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“I just think we’ll just have to wait and see,” coach Mark Richt said smiling when asked Tuesday about what he expected to get out of the two in Saturday’s opener against Buffalo. “Time will tell.”
Georgia put out a depth chart with Rambo listed as the starting free safety and Ogletree listed as a starting inside linebacker.
They haven’t been available for interviews since reports surfaced this spring that they were both facing suspensions to start the season.
Rambo’s high school coach said back then that Rambo would appeal a four-game suspension for a second violation of Georgia’s drug testing policy. Their status has been determined, but not announced.
Mike Gilliard, also listed as a starter at inside linebacker, spoke Tuesday like Ogletree indeed is suspended but said he didn’t know how long.
“However long he’s out, those other guys are ready to play,” Gilliard said.
He said Georgia has good backups at the position in Christian Robinson, Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson.
“One of them just has to step up,” Giliard said. “All three of them have been changing in with me. There hasn’t been one set guy who has been playing next to me.”
Georgia announced two-game suspensions for cornerback Sanders Commings and outside linebacker Chase Vasser because they were arrested this offseason. Rambo and Ogletree were not.
“I don’t know if there’s anything etched in stone, but we are handing it a little bit different this year,” Richt said. “I don’t know if I can even say why.”
Georgia’s athletic administration hasn’t confirmed or denied the suspensions, which is being withheld to try to create a competitive advantage.
It at leasts create uncertainty among Georgia’s fan base. Players get questions from friends.
“No one asks me how I’m doing,” Robinson said.
He added: “We’re going to be playing at the high level that everyone expects …Yeah, we have some really good players that may not be there, but we’re going to put guys in a spot to make plays.”
Wilson, Mitchell earn their spots
Georgia’s depth chart for the Buffalo game lists Malcolm Mitchell as a starting cornerback and Wilson as a starter at outside linebacker.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Wilson “has worked hard, has developed his skills, he’ll be a good player for us there. I look forward to watching him play there Saturday. He’s earned it.”
Mitchell, Branden Smith and Damian Swann are the top three cornerbacks. Mitchell is also listed as a third-team split end.
“We’re spoonfeeding a little bit of offense back to him and getting a few plays greased up for him,” Richt said.
As expected Ken Malcome is the starting tailback. The backup is listed as Todd Gurley or Keith Marshall or Richard Samuel.
“We’ve got the guys we think are going to touch the ball and then it’s going to be up to them to see how they carry it,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “If one’s hot, he’ll get more touches.”
Merrit Hall is set to be the starting fullback, but that will depend on if Bobo actually opens the game with a fullback on the field.
“Coach Bobo knows a lot more than me about running an offense,” Hall said. “I’ll trust him in doing that.”
The former walk-on from Wesleyan School, a redshirt freshman, said starting would be a “big deal to me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do to start for a Division I program. I’m finally blessed with the opportunity to do that.”
Samuel is also the No. 2 fullback behind Hall.
As expected, freshman John Theus is listed as the starting right tackle, Marshall Morgan as the starting kicker and Collin Barber as the starting punter.
Murray the punter?
Barber is Georgia’s new punter, but if the Bulldogs’ need an emergency guy, Aaron Murray might be an option.
The quarterback Tuesday touted his punting skills at Plant High in Tampa, saying he averaged 39 yards per kick.
So when’s a quick kick coming?
“I was only good because I’d be so frustrated about not getting a first down that I would try to kick it as hard as I could,” Murray said. “I’ll have to ask coach Bobo about that one, maybe incorporate that a little bit.”
Murray has studied Buffalo on film, but was tripped up on Tuesday when he was asked the team’s nickname.
“I drew a blank,” Murray said. “I said Bison or something like that.”
It’s the Bulls.
What about Missouri?
“We’ll figure that out next week,” he said. “That’s next week’s homework. Tigers, right?
This and that
Georgia practiced Tuesday afternoon with some heavy rain early, which left some wet conditions. Receivers and tight ends had trouble holding onto passes early. “I hope it doesn’t sprinkle on Saturday,” Richt told the tight ends during one drill. The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 90 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain.
Georgia freshman cornerback Sheldon Dawson will interview with an NCAA representative on Friday about Mississippi State, which has said it’s examining with the NCAA a “potential recruiting irregularity.” Dawson’s high school, Duron Sutton, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal about the NCAA’s plan to talk to Dawson, who is one of several Memphis area players speaking to the NCAA. Mississippi State defensive back signee Will Redmond from Memphis already has interviewed with the NCAA, ESPN.com reported.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Cornelius Washington (neck) and nose guard Kwame Geathers (shoulder) were limited in practice.