Richt pleased with Georgia's first spring scrimmage

ATHENS -- Georgia's football team held its first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning in Sanford Stadium, and coach Mark Richt had no complaints afterward.

"I thought today was outstanding, really outstanding, in regard to the guys playing with a lot of energy," Richt said. "Some really nice plays on both sides of the ball."

Georgia didn't keep statistics on the scrimmage, which was closed to the public and media. Richt offered these observations afterward:

  • Tight end Orson Charles "had a pretty big day, making some nice catches." Wide receiver Michael Bennett "caught my eye," and wide receiver Marlon Brown had a "very nice touchdown grab in tight coverage -- reached up and snatched it away from a defender [on a] very nice throw by [quarterback Aaron] Murray."
  • Tailbacks Washaun Ealey and Carlton Thomas didn't participate because of hamstring injuries, but Richt said Caleb King continued a good spring. "Caleb has been practicing very well. He's practicing with great focus and a physical attitude and ... a lot of energy."
  • Richt singled out 5-foot-6, 167-pound walk-on tailback Brandon Harton. ("Harton did good," said Richt, who then turned to a staffer and asked: "What's Harton's first name?") Harton "took a long run to the house" -- a 65-yard touchdown -- for the third-team offense vs. the third-team defense, Richt said. "He did a very nice job running the ball."

  • But "by no means" was the scrimmage "just an offensive juggernaut," Richt said. "It was a really good competitive day. I wouldn't say either side of the ball dominated."
  • On defense, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was "in on a bunch of plays," and cornerback Brandon Boykin "did a nice job in coverage," Richt said. "We tried to throw [Boykin's] way a few times and got nothing."
  • And Richt took note of nose tackle Kwame Geathers' progress: "Going against [center] Ben Jones is not easy, and [Geathers] made some plays. He's making very good improvement."

Harton in spotlight

Harton, who is from Tattnall County, said he had opportunities to play college football at Georgia Southern and Charleston Southern, "but I really wanted to play for Georgia." So he enrolled at UGA and walked on last summer as a wide receiver. He said he asked the coaches "if it'd be all right" to switch to running back this spring.

"Obviously everyone here is good, but you just have to go out every day and work hard," Harton said. "And whenever you get your opportunity, you've got to take advantage of it."

Teammates enjoyed Harton's moment in the limelight Saturday.

Murray said Harton "had a nice run where he, like, ducked under two guys fast as heck, and he was gone." Charles said Harton "was breaking runs and making everybody excited."


Among players who didn't participate in the scrimmage: fullback Bruce Figgins (stiff neck), linebacker Richard Samuel (rib injury) and tight end Aron White (unknown injury). ... Safety Baccarri Rambo, expected to miss the rest of spring practice because of a sprained MCL, was not at the scrimmage. Rambo was attending his sister's wedding, Richt said. ... Murray said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo "had some every positive words" for the offense after the scrimmage. "You know it's a pretty good day when he has some good comments to say," Murray said. ...  Linebacker Christian Robinson said the defensive line "has really stepped up."