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COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Richt pleased with progress thus far; UGA changes rules for annual picture day, autograph session

Coaching legend Schnellenberger to retire

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ATHENS -- The sun burned through the morning cloud cover just as Mark Richt finished his pre-practice instructions for the Georgia Bulldogs on Thursday, clearing the way for a spirited, two-and-a-half-hour workout in shoulder pads and shorts.

The session, which began with temperatures in the 70s and finished with the thermometer inching into the 90s, came a day after Georgia's first full scrimmage of the fall and left Richt pleased on several fronts.

"After a scrimmage, you tend to have a kind of lackluster day, especially the next day," Richt said. "We didn't have that (Thursday). They got after it. I'm proud of the energy and the effort. We definitely got better today."

Several players donned green, non-contact jerseys on Thursday; however, Richt said the team had not suffered any serious injuries to date.

"When you hit really hard for 125 plays, you'll have some of that," Richt said. "To this point, we've been pretty good on the injury front. There's nothing that's going to keep a guy out for a really long time. Overall, the injury front is pretty good. When we're in shorts, even guys in green jerseys can get a lot of good work in. Brandon Boykin was in a green jersey but got a lot of work in. Derrick Owens was in a green jersey but got a lot of work in (Thursday)."

When asked if anyone caught his attention while reviewing film of the scrimmage, Richt singled out several players including fullback Zander Ogletree and linebacker Christian Robinson.

"Zander Ogletree had a really great scrimmage, especially on the goal line," Richt said. "He delivered a lot of physical shots across the board, but isolation blocking is I think the toughest to do over and over and over.

"Zander got the best of it (Wednesday). He did his job better than the other guy."

Richt then added about Robinson: "Christian Robinson has had a really fine camp in his ability to recognize things, communicate things and get guys lined up quickly so that we're in position to play and to play fast."

Georgia's defensive newcomers were available to the media for the first time on Thursday, including Amarlo Herrera, a linebacker from College Park who returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown in the scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

"I wasn't focused on me. I was just trying to do something for the (defensive) team to beat the offense," Herrera said. "I've just been studying the playbook hard and adjusting to the speed. We go fast all the time."

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., and ESPN will televise the contest nationally.

FAU'S SCHNELLENBERGER CALLS IT A CAREER:

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Howard Schnellenberger, the 77-year-old Florida Atlantic coach who led Miami to its first national championship, has decided to retire from coaching after this season.

Schnellenberger made the announcement Thursday afternoon. He'll become an ambassador for FAU once his coaching days end.

Schnellenberger is 157-140-3 as a collegiate head coach. He will be with the Owls for the entire 2011 season, including any possible bowl game.

"As (my wife) Beverlee and I look at our tenure here, I can't tell you how wonderful it's been," Schnellenberger said.

Best known perhaps for taking Miami to the 1983 national title, which started a run of five championships in 19 seasons for the Hurricanes, Schnellenberger is revered around much of South Florida. He founded FAU's program in 1998, taking the Owls to the Division I-AA national semifinals in 2003 and leading them into the ranks of major college football a year later.

Schnellenberger went 41-16 at Miami, his last game there a 31-30 win over Nebraska on Jan. 1, 1984, sealing that season's national title.