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Early County’s Williams suffers knee injury during second Bulldogs’ scrimmage

Former Early County star Shawn Williams was injured during Saturday’s scrimmage  and was helped off the field.

Former Early County star Shawn Williams was injured during Saturday’s scrimmage and was helped off the field.

ATHENS — Georgia’s depleted secondary took another hit Saturday when strong safety Shawn Williams injured his knee.

Coach Mark Richt said after the team’s scrimmage that Williams, a Damascus native and former Early County star, likely won’t need surgery.

“We think it’s a non-op situation,” Richt told reporters. “He’s in there doing fine right now.”

If UGA loses Williams for any amount of time, it will be a huge blow to an already hampered secondary. Plus, Williams was dynamite for the Bulldogs’ last season playing both linebacker and safety with a team-high 48 tackles and four interceptions, which was second on the team only to the eight by Bacarri Rambo, another former Southwest Georgia star out of Seminole County.

The Bulldogs are hoping to contend for a national title in 2012, but Williams’ and Rambo’s statuses are both uncertain right now — and for very different reasons.

An All-American free safety, Rambo could face a marijuana-related suspension. Rambo’s high school coach Alan Ingram told The Herald last week that the player will be suspended for the first four games of the season after meeting with Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity.

Richt and the university have yet to address Rambo’s issue publicly, and he refused to do so again Saturday after the scrimmage.

But the trouble doesn’t end there.

Offseason arrests resulted in a two-game suspension for cornerback Sanders Commings (domestic dispute) and at least a one-game suspension for Branden Smith (marijuana).

COUNTDOWN TO G-DAY: After Saturday’s 90-minute morning scrimmage, Richt indicated that freshman tailback Keith Marshall, a five-star signee from this year’s recruiting class, will miss the G-Day game with a sore hamstring.

Senior tailback Richard Samuel is likely to be out with a concussion.

“I think the G-Day game will be a success if everybody gets to play between the hedges and in front of a good Georgia crowd,” Richt said. “I want this game to be a celebration of Georgia football.”

Georgia, which went 10-4 last season and won the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, will have three practices next week before G-Day.

SATURDAY’S SCRIMMAGE HIGHLIGHTED BY FORMER MITCHELL COUNTY STAR SCOTT-WESLEY: Senior Marlon Brown topped the Bulldog receivers with five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley of Camilla had five receptions for 38 yards and a score, and senior Taylor Bradberry added four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown as Georgia’s football team scrimmaged for about an hour and a half under cloudless skies at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Saturday morning, which marked the team’s third practice of the week.

On offense, junior quarterback Hutson Mason went 12-of-19 for 151 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as junior Aaron Murray was 8-of-13 for 125 yards and a score.

Redshirt sophomore Ken Malcome led the ground attack with five carries for 29 yards while sophomore Isaiah Crowell had six carries for 23 yards.

Senior Jamie Lindley also connected on a field goal during the scrimmage.

On defense, sophomore Corey Moore led with nine tackles and an interception, sophomore Ramik Wilson had seven tackles, a sack and a pass breakup and sophomore Ray Drew of Thomasville added five tackles, including a sack. Redshirt sophomore Connor Norman also had a pick that he returned for a touchdown and senior Shawn Williams registered an interception.

“Corey Moore is coming along,” said Richt. “He’s very aggressive and is a good athlete who is learning a lot. He is going to have to play for us, he’s going to have to function on our defense.”

Richt also singled out the Bulldogs’ two nose guards, junior Kwame Geathers and senior John Jenkins.

“They are probably two of the biggest nose guards around and maybe two of the best around and they are really making it tough on our centers, evenw hen our centers doing everything right,” said Richt, adding that he has also been impressed with the other guys on the front line in Garrison Smith, Abry Jones, Cornelius Washington and Drew. “We have a couple of looks where both are in there at the same time and they have continuously plugged any holes for the tailbacks.

“I think the G-Day game will be a success if everybody gets to play between the hedges and in front of a good Georgia crowd. I want this game to be a celebration of Georgia football.”