ATHENS -- The University of Georgia football team conducted its seventh spring practice Friday afternoon by working out for nearly two hours at Sanford Stadium.
And somewhere in between -- during a day filled with special guest coaches -- the Bulldogs got a visit from coaching giant Tony Dungy.
"I thought the clinic was a gigantic success," said UGA coach Mark Richt. "It was the largest turnout we've had in my 10 years at Georgia with over 500 coaches in attendance, and I do think that's because a lot of them were excited to see the changes we've made defensively. Tony Dungy was tremendous in speaking to us, and he talked about his career and the obligation we as coaches have to these young men. I'm incredibly grateful for coach Dungy and am thankful he came as our main attraction."
The two-day coaches' clinic featured a full day of activities Friday. The day started with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with Shorter College head coach Phil Jones as a guest speaker. Group sessions included Wilcox County High School coach Mark Ledford on the "Wilcox Spread Offense," Gainesville High School coach Bruce Miller on "The Power Run Game out of the Spread Offense," and Peach County High School coach Chad Campbell on "Matching Coverages with Front from 3-3 Stack." Calhoun High School coach Hal Lamb also spoke on "The Screen Game from the Spread," Clarke Central High School coach Leroy Ryals conducted a session on "Clarke Central's Multiple I," and Sandy Creek High School coach Chip Walker presented "Sandy Creek's 4-3 with Cover 2." After a break for lunch, Northside Warner Robins High School coach Conrad Nix discussed "Northside's Shad 4-3 Defense" and Southwest DeKalb High School coach Buck Godfrey addressed "Motivating Players and Young Coaches". Prior to practice, Phil Jones spoke again on the "Shorter College Option Game"
Friday was the second of three consecutive practice days for the Bulldogs and the final effort before this morning's scrimmage, the first of the spring.
"I thought we had a great practice (Friday) and (today) is going to be real fun," Richt said. "Everyone will be live except the quarterbacks, and they'll rotate equally with the ones. It's fun; the defense feels real confident, and the offense feels like it could have a big day (today). This is as high energy and as good a tempo as I can remember."
GA. TECH'S DRUMMOND SUSPENDED FOR FIRST 10 GAMES:
ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech redshirt freshman football player Daniel Drummond was found in violation of the NCAA eligibility rules Friday and has been declared ineligible for at least the first 10 games of the 2010 season.
Drummond will be allowed to participate in practice, including spring practice -- which begins Monday afternoon. He is ineligible, however, to participate in games at this time.
Drummond, a Georgia native, starred in high school at Flowery Branch.
UF PLAYERS APPLAUD MEYER FOR ATTACKING REPORTER:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida quarterback John Brantley and several teammates applauded coach Urban Meyer's recent outburst Friday, saying it's nice to see him come to receiver Deonte Thompson's defense.
"Coach has our back," Brantley said. "That's what you want to see out of your coaches. We trust our coaches and they trust us, and that's what we want to see."
Meyer lashed out at a reporter Wednesday, calling him a "bad guy" for publishing a quote from Thompson about Brantley and former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
When asked what the difference was between Brantley and Tebow, Thompson called Brantley a "real quarterback." Anyone listening knew Thompson meant Brantley was a more traditional, conventional or prototypical passer than Tebow.
Thompson's quote spread across the country thanks to Twitter and the Internet, and the receiver was crushed when friends and teammates asked him why he ripped Tebow.
He expressed his frustration to Meyer, who responded following spring practice Wednesday. Meyer had harsh words for Orlando Sentinel reporter Jeremy Fowler during a brief exchange in front of cameras, colleagues and some fans.
Meyer threatened to ban the Sentinel from practice and said, "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now."
Players praised Meyer's response, which has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube and probably seen by even more on various television networks.
Defensive backs coach Chuck Heater called the whole situation "real positive."
"Urban's a real passionate guy about his players, as we all are, so yeah, I think it's real positive from that standpoint," Heater said. "Everybody sees it and everybody gets it."
Meyer defended his reaction, saying it had little to do with Thompson's quote that seemingly ripped Tebow. He was more concerned with the effect the Sentinel's story had on Thompson, a good student who has never been in trouble.