ATHENS -- The assumption has been that if Kwame Geathers had a good spring, he could have a chance to push incoming recruit John Jenkins for playing time at nose tackle.
As it turns out, Geathers is playing so well that he and Jenkins could end up playing together.
We play with three (on the defensive line). Theres nothing etched in stone that those guys have to be at nose, Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said. Well see how it goes. Weve got a couple different packages.
So the 340-pound Geathers or 361-pound Jenkins could play end.
There aint a rule against it, is there? Grantham said, smiling.
Geathers played sparingly last year, and the team pushed hard to sign Jenkins to fill the much-needed nose guard position. But with Jenkins not due to arrive on campus until May at the earliest, Geathers took advantage of all the snaps in spring practice.
His arrow is up, Grantham said of Geathers.
Defensive line coach Rodney Garner said Geathers has improved his use of hands in the trenches and is playing stouter. The competition with Jenkins may have spurred Geathers, but Garner thinks a natural progression was in order.
Obviously hes a year older. The kids just a redshirt sophomore.
G-day injuries and details
Head coach Mark Richt said at least 10 players were likely out with injuries for Saturdays spring game. Most prominent is tailback Washaun Ealey (hamstring), who has missed most of the past few weeks.
Cornerback Brandon Boykin, a captain who helped draft the teams, is also iffy with a concussion, according to Richt.
The other players expected to be out include cornerback Jordan Love (hamstring), Garrison Smith (strained neck) and cornerback-safety Sanders Commings (concussion). Safety Bacarri Rambo was ruled out a couple weeks ago with a sprained knee.
As for the game itself, it will include four 12-minute quarters, with pretty close to a normal game clock, Richt said. There will be no kickoffs or punts. Kickoffs will be automatically spotted at the 25 and punts will be 35 yards. They will kick field goals and extra points, but there will be no rushing the place-kicker.
Richt also wants the coaches to limit their play-calling to blitzes and plays that were shown last year.
I dont want our coaches to show anything new that might give Boise State or South Carolina a hint, Richt said. If its a blitz they ran all last year, I dont care if we run it. If its an offensive play we ran all last year. If its something that they can get off of our game film. Im not excited about showing anything new.
Tackle Trinton Sturdivant, who had knee surgery on Tuesday, could technically return to the field in 2011. But Richt wanted to give Sturdivant, who has now had three knee surgeries, some space.
Hes making the best of it right now, Richt said. But hes certainly hurt. Knowing youve gotta go through that rehab is no fun, and not being certain where you go next, so to speak, I think is tough on him right now. But the goal for all of us is to rally around him and encourage him and help him rehab.
And also help him go wherever he chooses to go. He still has options what he can do. He just has to decide. Right now I dont think hes in a position to make a decision like that.
If Sturdivant were able to come back, it would be mid-to-late season. Sturdivant would probably be eligible for a sixth year from the NCAA, or he could choose not to apply and pursue the NFL draft next year.
Commings spot still up in the air
Secondary coach Scott Lakatos said a decision will be made later on whether Commings will play safety or cornerback. That could depend also on how the incoming freshmen look.
Well sit down some point after recruiting and go through position by position and see what our depth looks like at that time and see what the best crew (is) we could put out there, Lakatos said.
Commings only spent one day at safety in spring camp before suffering a concussion.