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UGA FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Bulldogs don pads for first time; Boykin named to Hornung Watch List

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS --Georgia coach Mark Richt knew his Bulldogs were excited about the first day in full pads even before they took the field Monday.

"I overheard one of the freshmen say, 'We get to wear the silver britches today,' " Richt said. "I thought that was kind of neat."

Under mostly overcast skies, the Bulldogs practiced for approximately two hours Monday morning. In addition to strapping on the pads for the first time, the Bulldogs went through what Richt called "a competition day," meaning points were assigned to each drill. Afterward, he said the defense emerged as the day's winner.

"I thought it was a pretty darn good first day in pads," Richt said. "In full pads, you're able to compete. The defense won a close, spirited competition. ... There were some plays made. When you compete, you get after it and you try to win. And that's OK because it gets the blood flowing."

Senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson said he was impressed with what he saw from his teammates.

"We have a good defense and good players on defense," said Tyson, who had 36 tackles playing nose last season. "I thought it was a good practice today on both sides of the ball. When you keep score like that, it makes it more exciting and you've got even more motivation and focus. I was pleased with the energy today. I saw guys on defense running to the ball and making plays."

The Bulldogs are scheduled to practice twice today.

Georgia, which was ranked No. 22 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches' poll, will open the season against No. 7 Boise State on Sept. 3. The Bulldogs and Broncos will battle in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta's Georgia Dome at 8 p.m., with ESPN televising the contest nationally. The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Aug. 20 outside Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players and coaches will be available for autographs from 3-5 p.m.

BOYKIN MAKES ANOTHER WATCH LIST:

Georgia senior cornerback and return specialist Brandon Boykin has been included on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List.

Boykin is one of eight players from the SEC on the 50-man preseason list. The Hornung Award is given annually to the most versatile player in college football and is named for football legend Paul Hornung.

Boykin, a native of Fayetteville, finished 2010 with 44 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Boykin is Georgia's active leader with six career picks.

He is also UGA's leader in career kickoff return yards with 1,813 and is the only player in SEC history to have three 100-yard plays of any kind.

Also named to the 2010 Hornung Award Watch List, Boykin has also been included on the watch lists for the Nagurski Trophy, Bednarik Award, Jim Thorpe Award and CFPA Defensive Back Award & Kickoff Returner Award this preseason.