Originally created 08/07/99

Bulldogs, Gamecocks welcome freshmen



The Georgia football team's newcomers arrived on campus Friday, and there were no surprises.

All 22 incoming scholarship players who were expected to show up at McWhorter Hall on Friday morning did just that, and they were joined by an additional seven freshman walk-ons, for a total of 29 first-year players.

"Everybody showed up," said Georgia coach Jim Donnan. "We will have a few meetings, get their physicals done, and will begin practicing tomorrow."

The newcomers will have several days' worth of workouts before the veterans join them for the first full-squad practices on Thursday. They'll get their first shot at the field this afternoon, then have another practice Sunday morning. Workouts are closed to the public.

The players spent Friday moving into the dorm, having pictures taken for the game program, getting pre-physicals and attending a variety of orientation sessions. Players' parents also had orientation Friday. Today, in addition to practice, the players will have full physicals and several meetings with coaches.

Newcomer workouts will be particularly important at a few positions, as the coaching staff gets its first look at players who may need to step in and contribute as early as the season opener against Utah State one month from today.

Plenty of eyes will be on junior college linebacker Kendrell Bell, who has received rave reviews from Donnan on his tour of Bulldog Clubs in the last two weeks, along with freshman Charles Grant. Grant could get a look at defensive end, linebacker or fullback -- or all of the above.

All three of Georgia's offensive line signees -- Josh Billue (Guntersville, Ala.), Kevin Breedlove (Clemson, S.C.) and Alex Jackson (Quincy, Fla.) -- also have a chance to play as freshmen.

Tailbacks DeJuan Green (Jacksonville) and Bruce Thornton (LaGrange) will be given the opportunity to work their way into playing time, and freshman receivers Damien Gary (Clarke Central) and Michael Johnson (Tulsa, Okla.) also will be scrutinized. Georgia needs depth in its receiving corps, and won't be able to get it from the top two receivers it signed in February.

One of those players, Durell Robinson of Duncan, S.C., will be in camp, but as a partial academic qualifier, he is not eligible to play this season. The other, Carrollton's Reggie Brown, will complete high school coursework this fall and enroll at UGA in January.

The other signees not in camp are Vince Faison, who signed a baseball contract with the San Diego Padres, and two players who did not qualify and are headed to Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia for a year -- Jackson's Tavarus Morgan and Griffin's Johnathan Sullivan.

Georgia freshman walk-ons:

Name [filtered word]. School

Hayden Blanchard DE North Springs

Parker Blanchard LB North Springs

Tim McDermond OLDL Marist

Jared Noblet DE Daniel (Central, S.C.)

Mitch Sheppard TB/DB Brentwood Acad.

Chris Nash QB Stockbridge

Jarrett Berry WR Toombs Co.