Dec. 16, 2011
ATHENS, Ga. --- While graduation ceremonies including 10 current and former Georgia football players were being conducted across the street at Stegeman Coliseum, the No. 18-ranked Bulldogs (10-3, 7-1 SEC) conducted their second practice in preparation for the Outback Bowl on Friday morning.
"It was a great day, especially for our 10 graduates," head coach Mark Richt said. "We're proud of our current players who graduated. They got the day off to take part in ceremonies. We're also proud of our former players who had good NFL careers and then came back to finish. It's good to see that they know the value of an education."
The current players who graduated Friday were Justin Anderson, Candler Cook, Eric Elliot, Bruce Figgins, Ben Harden, Josh Sailors, Richard Samuel and Trinton Sturdivant.
Former Bulldogs Nic Clemons, who played with the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins, and Demetric Evans, who played with the San Francisco 49ers, Redskins and Dallas Cowboys, also received their degrees.
The 90-minutes practice was a full-pads workout conducted in ideal weather conditions, with blue skies, temperatures in the low-70s and a steady breeze.
"The rest of the guys who took part in practice took advantage of the short and sweet nature of the workout and made the most of it," Richt said. "It felt like the first day of spring ball out there."
The 2012 Outback Bowl will be played on Jan. 2 at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff against 12th-ranked Michigan State (10-3, 7-1 Big Ten) will be at 1 p.m., and ABC Sports will televise the game live.