Georgia Football Opens Spring Practice

March 20, 2012

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ATHENS-----The Georgia football team opened its 2012 spring camp with a two-hour workout in shorts and helmets Tuesday at the Woodruff Practice Fields. The team will hold 14 more practices over the next four weeks, including the annual G-Day game April 14 at 3 p.m.

"It was fun to be out there and practice football again," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "We had great weather. It was probably a little bit warmer than they would've hoped, but it's better than freezing rain. An awful lot of work got done today, even though we weren't running into each other. A lot of guys got reps. Spring is a great time of the year when there are no scout teams, so when everybody gets a rep, they get a quality rep on the side of the ball they came to play."

Among the players to get reps at cornerback on Tuesday was rising sophomore Malcolm Mitchell, who earned All-SEC honors for the Bulldogs as a receiver in 2011. 

"It was fun to watch (Mitchell) get out there and compete," Richt said. "You could tell he wasn't quite sure what to do every play, but he is playing with a lot of enthusiasm and certainly can break on the ball and change direction. I like how our cornerbacks did in general. They did a nice job. " 

Tuesday marked the first college practices for freshman tailback Keith Marshall and freshman quarterback Faton Bauta, who enrolled at UGA in January. It was also the first practice at Georgia for junior college offensive lineman Mark Beard.

"You can tell (Marshall) has very good quickness and very good speed," Richt said. "He seems to have good running instincts. For a guy in his first college practice and considering everybody else knows the system, I thought he did a pretty good job. You can tell he did an awful lot of studying from the moment he got here until now to be able to function like he did." 

Richt also addressed the status of another tailback, Carlton Thomas, who decided to transfer to another school for his senior season. 

"Carlton has decided to move on," Richt said. "He came to me and said he had discussions with his family. We wish him well, and before long he will have his Georgia degree. That's a good thing, and I hope he's really grown from his experience here at Georgia. 

Georgia will practice again on Wednesday and Thursday. Following an off day on Friday, the Bulldogs will return to the practice fields Saturday morning.

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