Aug. 11, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. --- The Georgia Bulldogs celebrated the end of two-a-day practices on Saturday with a trip to the pool and a practice under the lights.
The Bulldogs were scheduled to have a kicking scrimmage in Sanford Stadium Saturday morning, but Coach Mark Richt surprised the players by having the buses instead take them to Gabrielsen Natatorium -- the home of the 2013 national champion Georgia women's swimming and diving team. There, the freshmen and other newcomers made their traditional jumps off the 10-meter platform. Some veterans also took turns and all the players enjoyed splashing around in the water.
"Today meant a lot to us," junior offensive tackle Mark Beard said. "A lot of guys are tired, and this was Coach's way to show us some love. We really enjoyed it."
"After 11 straight days of camp, we decided to give the boys a chance to jump in the pool," Richt said. "It's always fun watching our freshmen jump for the first time."
The Bulldogs' evening practice session started late due to inclement weather in the area. Georgia was supposed to cap practice with a watermelon cutting, which annually marks the end of camp and the start of classes, but it had to be rescheduled due to the weather. The Bulldogs hit the field at 8:30 p.m., not far from the scheduled kickoff time of the season opener in three weeks.
"I thought it was nice to practice under the lights, especially since our first game is at night," Richt said. "Everybody practiced well. They had good mental focus considering we had a couple of weather delays. It was a good day."
Fall semester classes begin at UGA on Monday. The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, Aug. 17, in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players will be on hand for photos and autographs from 3-5 p.m. between Gates 2 and 4. Richt will also be available from 3-5 p.m. for those with ticket coupons.
The Bulldogs open their 2013 schedule on Aug. 31 when they travel to face eighth-ranked Clemson at 8 p.m. ET. The contest, which is 2013's only season-opening top-10 matchup, will be broadcast nationally on ABC.