April 6, 2013

Rumph makes an impression

Josh Harvey-Clemons from Anthony Dasher on Vimeo.

After watching Jonathon Rumph wow Saturday's G-Day game crowd by catching four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, the following question was posed to quarterback Hutson Mason - how many did times had the Bulldogs seen this before?

His answer may surprise you.

"Actually, none. You see him and tell yourself he can be dangerous, but he's still learning what to do. He just needs to learn to use his body more. If he does that, that's where he's going to be so dangerous," Mason said. "You're talking about a guy who's 6-4 - 6-5 … it's going to be like Marlon. He's got to learn the playbook and get more confident in himself, but I think today was huge for that."

Head coach Mark Richt agreed.

"It was his best day, no doubt," Richt said. "It was good for him to have that kind of day. Today is the kind of day that gives guys confidence and helps him see that he belongs. It also gets fans excited, but he's got a ways to go, a lot to learn. But he's getting there."

Rumph, along with the rest of Georgia's early enrollees, were not made available for interviews following the game.

After a quiet first quarter, Rumph scored the first touchdown for the Black when he took a short pass over the middle from Mason and shot straight ahead to complete a 20-yard score, breaking several would-be tackles at the 3-yard line.

In the third, Rumph hauled in a 47-yarder from Parker Welch for his second score.

"I like how he finished the touchdown after he got it to about the 3 and was physical enough to get it into the end zone," Richt said. "I can't tell you how many times guys come up short in that situation. He did a lot of good things, but he's still got a lot to learn."

Rumph wasn't the only newcomer to make a big impression.

Freshman linebacker Reggie Carter finished with seven tackles for the Black team, recorded a tackle for loss and picked off his third pass of the spring.

Cornerback Reggie Wilkerson started opposite Damian Swann for the Red Team and collected a sack on a corner blitz, while free safety Tray Matthews made four tackles.

Junior college transfer Chris Mayes also made six tackles and recorded a sack.

Harvey-Clemons making huge strides

If Saturday's G-Day game is any indication, sophomore Josh Harvey-Clemons won't be coming off the field much at all this fall.

The team's starting strong safety in base, when the Bulldogs go Nickel, he assumes the "star" position, which basically allows him to play the field as an outside linebacker.

"He's not going to come off the field much, that's pretty much the idea," defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.

You won't find Harvey-Clemons complaining.

"It adds a lot to my confidence because last year I was the guy who was out there lost and didn't really know anything," Harvey-Clemons said. "Now, I'm on the field, I'm learning and the game is slowing down to me. I'm more confident on the field than I've ever been and I'm looking to build on that."

Harvey-Clemons is apparently doing something right.

At Thursday's Letterman's Banquet, the former Lowndes standout was named the team's spring Defensive MVP.

"I was shocked. I really didn't expect it," he said. "I thought they'd give me most improved or something like that, but when they said MVP … I don't know. Thank God they did."

Grantham said the honor was well-earned.

"When you look at what Josh does for us, he's a versatile guy, he's done a good job and I've been pleased with his progress," Grantham said. "He's a guy who can really help us moving forward."

Dawgs appear to escape injury free

Although defensive tackle John Atkins limped off with an apparent ankle injury in the second half and was later seen receiving treatment, Richt said the injury did not appear serious.

"I haven't seen (athletic trainer) Ron Courson, so that means there weren't any serious injuries that I know of," Richt said.

Several players, however, did miss Saturday's game.

Linebacker Ryne Rankin did not suit up due to a right ankle sprain, while cornerback Sheldon Dawson did not dress out due to a hamstring injury.

Richt did have some good news.

According to the head coach, freshman receiver Tramel Terry is recovering at a furious pace from his torn ACL injury and could be cleared by late July. However, he remains unsure as to how long it will take the South Carolina native to get back in "football shape."

Spring awards announced

Georgia announced its annual spring practice awards with wide receiver Chris Conley and Harvey-Clemson taking home MVP honors on offense and defense, respectively.

Other top honors went to wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley and linebacker Ramik Wilson who were awarded the prestigious Coffee County Hustle Award for offense and defense, while offensive tackle Xzavier Ward and defensive end Sterling Bailey were tabbed winners of the True Grit Award.

Remaining winners include fullback Quayvon Hicks (Most Improved Player for Offense), safety Tray Matthews (Most Improved Player for Defense), Clay Johnson (Most Outstanding Walk-on for Offense), along with Clint Kirk and Tristan Askew (Most Outstanding Walk-ons for Defense.

This and that

Georgia's first-team offensive line Saturday consisted of John Theus (left tackle), Dallas Lee (left guard), David Andrews (center), Kenarious Gates (right guard) and Xzavier Ward (right tackle. The second unit was made up of Mark Beard (left tackle), Josh Cardiello (left guard), Hunter Long (center), Greg Pyke (right guard) and Watts Dantzler (right tackle). … Although Parker Welch completed 4 of 8 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, Richt said he is still battling Christian LeMay for the No. 3 job.