September 16, 2013

Dawson staying positive


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Sheldon Dawson on lack of playing time from UGASports.com on Vimeo.

Sheldon Dawson's picture hasn't appeared on any milk carton, but his absence from Georgia's secondary has been a head-scratcher for some who thought the sophomore was a shoo-in for considerable playing time at cornerback this fall.

But things haven't worked out quite like Dawson had hoped.

After being slowed by injuries during camp, he struggled with his consistency and as a result true freshman Brendan Langley surpassed him on the depth chart, something Dawson conceded Monday was probably the right call.

"I lost my position, but like I said it was not always my position. It was not mine already. It was a straight competition," Dawson said. "One thing about college football, nobody's going to give you anything. But I show up in practice now, go full speed, 110 percent because it's a competition every day. We're all fighting to get on the field to get playing time."

So, why hasn't he?

Two weeks ago, Langley was beaten for both of Connor Shaw's touchdown passes, causing some to wonder why Bulldog defensive coaches weren't giving Dawson a shot.

According to the native of Memphis, Tenn., it all goes back to practice and what he hasn't been able to show to coaches thus far.

"I had a pretty good practice today, but I need to show them that I can go full speed," he said. "I need to show that I can be physical again, that I know what I'm doing instead of being lost, blaming my health and what-not, and just looking like a team player, a complete player."

Former Bulldog and current Philadelphia Eagle cornerback Brandon Boykin has called Dawson to tell him to stay positive, something he claims he's now able to do.

"It's always going to be frustrating when you really want to do something. I felt like I learned a lot from last year and did well. But it's still a learning experience," he said. "I've still got to learn and look into the situation, and that is are you doing everything you've got to do every day in order to be out on the field, going the extra mile. You've got to ask are you getting extra work after practice, what are you doing? Nobody going to give it to you."

But despite only playing one defensive snap against Clemson, Dawson says he's staying positive.

"I try to pick up every DB that I can," he said. "From Langley, to (Damian) Swann because we're all a family, we're a team. We're a group, we're one unit. We're all in this together, and so am I."

Rome says he's healthy

Tight end Jay Rome the ankle injury that caused him to miss the South Carolina game is healed and he's ready to go against North Texas.

"I hurt it in the Clemson game and I came probably before I was completely healthy," Rome said. "Somebody fell on me the first half."

Rome doesn't expect the injury to bother him moving forward.

"I don't think it's going to be a problem," he said. "It was a freak accident. It just rolled up on me a little bit. I'll be fine."

Overall, the Bulldogs appear very healthy for their game Saturday against the Mean Green (12:21, SEC Network).

Left tackle Kenarious Gates was back and working with the first unit Monday, as was backup tailback Keith Marshall after banging his knee against the Gamecocks.

Dawgs hit the field in full pads

Georgia practiced for two hours in full pads Monday in preparation for Saturday's game.

"Today was not bad considering we were in full pads and were trying to get in that Tuesday type of work in," head coach Mark Richt said in a statement. "Overall, it was a prettygood day. The scouts did a good job of giving us the look we needed. We tackled a little bit and got better there. The guys just need to keep working hard on their assignments."

This and that

Captains for Saturday's contest will be tailback Todd Gurley (offense), quarterback Aaron Murray (offense), linebacker Amarlo Herrera (defense) and cornerback Blake Sailors on special teams. … On Monday, the SEC announced that Georgia's game on Sept. 28 against LSU will be kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by CBS. … Georgia's post-practice injury report consisted of Paris Bostick (left foot surgery; limited running), wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (ACL), wide receiver Tramel Terry (concussion) and cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (MCL).

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