Bulldogs back to work after first scrimmage - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Bulldogs back to work after first scrimmage

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ATHENS, Ga. (UGA/WRCB) -- The Georgia football team returned to its normal practice schedule Thursday morning following its first scrimmage of preseason camp.

The two-hour workout at Woodruff practice fields, which was the Bulldogs' ninth of the fall, turned out to be exactly what head coach Mark Richt was expecting.

"Normally after a scrimmage, things tend to be a little anti-climatic at practice the next day," Richt said. "The guys weren't at their highest level all day today, but they finished well in pretty hot conditions. They finished better than they started and that's what I was looking for after the scrimmage."

Richt singled out Branden Smith for his play throughout camp. The senior defensive back had another standout session Thursday despite playing in a green "no-contact" jersey for a shoulder contusion.

"Branden had another pick today, he's making plays every day out there," Richt said. "I can just see his intensity. He is truly a senior trying to lead. Branden doesn't say much, he just leads by example and I am pleased with his development."

Smith was arrested on a drug charge during the offseason, but was cleared of any wrongdoing last week by Richt and will play in the season-opener. Smith immediately took and passed a series of drug tests for both the school and the court, and the charge has since been expunged from his record.

Smith was one of the team's punt and kickoff returners in 2011 along with last year's Paul Hornung Award winner Brandon Boykin, who now plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Richt said this year's returner spots are yet to be determined.

"We haven't gone live in punt or kickoff return yet so it's hard to say that this guy is better than this guy right now," said Richt.

Richt did mention that all of the tailbacks "are rolling like they are co-No. 1s" and that freshman placekicker Marshal Morgan is the No. 1 guy on extra points and field goals at this point in the preseason.

On the injury front, sophomore defensive end Ray Drew remained out of practice with a concussion, while defensive back Damian Swann (neck strain) joined Smith in a green "no-contact" jersey.

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