Receivers Michael Bennett and Marlon Brown, defensive end Abry Jones and linebacker Chase Vasser saw their seasons cut short by injuries that required surgery.
Bennett and Brown tore ACLs, Vasser tore a labrum and Jones tore an ankle ligament.
“We’re all sitting there in that training room just kind of sulking,” Bennett said. “We wish we were out there, but we’re just glad our team is doing great without us. That just shows the depth at receiver and those other positions is really great.”
Jones still could return for a bowl game.
Bennett, who led Georgia in receptions before sustaining the injury to his right knee in practice on Oct. 2, said he’s making good progress.
“The doctor that did my surgery, he sees me every Tuesday and he was saying that I’m his poster child so that was pretty cool,” Bennett said. “He was saying my knee looks so great right now. So that was really encouraging. I’m just rehabbing hard every day.”
Bennett said he will be able to run routes, but didn’t expect to do too much during spring practices—“non-contact stuff”—because it will be about six months after surgery.
He said “by June it should be leash off me and do what I used to do,” which he expects most likely means he’ll be able to go full-speed by then and be ready for preseason practice.
Bennett said he expected to be permitted on the sidelines during the SEC title game.
“That was nice of them to do,” Bennett said. “I was hoping they gave me some tickets and stuff. They’re doing that for me this weekend.”
All-American Jones to be on whirlwind awards circuit
Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones picked up the first of what should be several All-American honors Wednesday.
The redshirt junior was named to the American Football Coaches’ Association All-America team.
Jones has a busy week ahead even after the Southeastern Conference championship game against Alabama Saturday in Atlanta.
He’ll be in Charlotte on Monday for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy banquet (top defensive player), in Houston on Wednesday for the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and Orlando on Thursday as a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (top defensive player) to be handed out during the college football awards show on ESPN.
“I think I’ll be everywhere,” Jones said. “I think I might end up going to L.A.”
The Lott Impact Trophy will be awarded Dec. 9 in Newport Beach, Calif. with a black-tie gala where former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be the keynote speaker. Jones is a semifinalist.
Who knows? A big SEC title game could land Jones an invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney are among players up for some of the same awards as Jones.
“I get to see some of the guys that have been playing big time college football,” Jones said. “I’ll probably get to hang out with them. I’m just very thankful for this opportunity. My teammates and coaches have been grinding for a long time all season and we still have a long ways to go.”
Jones and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball are the only players from 2011 to make the AFCA team again.
Jones, also a finalist for the Butkus Award for nation’s top linebacker, has 10 1/2 sacks and 19 1/2 tackles in 10 games this season.
Chick-fil-A chairman: Bulldogs `not very likely’for Atlanta bowl
Georgia is heading to the BCS national title game with a win Saturday, but a loss would leave the Bulldogs bowl destination less certain.
The Capital One, Outback and Cotton bowls are possibilities, but the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta isn't off the table. Texas A&M with Heisman Trophy frontrunner Johnny Manziel would be an attractive teams for bowls.
Leeman Bennett, chairman of the Chick-fil-A Bowl’s team selection committee, wrote on his weekly blog that LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are the top teams under consideration for the Dec. 31 Atlanta game, but adds a “special note” with this: The final thing to consider would be our role to protect the runner-up in the SEC Championship Game that could see either Georgia or Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Bowl this year. Again, not very likely, but something to consider.”
This and that
Richt said he will check to see if kicker Marshall Morgan and punter Collin Barber, both freshmen, can get in early to the Georgia Dome on Friday before Georgia holds its open practice. “If those guys think that would benefit them and we could do it logistically, we might do that," he said.
Richt said quarterback Aaron Murray was “very sharp” in practice on Wednesday.
Receiver Malcolm Mitchell (bruised shoulder) and cornerback Damian Swann (strained neck) practiced again in non-contact jerseys, but Richt said they will play. “They’ll both be fine,” he said. “We just didn’t want to irritate whatever was bothering them. If we played today, they both would have played. We just didn’t want to light it up at all.”.
Georgia practiced in misty conditions Tuesday and chilly weather on Wednesday. “Ideally it would have been nice to have an indoor thing to practice in and crank the heat up a little bit to try get as close to what it would be in the game, but we don’t have that right now,” Richt said. …CSS will produce and air a replay of Saturday’s game that will air at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday and multiple times in December. Matt Stewart, Buck Belue and Tyler Watts will be the broadcast crew.