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Ex-Bainbridge star shines for Dogs

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

ATHENS -- Former Bainbridge star Nick Williams shared the tackling lead in last year's Georgia spring game with five.

In Saturday's spring game, he led the Black squad with seven.

Appearing in 11 college football games last year and totaling nine tackles altogether in 2009 season, Williams appeared motivated to make a huge Bulldogs statement.

Since being moved from the secondary to the linebacker corps, Williams is listed atop the depth chart at safety.

Former Bainbridge teammate Darryl Gamble is slated to start this fall at linebacker.

It was a good day for the Black squad altogether, which beat the Red, 17-7.

As for the quarterback race, redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger threw two touchdown passes.

Head coach Mark Richt, however, said he's not ready to name an opening-day starter. It won't be Mettenberger because he faces at least a one-game suspension for an arrest in Lowndes County during spring break.

In Saturday's game, Mettenberger completed 6-of-10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Logan Gray, backup to Joe Cox last year, completed 10-of-17 passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. Aaron Murray, another redshirt freshman, connected on 10-of-22 for 96 yards and threw one interception.

"They have played well all spring," Richt said. "They have been hitting their targets. They have had few interceptions and few bad decisions. It has been good competition. I feel we have players who can get it done."

Mettenberger did most of his damage in the first half when he completed touchdown passes of 24 yards to wide receiver Rhett McGowan and 39 yards to Arthur Lynch, the latter with 12 seconds remaining in the first half. He was not made available to the media after the game.

Looking ahead, Richt said that he hopes to announce a pecking order within a week, but there is no guarantee that the quarterback who is pronounced No. 1 will start the first game.

"I couldn't name a starter now if I had to," Richt said. "I am looking to see if he can hit his target, can he process the information he has to process and can he handle the pressure? This is just the beginning. It will intensify in the fall."

Saturday was the first glimpse of Georgia's new defensive alignment, a 3-4 setup, under new coordinator Todd Grantham, an assistant with the Dallas Cowboys last year.

"I think they adjusted well," said Grantham of the players picking up new schemes, new terminology and new staff personnel. Linebacker coach Warren Belin and secondary coach Scott Lakatos are new to the staff as well.

"This was a typical spring game," said Grantham. "There were some things that should not have happened. We adjusted well as the game went along."