Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Opening camp: Georgia
By Edward Aschoff
Schedule: The Bulldogs begin practice Thursday at 4:20 p.m. ET. Players will be in shorts and helmets for the first two practices (Thursday and Friday) and will add shoulder pads on Saturday. Their first day in full pads will be Thursday, Aug. 8.
On the mend: The Bulldogs are hoping to get a lot out of junior college transfer defensive tackle Toby Johnson, who is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last fall and he also underwent surgery in early July for a condition not related to football. He should be fully recovered from it for fall camp. Freshmen defensive backs Reggie Wilkerson (ACL) and Paris Bostick (toe) will also miss the 2013 season.
Key battle: Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham says he wouldn't mind endless rotation along the defensive line, but it would be nice for the Bulldogs to have a solid man in the middle at nose tackle. Johnson might be the most gifted for the position, so his health is important, but there are a few bodies to work with. Junior Mike Thornton left spring as the starter here, but youngsters Chris Mayes and John Atkins will have every chance to take the No. 1 spot. You could also see someone like Garrison Smith move from end to nose at times, too.
Of note: Quarterback Aaron Murray holds the school record for career touchdown passes (95) and touchdown responsibility (104). He's 19 touchdown passes away from tying Danny Wuerffel's SEC record for most career touchdown passes (114). Last year, Murray set single-season school records for yards (3,893), total yards (3,825) and touchdown passes (36). With his 10,091 career passing yards, he needs just 1,438 yards to become Georgia's all-time leader in career passing yards.
Predicted order of finish at media days: The Bulldogs were picked to finish first in the SEC Eastern Division and to lose to Alabama in the SEC championship game.
They said it: "My goal -- and the reason why I came back -- is to win championships. I'm not even thinking about those records. If I throw five touchdowns and Todd [Gurley] and Keith [Marshall] ran (for) 100 touchdowns each, I'd get happy if it meant we won it all." -- Murray.