August 15, 2011

What would players do?

So, what if head coach Mark Richt did decide to go ahead and ban his players from riding scooters?

That's a scenario outside linebacker Cornelius Washington doesn't even want to consider.

"You don't even want to know," Washington said after practice Monday. "Those busses, they keep you late most of the time. You can get up five minutes early to get where you're supposed to go, but you still might be late because the bus will be late, especially off-campus because those busses are never on time. If he (Richt) did that, it would put a lot of guys in a bind."

Richt admits scooter accidents remain a concern.

"I always think about it, but it's very difficult for some of these guys to get where they have to go, because there's such a short window of time between class, the tutors, the study hall, to lunch and to get from here to there and all that kind of stuff," he said. "I'm not ready to say no to scooters, but they do need to be careful."

On Sunday, freshman linebacker Ray Drew became the latest football player to run afoul with a scooter when he tumbled off his bike and onto the asphalt at the corner of Baldwin and Jackson Street.

Drew, who Washington said was wearing a sling, suffered a sprained shoulder and is being listed as "day to day."

"Very thankfully, he was wearing his helmet. He landed on his helmet and shoulder. Another good thing was it won't require any surgery, so he's kind of a day to day thing, too," said Richt, who said Drew's chances for practice this week are slim. "He doesn't have road rash and he's not scratched up. He's very fortunate it was not worse than it was."

Ironically, Washington just started riding a scooter himself on Monday.

"It's a little scary because some cars may not see you and what-not, or just overlook you in general," he said. "It's a little scary, but if you pay attention and do what you're supposed to do you will be safer."

Wide receiver Marlon Brown is one former scooter rider who decided to take a more conventional means of transportation -the bus.

Unlike Washington, Brown enjoys taking advantage of UGA's mass transit system, although he also knows what would happen if scooters were suddenly put in dry dock by Richt.

"There would be more people late to class than at anytime in the entire history of Georgia football," Brown said. "Some people don't know the bus system. I have players who have scooter problems call and ask me 'Hey Marlon, my scooter broke, what bus do I take?' I'm like, you've been here longer than I have; you should know what bus to take."

Senior corner Brandon Boykin let the cat out of the bag.

"I don't know the bus route. I don't even know what bus to take to the other side of campus," he said. "So it would be a big adjustment. I'd have to drive, then there's the gas, find somewhere to park, get a parking permit … there's just a lot of stuff."

Samuel still out, Crowell still slowed

Freshman Isaiah Crowell tried to give his sore groin a go in practice, but according to Richt, wasn't able to complete Monday's drills.

"He still can't really move well enough to be safe and competitive. He gave it a go today, but he's not ready yet," Richt said. "He thought he was ready and he wasn't. He's farther along than Richard right now, and of course (Tuesday) is another day off so if he gets some treatment, he may be well enough to go on Wednesday."

Richt is unsure about the return of Samuel, who is rehabilitating a strained quad.

"I don't know how long he is going to be," he said. "My guess it will be early next week before we start even thinking about it."

There was some good news regarding the running backs. Redshirt freshman Ken Malcome was able to return to practice after missing the previous three days.

In other injury news, linebacker Amarlo Herrera (shoulder), cornerback Nick Marshall (concussion), offensive lineman Austin Long (mono) and safety Jakar Hamilton (hamstring) remain sidelined.

Cornerback Jordan Love was able to return to practice after missing the last three days with an undisclosed injury.

This and that

Richt said that redshirt sophomore Chase Vasser is getting some looks at inside linebacker. …. The Bulldogs will not practice Tuesday to give the team a chance to make sure they are all set for the beginning of the new semester and then resume practice on Wednesday for the remainder of the week. "We're still on track to get 29 practices in, we've built the schedule to have one off day in there and we asked our academic counselors which would be the better day for the student-athletes, and they said Tuesday," Richt said. "It gives everyone a chance to make sure they got the right classes, their books and lets them regroup after that first day." … Georgia practiced for 90 minutes Monday in helmets, shorts and shoulder pads in what was the first day of the fall semester. "It was the first day of school, and you wonder how focused everybody is going to be at practice, and we had a good day," said Richt. "We had them for 12 days straight with no distractions and now they have some other responsibilities, and it can be tough especially on the freshmen. I liked our leadership and the energy flow out there today."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.