ATHENS, Ga. — Corey Moore’s absence from Georgia’s practices for the past week and a half was put in a new light Friday by Bulldogs coach Mark Richt, who described the junior safety as having made big strides before being injured.
A sprained knee has kept Moore out of practice since Aug. 7, perhaps costing him the starting strong safety job for the opener against Clemson in two weeks while Josh Harvey-Clemons serves a one-game suspension.
“When a guy like Corey Moore has the off-season that he has, starts out in the camp the way he started, he really made himself into a fine player,” Richt said. “Great shape, really understood the system, was leading, was practicing (well) . … Everybody noticed and he got the attention of the staff and then he gets banged up, so he can’t work.”
Richt said he didn’t know when Moore might return.
LINEBACKER ROLES: Freshman Reggie Carter continues to be productive at inside linebacker, but he’s still poised to begin his Georgia career in a backup capacity.
Junior Ramik Wilson and returning starter Amarlo Herrera remain ahead of Carter, Richt said.
“Right this minute I would say that Reggie would play for either one of them if they couldn’t play or needed a blow,” Richt said.
Herrera heads a group that lost NFL first-round draft pick Alec Ogletree.
“We work hard and get everybody lined up,” Herrera said. “We don’t try to do anything that’s not us. We don’t try to be Superman. We just play.”
FILLING IN: If senior Chris Burnette’s surgically repaired left shoulder allows it, the offensive right guard would like to play an entire game.
Two weeks before Georgia opens the season, Burnette isn’t quite ready for a 70-
Georgia has worked John Theus at right guard and Kolton Houston at right tackle with Burnette out.
Meanwhile, starting left tackle Kenarious Gates missed Friday’s practice with what Richt said was a strained neck.
“We don’t think it’s anything real serious,” he said.
Mark Beard worked in place of Gates, Richt said. Houston would also work at left tackle if Gates was out for a longer period of time.
Of Houston, Richt said: “He’s either going to start or he’s going to play a good bit.”
FLOYD LAUDED AGAIN: The Leonard Floyd praise train continued on Friday.
Richt said he signaled out the freshman outside linebacker to the entire team.
“Leonard Floyd just practices so hard,” Richt said. “Just relentless. His head is still spinning learning stuff but he’s really impressed me with how hard he practices on a daily basis. He’s going to get better and better because of it. He really stood out to me. He’s been standing out to me for a while.”
Floyd is listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, but Richt said he thinks he’s probably closer to 235 pounds.
Sophomore James DeLoach is still working ahead of Floyd, but is getting pushed for the job.
“DeLoach is doing fine,” Richt said. “He’s solid. He’s doing well.”
QUICK HITS: Former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff VanGundy was on hand along with men’s basketball coach Mark Fox. Van Gundy’s daughter is a student at Georgia.
Fox is hosting his Suits & Sneakers fundraiser to fight cancer on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum. … Georgia running back Todd Gurley was named to ESPN.com’s preseason All-American team. The other running back is Baylor’s Lache Seastrunk. Bulldogs safety Tray Matthews is on the network’s preseason freshman All-American team. … Georgia 2014 running back commitment Nick Chubb from Cedartown is on USA Today’s All-USA preseason All-America team. … Georgia’s Friday practice was shortened some due to a quick turnaround for a morning practice today prior to Fan Picture Day. Players will be assigned to scout teams next week as the game plan for Clemson comes into sharper focus. Receiver Chris Conley (undisclosed) was in a non-contact jersey Friday. So was Rantavious Wooten, back after missing practices with a strained hamstring. Freshman receiver Reggie Davis (knee) and tight end Jay Rome (ankle) were also in non-contact.