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Nothing but a scare for King.


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Nothing but a scare for King

Football notebook

By Roger Clarkson | roger.clarkson@onlineathens.com | Story updated at 12:16 AM on Thursday, March 27, 2008

Redshirt freshman tailback Caleb King received a scare, but that was it and he should be ready to return to practice soon.

King tweaked his knee during Saturday's scrimmage, though the MRI report came back negative and Georgia coach Mark Richt anticipates King will return to drills in plenty of time for the G-Day game on April 5.

"Caleb's knee was bothering him," Richt said. "We did do an MRI and there's nothing really serious. It's just sore. Whether or not he's there Friday, I don't know. But he'll be back before spring's over."

King wore a non-contact jersey during Wednesday's workout at the Woodruff Practice Fields. He did not take part in contact drills but remained with the running backs instead of riding a stationary bike.

Offensive line still behind the pace

Richt took issue with some of the offensive line play he has seen during the spring. Georgia returned three starters and the top backup from last season. But the line has not come together as quickly as Richt would like.

"There's no question that the defense is ahead of the offense by a good margin," Richt said. "Most of it's happening up front. We're not getting the QB-center exchange. We're not able to provide a lot of space for runners and time for passers. I'm sure it's frustrating for offensive skill people when you wonder what can be. But up front right now we're probably a little further behind this year than we were a year ago. We've got a ways to go."

Georgia lost center Fernando Velasco and tackle Chester Adams as outgoing seniors. Velasco took every meaningful snap last season. His projected replacement, Chris Davis, was a starter at guard last season and has not found a rhythm with the quarterbacks yet. A number of regulars are back, but not all are in the same position. Kiante Tripp, who was a defensive end last spring, is the projected starter in Adams' old spot at right tackle. Vince Vance, Georgia's top sub last season, is the projected starter in Davis' old spot at left guard.

Gamble's versatility making an impact

The cross-training Georgia uses for its linebackers is getting a workout this spring. Injuries to Marcus Washington and Darius Dewberry have forced the unit to shuffle its depth chart.

Darryl Gamble has stepped forward as maybe the Bulldogs' most versatile linebacker. Georgia likes to train its linebackers and defensive backs at every position to increase depth and reduce the impact of injury.

Gamble started spring as Rennie Curran's backup at weakside linebacker. But he also is making a bid for Washington's and Dewberry's spots at middle and strongside.

"Gamble had an outstanding scrimmage on Saturday, pushing for reps on the inside," defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said.

"The great thing is he can play all three linebacker positions. That's what we like. We cross train them and Darryl's a guy who can play all three positions and we feel very comfortable playing him at all three positions. If somebody gets hurt, we won't hesitate to play him at Sam, Mike or Will."

This and that

Athletic director Damon Evans watched Wednesday's practice. He talked with Richt for several minutes during workouts. ... The defensive backfield is in search of somebody to replace Kelin Johnson as the unit's fastest talker. CJ Byrd said it's probably between him and Reshad Jones. ... Freshman offensive lineman Ben Jones wore a regular jersey but rode a stationary bike during contact drills. ... Matthew Stafford wore a wrap on his non-throwing wrist but his passes did not lack zip.

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