Georgia’s depth in secondary being tested


Georgia’s depth in secondary being tested

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UGA Sports
How will Josh Harvey-Clemons' absence at Clemson affect the Bulldogs?

Georgia’s vulnerability in the defensive secondary is beginning to show two months before preseason football camp begins.

A knee injury to freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson in voluntary workouts last week has further impacted an already-thin depth chart. Wilkerson, an early enrollee from Citra, Fla., had surgery on his right knee Friday and will undergo ACL reconstruction at a later date after suffering cartilage and ligament tears during a passing drill June 12.

Wilkerson will receive a medical redshirt and will miss the entire 2013 season, according to Ron Courson, UGA’s director of sports medicine.

Wilkerson exited spring practice as the No. 2 boundary corner behind junior Damian Swann. He had three tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack in the G-Day Game in April.

The Bulldogs also will be without starting strong safety Josh Harvey-Clemons for the season opener against Clemson on Aug. 31. Harvey-Clemons was given a one-game suspension for a violating the team’s marijuana-use policy.

Senior walkon Blake Sailors is listed as the third-string cornerback at Wilkerson’s position. Georgia has also recruited several promising freshman cornerbacks, including Brendan Langley of Marietta and Shaq Wiggins of Tyrone. Both were 4-star rated prospects.

Baseball staff assembling: New UGA baseball coach Scott Stricklin was able to lure one of his assistants from Kent State to Athens but missed out on another.

Scott Daeley, who spent the last nine years on Stricklin’s staff at Kent, will join him at UGA as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He will serve as hitting coach, oversee outfielders and will coach third base during games.

Stricklin however was unable to convince Mike Birkbeck to join him on the Bulldogs’ staff. Birkbeck, considered one of the top pitching coaches in college baseball, chose to remain at Kent, where he has been the last 17 years. The 52-year-old also passed up on a chance to become the Golden Flashes’ next head coach, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He signed a five-year contract to remain as associate head coach and pitching coach.

“I went to the (UGA) campus (Sunday and Monday) and it’s impressive,” Birkbeck told the newspaper. “It’s a great job. The SEC is the best baseball league in the country. I respect Scott as a coach and even more so as a person. But Kent is my nerve center. I love it here.”

Nutrition program recognized: The Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association presented Georgia’s Greg McGarity with the Tom Osborne Award Monday for advanced practices in sports nutrition. Since taking over as the Bulldogs’ athletic director in 2010, McGarity has hired three full-time nutritional experts to oversee the dietary needs of 650 athletes in 21 sports. Among them is the program’s director, Jen Ketterly, who received the organization’s Excellence/Perseverance Award.

Etc.: UGA junior tennis player Maho Kowase received the SEC’s Sportsmanship Award on Monday. She is now being considered for the NCAA’s national award. Kowase was nominated for siding with an opponent on an incorrect call during the SEC Championships. She went on to win the match. … Georgia track and field finished second in the inaugural race for the Webb Cup, which is given to the country’s elite decathlon program.

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