winning and then see what happens.”

-- Bobo entered the final week of spring practice saying “We've got to establish a running back. Guys have got to step up.”
Caleb King really has been the only scholarship tailback to make it unscathed (we think) through spring practice. Washaun Ealey hasn’t yet gone through a full-contact practice because of a hamstring injury, while Carlton Thomas (hamstring) and Ken Malcome (groin) have also been limited, so much that 5-foot-6 walk-on Brandon Harton has received quite a few carries during scrimmages.
“Obviously, everybody is excited about Isaiah (Crowell), which we are,” Bobo said. “But we feel like we've still got talented backs here at this program. A little bit of this spring has been getting the confidence back in them. Sometimes I think they lost a little confidence, getting beat up, so to speak, in the public eye. We've got to realize we're all in it. We're all pulling for each other, and we've got confidence in them.”

-- Bobo’s optimism for the offseason stems from the presence of Murray, who appears to be taking a leadership role despite his status as a redshirt sophomore.
A great part about this summer is that Aaron Murray is now established,” Bobo said. “And the summer is huge. It's player-led. Coaches can't be there, and the quarterback is the focal point of the summer, doing the work on the field. Now that he's got a season under his belt and established himself, I think we'll have a very good offseason.”

-- Grantham had this to say of his defense’s overall inexperience: “There's going to possibly be as many as eight players in the Boise State game that's going to be their first time playing that position. Now they may not all be new, but playing that position, they'll be new.”

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