UGA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: It's G-Day in Athens; ex-Early County star Williams honored with spring award; Richt headed to Albany on May 24; Dogs, Broncos look to Chick-fila-A Kickoff Classic

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- G-Day, Georgia's spring football game, will highlight the "It's Great To Be A Bulldog" Weekend on the UGA campus.

G-Day is the culmination of the football team's spring practices and kicks off at 1 p.m. today at Sanford Stadium.

Coach Mark Richt's The Red and Black rosters were determined by a draft for the first time in the history of the game.

The past format to determine the rosters was the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense and the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense. But this year's teams were chosen by captains Ben Jones and Christian Robinson (Red) and Brandon Boykin and Aaron Murray (Black).

The Red roster will be led by Jones, Robinson, tailback Caleb King, receiver Tavarres King, tight end Aron White, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, linebacker Cornelius Washington and punter Drew Butler. The Red coaches will be Mike Bobo, Bryan McClendon, Rodney Garner and Scott Lakatos.

For the Black, the leaders will be Murray, Boykin, tailback Washaun Ealey, receiver Marlon Brown, tight end Orson Charles, offensive lineman Justin Anderson, defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson, linebacker Alec Ogletree, cornerback Branden Smith and kicker Blair Walsh. Todd Grantham, Kirk Olivadotti, Will Friend, Tony Ball and John Lilly will serve as the Black team coaches.

"I know our guys are really excited about G-Day," Richt said Friday. "The draft and the new format have created a buzz of positive energy. We think this will be an entertaining day, and we're looking forward to it. G-Day is another chance for our players to play with a lot of speed and energy, and it's an opportunity to play in front of our fans. This game -- and really all of our practices this spring -- will give us a snapshot of our strengths and weaknesses as we head toward the fall, and that's pretty important. This game will help show us where we are."

Admission to G-Day is free, but fans are encouraged to bring items for the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia and/or make monetary donations to the Johnathan Taylor Fund. Taylor is the Georgia baseball player injured last month who is currently suffering paralysis on the lower half of his body.

The game will be televised by CSS, with Matt Stewart and Buck Belue calling the action and Maria Taylor handling sideline reporting. It also can be seen on ESPN3 for those subscribers outside the CSS footprint.

The gates at Sanford Stadium will open at 11 a.m. Fans may enter through Gates 2, 3, 4, 4A, 6 and 9, and may sit in the lower 100 and 200 levels.



Richt set to visit Albany on May 24

ATHENS -- University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt will be the guest of honor at a series of public appearances, which kick off Wednesday in Savannah. Richt will then weave his way through North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Georgia before the 11-city tour makes its second-to-last stop in Albany on May 24 at Doublegate Country Club.

UGA men's basketball coach Mark Fox will be joining Richt for nine of those stops, but isn't attending the Albany or Savannah visit.

The events, open to all Georgia fans, will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by a program at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact the UGA Alumni Association at (404) 814-8820.



Georgia's football team practiced for the final time of the spring at the Woodruff Practice Fields during an hour session Thursday afternoon.

This was the Bulldogs' 14th and final practice of the spring before they square off against each other at the annual spring G-Day game this afternoon.

"It was a short practice, but everyone did pretty well," said head coach Mark Richt, who added that steak and lobster will the dinner served to the victors at G-Day, while hot dogs and beans will be the dinner for the losing team. "There was not a lot at stake between the offense and defense out there (Thursday) since there was no conditioning after the practice. But both groups wanted to keep score anyway and the defense came out on top."

Richt mentioned that he didn't think junior tailback Washaun Ealey would play today because of a hamstring injury suffered earlier in the spring. Decisions on several of the other injured players for G-Day will be made before game time.

One of the assistant coaches who will be helping to guide Georgia's defense for the coming season is Kirk Olivadotti. Coaching the Bulldog inside linebackers, Olivadotti came to Georgia from the Washington Redskins and brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the 3-4 defense.

"I have a different approach to some of the fundamentals, but the expectations on the guys haven't changed," Olivadotti said. "Understanding the 3-4 defense is the No. 1 goal. If you don't know where to be on a certain play, make sure you go 100 percent and we will figure out the problem later."

Bulldog defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is continuing the defense's transition to a 3-4 for a second year. One of the players who he will be counting on during the 2011 season is redshirt sophomore Jarvis Jones. Jones, who transferred from USC and redshirted the 2010 season, is expected to be lining up at outside linebacker for Georgia in the fall.

"You have got to have playmakers at outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense for it to be a success," Grantham said. "One advantage of having the bowl practices was that we got to practice Jarvis and some other guys a lot who we knew weren't going to play in the bowl game. (Jarvis) played in the middle during those practices and he could probably play there too. But he's very athletic, has good hands and is a fluid outside linebacker and should be able to make a difference there. I think Jarvis is ahead of the guys last year at linebacker just from the standpoint of understanding the linebacker position."



At halftime of G-Day, former Bulldogs David Greene, D.J. Shockley, Matthew Stafford and Eric Zeier will participate in the Legends Quarterbacks Challenge. The quarterbacks can earn points for various skills. A contestant paired with the winning quarterback will have an opportunity to make a 25-yard pass into a barrel to win $25,000 to be split by the contestant and the Johnathan Taylor Fund.



Prior to G-Day, there will be a flag football game at 11:15 a.m. The game will feature former lettermen representing five decades. The ex-Bulldogs scheduled to participate include Amp Arnold, Buzy Rosenberg, Spike Jones, Burt Jones, Kentrell Curry, Fred Gibson, Jiggy Smaha, Mike Usry, Bill Montgomery, Brandon Miller, Curt McGill, Cory Phillips, Bartley Miller, Ian Knight, Thomas Flowers and Mikey Henderson.



Following G-Day today, fans can visit the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall first-floor expansion, which will be open from 3-5:30 p.m. Fans may tour the weight room, meeting rooms and multipurpose room. Entry will be available through the lower parking lot doors.