ATHENS -- LSU’s receivers present another tall challenge for Georgia’s cornerbacks.
Leading receiver Brandon LaFell is 6-foot-3 and second-leading receiver Terrance Toliver is 6-5, giving them a distinct height advantage over starting corners Brandon Boykin (5-10) and Prince Miller (5-8).
That’s nothing new. The Bulldogs have had to face tall receivers most of the season, starting with Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant (6-2) and continuing with South Carolina’s Tori Gurley (6-5) and Jason Barnes (6-4) and Arkansas’ Greg Childs (6-3).
“We wouldn’t be signing corners that height if we didn’t think they had the leaping ability and ball skill ability to compete with the taller man, because you know you’re going to get it,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “We’ve had Tim Wansley and Timmy Jennings and guys who aren’t very tall, but they play big. I think we have some corners like that.”
Bryant had three catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia and Childs burned the Bulldogs for five catches for 140 yards and two scores. South Carolina tight end Weslye Saunders (eight catches, 96 yards) did most of the damage in Georgia’s win over the Gamecocks, but Gurley and Barnes combined for seven catches for 86 yards.
LaFell, who was the second-leading receiver in the SEC last season, and Toliver have combined for 37 catches, 496 yards and seven touchdowns.
Shutting down tall receivers is one reason why Georgia coaches have moved Sanders Commings, who is 6-2, from safety to corner. Branden Smith and Vance Cuff, who are both 5-11, also give the Bulldogs more height at corner.
“[Commings] is progressing as a corner. I like the move there,” Richt said. “I can’t say 100 percent that’s where he’ll stay the rest of his career, but I think he’s going to be a very good corner for us. Branden Smith has gotten a lot more work this week, and I think he’s getting better. Sanders, at least, has more height and more weight to him, where he might be able to match up better.”
Boykin (illness) was expected to practice Thursday, and Cuff (knee) is “free to play” Saturday, Richt said.
Not back in black
There have been rumors that Georgia would try another "blackout" Saturday, but Richt said it would defeat the purpose if the fans don’t know about it.
“I don’t know if we’d even do a black jersey or black helmet or anything … we wouldn’t do a blackout of any kind unless we got the fans involved in it,” he said. “I don’t think it’s worth doing a blackout without [the fans].”
Big recruiting weekend
Richt reaffirmed what he mentioned last week by saying that he expects “a good many” recruits this weekend. He wouldn’t give an exact number, but added, “It will be as big as you will imagine for a game like this.”
He also said he expects several former Georgia players who are in the NFL to return this weekend.
“They might be on the field at the same time, but we don’t have [NFL players] congregate with the recruits,” Richt said.
*Linebacker Akeem Dent will not play.
*At No. 4, LSU is the highest ranked team to play at Sanford Stadium since third-ranked Florida in 1995. Jacksonville’s stadium was being renovated that year.
*Richt isn’t sure who will start at left guard. Chris Davis started there Saturday but alternated with Vince Vance, who moved from left tackle when Cordy Glenn went to left tackle. “[Offensive line] coach [Stacy] Searels will make that call. They’ll both play,” Richt said.
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