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Harmon unclear on defensive role.


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Georgia freshman defensive tackle A.J. Harmon is conflicted about what's best for him this season.

The competitor in him wants to get on the field for the No. 1 Bulldogs.

The realist in him knows it's probably better that he spend the season on the scout team.

"To be honest with you, I don't want to redshirt and I do want to redshirt," Harmon said.

"I don't want to redshirt because I want to compete and play every game but I can understand a redshirt being behind the type of guys that have been here longer than me and understand the game."

Guys like Jeff Owens and Geno Atkins, Georgia's formidable starting duo. Guys like veteran backups Kade Weston and Corvey Irvin.

"I'd love to sit here in years to come so I can have Jeff Owens' quickness and attitude, Corvey Irvin's footwork, Kade's mentality and Geno Atkins' strength," said Harmon, a Jefferson County native. "I would love to have all of those guys combined into me."

The concern this offseason was that Harmon (6-foot-5) might be bigger than just one defensive tackle should be.

He said his weight is down to 322 pounds and he's hoping to slim to 310. He's recently dealt with shoulder and hamstring injuries in his preseason.

"The guy has so much athleticism but he came in a little heavy," defensive line coach Rodney Garner said. "I told him that was going to hurt him and I think he's finding out that hurts him at this level."

Said Harmon: "From my standpoint to me it's kind of stressful. I've never been introduced to hard work and this much pain."

Tripp settles on left side

Kiante Tripp says he's comfortable moving to left tackle on the offensive line because he played that spot at Westlake High School.

"It really feels natural to me," Tripp said.

"I just got to get the stance back right and get my footwork right."

Tripp is getting plenty of chance to do that. The redshirt sophomore was the starting right tackle, but said he's working exclusively at left tackle now.

"They really want me to use my quickness and strength on that side," Tripp said.

Tripp appears in line to start the season opener against Georgia Southern.

"I don't know if it's solidified but he's spending more time at left than right now," coach Mark Richt said.

Tripp has been seeking advice from Trinton Sturdivant, who started every game at the position last season, but is out for the year with a knee injury.

"I've been all up in his ear asking him for all type of advice," Tripp said.

King remains sidelined

Tailback Caleb King was in a green non-contact jersey again Monday because of a hamstring injury but hopes to return Wednesday.

That's given Richard Samuel more practice work in the battle for the No. 2 tailback spot behind Knowshon Moreno. It's also given Samuel an edge, King said.

"Of course it is because I can't compete right now, but I'll come back Wednesday working hard," King said.

Asked if he thought both would get their share of work no matter who is No. 2 and who's No. 3, King said "I believe we're all going to get our share."

Receiver Green returns

Receivers A.J. Green and Tavarres King were among several previously injured players who returned to practice in regular jerseys. Richt was happy to see Green return from a hip flexor. Green "still has a long way to go," Richt said. "There's some things that he just does naturally extremely well and there's still that learning curve to understand the offense and understand a particular route."

This and that

Senior Bo Fowler is being pushed at snapper by freshman Ty Frix. "Right now it's still up for grabs," Richt said. "(Fowler) is No. 1 on the depth chart right now but it's not a done deal." Fowler said he thinks the competition is closest on punt snaps. ... Considering fall semester classes began Monday, Richt was reasonably pleased with how practice went. The Bulldogs began on-field preparations for Georgia Southern for the first time. Practices have been pushed back a half hour to help players better manage a schedule that includes morning classes, lunch, treatment and pre-practice taping. ... With classes underway, Georgia is no longer limited to 105 players on its roster. Linebacker Marcus Washington (shoulder) rejoined the team. "He'll just continue his rehabilitation and get ready for the spring," Richt said.

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