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Rambo's mission: More fire boosts defensive production.


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Baccari Rambo moved into a backup role at safety alongside John Knox for Georgia when Quintin Banks suffered a torn MCL.

Rambo's first scrimmage showed he might be ready for the gig.

He was credited with six tackles, but Rambo said he left more on the turf at Sanford Stadium.

"I've got to push myself harder because I'm out of shape," said the 6-foot, 206-pound freshman.

"We were watching film (Tuesday) and I wasn't hustling to the ball. I could have had more tackles if I had hustled to the ball. ... I've got to get used to the tempo, full-speed all the time."

Rambo was a dual-threat quarterback at Seminole County High in Donalsonville, where he also played in the secondary.

"Sometimes I just handed off the ball and sat back there and watched," Rambo said. "Playing quarterback in the triple-option offense I was in shape, but then I played basketball and was in shape a little bit more, but after basketball season I didn't work out that much and got out of shape."

Banks' injury was expected to keep him out six weeks. Fellow freshman Sanders Commings is also receiving second-team work in Banks' absence.

"I know I've got to step up because I'm playing a big part now," Rambo said.

Touted tight end picks Dogs

Georgia has gone into New England to land its newest commitment for its 2009 recruiting class.

Tight end Arthur Lynch-Fontaine from Dartmouth (Mass.) High said Tuesday that he has given a verbal commitment to Georgia, picking the Bulldogs over Virginia, Boston College and Maryland.

The 6-foot-5, 241-pounder caught 10 passes - including three four touchdowns - last season, but played on an offense with running back Jordan Todman, now a freshman at UConn who is the second-leading rusher in Massachusetts history.

"What I bring to the table is my balance of blocking and receiving," said Lynch-Fontaine, a one-time Boston College commitment who made 62 tackles on defense and was being recruited by some as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Lynch-Fontaine, rated as the No. 4 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com, is Georgia's 13th commitment for the 2009 class and first from a tight end.

The position took some hits with the defection of tight end recruit Dwayne Allen to Clemson and the transfer of NaDerris Ward to Oregon.

"They just like his overall athleticism," Dartmouth coach Richard White said. "He has great ability to block the perimeter and block the edge. He has great hands."

First-year tight ends coach John Lilly was instrumental in the recruitment.

"I really got along with coach Lilly," Lynch-Fontaine said. "I really connected and like him a lot. Everything about the school I really enjoyed."

Breakfasts aid freshman end

Freshman defensive end Cornelius Washington is listed at 217 pounds, but the 6-foot-4 native of Burke County actually reported to campus in June at 224 pounds and weighed 235 prior to preseason practices.

Georgia strength staff member Joe Tereshinski advised Washington "to every morning go to the dining hall and get a big plate full of eggs, so I've been trying to do that pretty regularly," Washington said. "That contributed a lot to it and the weight room is a very big part of it."

Washington, who finished fifth in the Class AAA 100 meters last year with a time of 11.1 seconds, is getting work on four special teams units.

It remains to be seen if he'll crack the rotation at defensive end. On Tuesday, he was dealing with a stiff neck.

"Do you ever want to play any freshmen?" defensive ends coach Jon Fabris said. "No, but keep in mind. (Robert) Junior Geathers played. David Pollack played. Charles Johnson played as a freshman. I coach them to get them ready to play now. They understand that the very worst that is going to happen is I've got that much more ready for spring practice."

This and that

Backup quarterback Joe Cox (elbow) returned to practice. ... Among players in green non-contact jerseys: Defensive end Rod Battle (hamstring), cornerback Prince Miller (shoulder) and receiver Walter Hill (hand). Ends Jeremy Lomax (turf toe) ran on the side. ... Strongside linebacker Akeem Dent wore tape on his chin after practice. "I got nicked up, nothing major," he said.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 081308

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