September 27, 2011

Still no official word



There was still no official word Tuesday night regarding the status of cornerback Derek Owens, who has been reported by some media outlets to be leaving the Georgia program.

Earlier, Bulldog head coach Mark Richt said during his weekly press conference that he hoped to have information later on the day.

However, following practice, no information was forthcoming.

Owens - who did not travel to last Saturday's game at Ole Miss - did not take part in Tuesday's workout. Owens has not returned messages seeking contact.

He wasn't alone.

Also, redshirt freshman Ken Malcome, himself the subject of Internet scuttlebutt, did not practice on Tuesday although position coach Bryan McClendon said there was a reason why that was the case.

"Right now, he has some illness that we sort of sent him home. He went and got looked at by whoever it is that he got looked at by, and got sent home so he can get better," McClendon said. "Other than that, Ken just has to keep progressing. The biggest thing for him is he needs to come out there and be able to practice so he can keep progressing, so obviously that's been one of the things that's held him back."

It's certainly been a frustrating year for the former Southwest DeKalb standout.

Before the season began, Malcome was expected to play a key role in the Bulldog backfield, but a myriad of injuries wound up leaving him down on the depth chart, where he is currently battling former walk-on Brandon Harton for the fourth-string spot.

Malcome has appeared in just one game for Georgia against Coastal Carolina and has just one carry for no yards.

McClendon was asked if he's heard the rumors of Malcome possibly seeking a transfer.

"I didn't hear any of that until I was walking off the field, actually," he said. "Some people asked me this and it took me by surprise to be honest with you."

McClendon admitted the season hasn't gone like Malcome has hoped.

"Any time I've talked with him he's been happy here," McClendon said. "This is definitely the place that he wants to come and this is the place that he wants to be. Obviously, he needs to come out and just get practice under him and he will be good to go."

Until then, McClendon added, the trio of Isaiah Crowell, Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas will be the ones getting the bulk of the carries at running back.

"The bottom line is the guys who have been able to come out and perform - those are the guys who will play. That's been the deal ever since Coach Richt has been here. Obviously, you love talented guys, but you want guys who are going to come out and show you ever day, day in and day out that they are dependable," McClendon said. "Those are the guys who have been able to play. Like I said, the lack of him being out there, just because of injuries, one after the other, has hurt him a little bit. I'm sure anybody would be frustrated who has been in that situation, knowing what you want to do, knowing that under these certain circumstances, that a little nick here, a little nick there, knowing you can't practice … that would frustrate anybody."

Could Scott-Wesley change positions?

Freshman Justin Scott-Wesley said there's a chance he may be asked to change positions, but for right now wide receiver remains his home.

"Right now I'm pretty heavy to be a wide receiver,so there's been some stuff said where if my weight doesn't come down I might have to change positions," said the 5-foot-11 Scott-Wesley, who is listed as 220 pounds but looks a touch heavier.

Losing weight has apparently not been easy.

"It's been extremely hard because I like to eat," he said. "Not eating is pretty hard for me, so it's a challenge."

He would not speculate on which position he might play if ultimately asked to change.

"I don't know," he said. "Right now I'm a wide receiver and I'm going to keep working to be one."

Injury update

• Offensive line coach Will Friend said he "hopes" to have right guard Chris Burnette (knee) back at practice Wednesday.

• Wide receiver Marlon Brown ran some drills with the receivers Tuesday and said he's still hoping to play Saturday.

• Linebacker Christian Robinson worked out in full pads Tuesday afternoon. Richt hopes he will be able to play against the visiting Bulldogs.

• Cornerback Damian Swann is listed as doubtful.

This and that

The Bulldogs practiced for more than two hours in full pads Tuesday in preparation for their noon kickoff against Mississippi State. "We were happy that the weather held off," Richt said. "We did lose about 30 minutes worth of filming because of the thunder and lightning in the distance. We brought the lifts down as a precaution for our camera guys. After it cleared, we jacked them back up there to finish practice."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.