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August 2, 2013
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Michael Bennett says he'll know a little bit more once the Bulldogs strap on the full pads, but after two days of fall camp, the junior wide receiver said he feels about as healthy as he ever has in his life.
That's certainly good news for Georgia.
The Alpharetta native tore his ACL on the Thursday before last year's game at South Carolina, but through a lot of hard work and rehab, Bennett appears ready to go.
"For me, there was never any doubt that I'd be ready," Bennett said Friday. "It's a thing where I had all summer to get ready for this. Yesterday was the first day, and everything is good."
The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder was on his way to a breakout season last fall with 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns before suffering the injury.
Head coach Mark Richt has certainly been impressed with his recovery.
"After watching him rehab all summer I wasn't surprised," Richt said. "Of course, when he had the injury you just never know how a guy is going to come off of it, but I think he's gained a lot of confidence in how he's worked and how much he's tested it over the summer. He was able to have most of the summer with almost no limitations on him."
Bennett's next test will come Tuesday when the Bulldogs put on full pads for the first time.
"Getting tackled, that's the next thing," Bennett said.
Dawson moves to DL
Josh Dawson was seen working out with the Bulldog defensive line and after practice Richt confirmed the move would be a permanent one.
"He's an end. He knows the outside linebacker and the end position but he's put on some really good weight, and he's very strong," Richt said. "He'll be capable of doing both but right now he's primary position will be end."
Listed at 254 pounds in Georgia's media guide, Dawson appears to be a bit heavier. He's being groomed to play both the right and left end positions.
Terry making progress
Richt said freshman receiver Tramel Terry is making excellent progress from his torn ACL.
Although he'll wear a brace on his knee for at least two more weeks, the Goose Creek, S.C. native has been able to take part in drills, running and competing with the rest of Georgia's wideouts.
"Tramel is still in the brace that Michael (Bennett) was in most of the summer, that same type of brace," Richt said. "Tramel is on his way but he's about two weeks behind (Bennett). It's a pleasant surprise to see him moving around."
Houston set to play
Richt said Kolton Houston can probably count on playing this fall.
"I think Kolton will play this year, without a doubt. He's competing and he's competing for playing time and a starting position," Richt said. "Coach (Will) Friend right now is rolling things around. We're trying to find the right five and where to put them, too."
So, who do the top five look to be right now? Not even Richt knows that.
"You can ask me on any given day who's in the top five and I really couldn't tell you right now," he said. "It's more of a process of putting guys in different positions, trying to see what combination is the best five.
"It's a little confusing because you've got guys who can play more than one position, with Kolton being one of them."
Unlike past years, Richt conceded the depth on the offensive line looks to be better than it's been in a few years.
"Last year we were really concerned and struggling to find five who could play," he said. "This year, I don't know if we've got 10 guys who can line up and kick everyone's rear end. I don't know if it's quite 10, but we're close to have that many people who can line up and play in the SEC."
??On outside linebacker Leonard Floyd - "I will say this, just on the passing drills and things that we do that don't take a lot of knowledge of the system, you see a really big upside. He's long, athletic and seems to be in great condition and seems to have great strength for a lean guy like that. He's got really nice potential for us." - Richt
?? On running back J.J. Green - "J.J. is getting his reps at tailback. Right this minute we have a pretty healthy number of wide receivers who know how to play. Sometimes you'll take a guy when you need more pop outside and cross-train him, but right now we're not doing that with J.J." - Richt
This and that
Georgia practiced for two and half hours in shorts and helmets Friday morning. "Today it was obviously early in the day, it was cooler and not a ray of sunshine. There were overcast skies and it was probably something they needed. This was probably the quickest turnaround of the camp because we had to have a late afternoon practice yesterday and an early one today. Normally, in the five-day acclimation you've got a true 24 hours but because of our exam schedule we had to make it a little bit tighter than usual but now we're in our normal schedule without class, so that will be good." ?c Junior linebacker Ramik Wilson missed practice Friday with a stomach bug. ?c Richt said freshman Shaquille Wiggins had an interception during Friday's drills. "He's learning how to defend without holding, grabbing and snatching," Richt said. "He's a fiery competitor. I like (Brendan) Langley, too. They've both got skill sets we were hoping they'd show. I like what I've seen from Davin Bellamy and Leonard Floyd. They're both long, rangy athletes who can really move."