Bulldogs see importance in first scrimmage

Not quite halfway through their spring practice, the Georgia Bulldogs are holding their first scrimmage of 2015 on Saturday. And according to the players who will compete in it, it’s going to be a deal.

Especially to the quarterbacks.

“I think the scrimmages are going to be huge,” said sophomore Brice Ramsey, one three quarterbacks competing for the starting job in 2015. “They’ll show how much we’ve progressed from the first week. I think the scrimmages will be better, too, because we’ll be pumped for it. Practices can be kind of slow and people get discouraged. … When we get a chance to just play and do it I think everybody will clock and mesh better.”

The Bulldogs had a short practice in shoulder pads and shorts Friday in preparation for the controlled, game-simulation scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. Saturday’s will be the seventh practice of 15 the NCAA allots for the spring. That will include the April 11 G-Day game.

“(Saturday) is a very important day,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’s the first scrimmage of the spring and practice No. 7. We’re almost halfway through. We’ll find out where we’re at tomorrow.”

While it certainly is a serious endeavor for all involved, the players are also looking forward to “cutting loose” and “playing some real ball” as opposed to the grind of fundamentals and system installation that makes up the majority of spring practice.

“It’s going to be fun,” sophomore linebacker Lorenzo Carter said. “It’s the first time we get to go out there and really compete against each other live the whole time. … We’ve just been thudding each other up, trying to keep each other healthy. Now we get to go out and compete and have fun. And when I have fun I feel like I play my best football.”

Rome finally healthy: Jay Rome, a senior tight end, has been dogged by injuries the past two seasons. He finally broke down and had surgery on his troublesome right foot after it limited him to eight games in 2013, but the issue affected him well into the 2014 season.

Now, as the Bulldogs wrap up their second full week of spring practices, Rome said he’s feeling almost as good as he did before the injury. For the first time in the past two years he has been able to participate fully in Georgia’s offseason strength-and-conditioning program, and Rome believes that has made a difference.

“I’m a whole lot lighter and a whole lot more in shape,” Rome said. “Last year, from December to probably March, I was in a cast. So I didn’t get to go through any of that. I really didn’t do any running until deep in the summer. So I was really out of shape going into the season last year. I’m a lot more agile and lighter than I was.”

After weighing as much as 260, the 6-foot-6 Rome said he’s 248 now.

Etc.: Brandon Kublanow, who started every game at left guard last season, has been getting some work with the No. 1 offense at center. … The Bulldogs' annual spring coaching clinic concluded Friday. More than 300 high school coaches from across the state registered for the annual two-day clinic, which included 2014 NFL Man of the Year Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers as the keynote speaker before Friday's practice.

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