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Dogs skip practice, hit pool

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- The members of the Georgia football team switched sports Monday.

The Bulldogs traded their helmets and shoulder pads for goggles and life vests as they went swimming at Gabrielsen Natatorium inside the Ramsey Center.

Several players braved the 10-meter platform, while others remained on the lower boards and even more just splashed around in the cool water. The break was especially welcome as the players began fall semester classes earlier Monday.

"I definitely think it was a well-deserved break," linebacker Cornelius Washington said. "It was a release for us because it was such a fun time. I think the day off will give us some pep for practice (today). We'll have our legs under us and we'll be rested. Coach (Mark) Richt is really good about doing things like that for us."

So was it fun?

"It was fun watching the guys jump. You could tell the look on some of their faces was like, 'Oh boy, I don't know about this,' " Washington said. "It got everyone relaxed and we all had a good time."

Richt talked several would-be divers into jumping off the 10-meter, using his familiar "finish the drill" pep talk. He also went off the 10-meter board himself, doing a backflip while wearing slacks and a dress shirt.

"I'll probably do that every year," Richt said. "I got caught up in some things before we went, so I was in my street clothes. They were getting on me, so I decided to go. I will tell you this, after jumping in and getting out, I can tell you that (the manufacturer of my clothes) H. Stockton makes some quality stuff."

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NOTES: Richt confirmed that center Ben Jones had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Sunday and that the junior should be ready for the Bulldogs' season opener ... Josh Sailors, a junior fullback from Athens, was awarded a scholarship, according to an announcement by Richt. Sailors is a 5-foot-9, 230-pound junior who graduated from Oconee County High School. He is in his fourth year in the program, serving as a valuable reserve and member of the scout team during his career. Sailors is a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll recipient, majoring in Biology ... Sailors is the fourth walk-on to be awarded a scholarship this year. Earlier, Richt placed cornerback Chad Gloer, snapper Ty Frix and linebacker Reuben Faloughi on scholarship ... The annual Fans' Picture Day is scheduled for Saturday at Sanford Stadium. Interim mascot "Russ" will be available for photos from 1-3 p.m., while the 2010 Bulldogs will be at the stadium from 3-5 p.m ... Georgia, which is ranked No. 21 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches poll, will begin the 2010 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Louisiana-Lafayette at Sanford Stadium. Kickoff for the opener against the Ragin' Cajuns is slated for 12:21 p.m., and the contest will be televised on the SEC Network nationwide.