February 6, 2008

Signing Day Notebook

Brandon Wood hoped to make an impact on Georgia's defensive tackle this fall after playing briefly in 2007.
That won't be happening now.

Wood injured an Achilles during Wednesday's first day of Mat Drills and could be lost for the spring.

The former Haralson County standout is expected to undergo surgery today.

Wood, who opened the year at defensive end, was moved to defensive tackle later in the year. He played in five games for the Bulldogs, making one tackle.

Searels sets center rotation - for now

Stacey Searels still isn't talking to the media, but Georgia's offensive line coach told a crowd a Butts-Mehre building what he had in mind for the Bulldogs' center position.

The second-year coach said that left guard Chris Davis will begin the spring as the starter, followed by redshirt freshman Ben Harden and sophomore Kevin Perez.

Freshman Ben Jones is the wildcard.

The Alabama native said he'd be given the opportunity to compete for the starting job, made available following the graduation of Fernando Velasco.

Williams forgot to fax

There was a little bit of angst among coaches when Nick Williams did not fax in his scholarship as quickly as perhaps he should.

While Richt was addressing fans at the Butts-Mehre, he mentioned there was the possibility that one more person might be signed, leading to all sorts of speculation as to whom that player might be.

Turns out he was already in the fold.
Williams actually signed with the Bulldogs earlier Wednesday morning, but in all the excitement forgot to fax it back to Georgia.

"They were just celebrating and forgot about faxing it," Richt said. "We were worried there for a little bit. But I think it was at the principal's office. They had to go track it down and send it in."

Garner likes early commitments

Assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner had the press conference crowd rolling in laughter after he thought the Bulldogs sometimes miss out on certain prospects when other recruits commit so early.

"That's kind of like when you're sitting back at your wife saying I should have held out," Garner said. "Really, if that's what you're looking for, you're always saying "Wow!"

On a serious note, Garner said getting players to commit early offers more benefits than not.

"One thing with getting this class so early we really got a lot of time to spend, approximately five weeks, working on our junior class, so we really feel like we're ahead of the game," Garner said. "Feel we've done a good job of going into the schools, visiting with these coaches, talking with these counselors and just trying to get a good feel for these young men. We're very selective in who we're going to offer early because we are limited early wise."

The Bulldogs currently have five verbal commitments for the Class of 2009.

Harmon just fit better at UGA

When Jefferson High lineman A.J. Harmon began having second thoughts about signing with Clemson, Garner said the youngster was given some sage advice by Richt.

"He told him to take time off from the recruiting analyst calling you, being quoted every day in the paper, being quoted by everybody of these sites. He said to just talk it over with your family and talk it over with your high school coach," Garner said. "(Richt) just told him to do what's best for you and that's basically what it came down to."

According to Garner, Harmon was given the advice even before the Bulldogs knew a scholarship would be available.

"We just wanted him to be at peace with his decision and be able to move forward," Garner said.

It turns out Georgia was on his mind.

"I think the whole staff felt very comfortable with A.J. and when A.J. was here he felt very comfortable with our staff," Garner said. "It just seemed like he just fit in and it wasn't something he had to work at. As he got into it, I think he said I don't have to make myself like Georgia. I don't have to make myself fit in. I think it just felt like a natural fit."

This and that

Garner said Harmon will get a shot to play defensive tackle if he gets his weight down to a specific number by fall camp. If not, Harmon will move to the offensive line. Garner did not reveal what that goal was. The 6-foot-5 Harmon is currently listed at 328 pounds. … Richt said Nick Williams has the ability to play either linebacker or safety.

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