ATHENS - Georgia is conducting a full-pads practice on Friday afternoon under the watchful eye of Jeff Van Gundy, the former NBA coach and lead color analyst for ABC/ESPN.
Van Gundy, whose daughter is a student at UGA, has been by Athens a lot lately, and has hit up a friendship with Georgia men's basketball coach Mark Fox. The pair were watching the offense work when Mark Richt walked over, stuck out his hand and exclaimed: "Here are all the basketball coaches!"
As for football, a few observations and notes, which will be updated after practice:
- Cornerback Sheldon Dawson has joined the injury list with an unknown malady. Dawson was participating in practice in a limited role. We'll have word on his injury afterwards.
- Receiver Chris Conley was also in a green non-contact jersey for the first time this preseason. But Conley was running routes in a passing drill. Fellow receiver Rantavious Wooten (hamstring strain) was back at practice after about a week's absence, albeit still in a green jersey. And freshman Reggie Davis (knee sprain) was also in a green jersey but running routes, and made one catch that drew praise from the coaches.
- Freshman safety Tray Matthews (shoulder sprain, hamstring strain) remains in a green non-contact jersey, but is participating, while junior safety Corey Moore remains out with a knee sprain.
- Redshirt freshman John Taylor was working with the first-team defensive line, along with ends Garrison Smith and Sterling Bailey. (James DeLoach and Jordan Jenkins were with the first team at outside linebacker.) We should caution that this was just one drill, so it may not mean much, but it's another indication that Taylor is very much in the mix for playing time.
- The second-team line in the same drill included nose tackle Mike Thornton and ends Toby Johnson and Ray Drew.
- Starting left tackle Kenarious Gates missed practice with a neck strain, but Richt said it's not thought to be serious.