Richt expresses optimism to Augusta Bulldog Club

Two days removed from his team’s spring G-Day game, Georgia football coach Mark Richt remained pleased with the contest.

The Bulldogs rolled up 63 points Saturday in front of a crowd of 44,000 people at Sanford Stadium.

“I thought the spring game was outstanding,” Richt said. “The guys came excited to play. It’s always good to play between the hedges in front of the fans.”

Richt expressed his excitement Tuesday to about 200 people at the Augusta Bulldog Club meeting at Julian Smith Casino.

After suffering through a 6-7 season two years ago, Richt returned to town with renewed optimism. Georgia returns 15 of 24 starters off a team that went 10-4 with an Eastern Division title and an appearance in the Southeastern Con­ference Champ­ionship Game.

“We’re not too far off,” he said.

Richt said the best thing coming out of spring practice is the health of his players. He said no player will lose time rehabbing injuries during the summer.

“We’ll be ready to go when we start camp, which is pretty unusual,” Richt said. “Usually, there’s some type of injury, multiple injuries, going on. Everybody should be back and ready to go.”

Georgia will have plenty of competition in the backfield entering the fall, with Ken Malcome and Isaiah Crowell trying to secure the starting gig. Freshman Keith Marshall, a five-star recruit, enrolled in January. Todd Gurley, a four-star running back, will arrive this summer.

“Usually, it’s not long before you see what kind of runner they are,” Richt said. “If they’ve got enough skills at that level, you’re in a race to get him to pass protect.”

Richt said he’s pleased with the progress of senior linebacker Cornelius Washington (Burke County) and Sanders Commings (Westside).

Commings is suspended for the first two games of the season because of domestic violence and simple battery charges.

“They’re young men that had the opportunity to declare for the NFL Draft, but they chose to stay,” Richt said. “They wanted to have a great senior season, and I think both of them will.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt hopes Bubba Watson will be honored at a Bulldog game

COUNTING DOWN?

It’s 136 days until the University of Georgia football team opens the 2012 season Sept. 1 against Buffalo at Sanford Stadium.

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