ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldogs were pegged sixth in the USA Today preseason football poll that was released Thursday, but one veteran player wasn't celebrating.
"We've got to live up to it," redshirt senior linebacker Christian Robinson said. "I came in on the 2008 team that was No. 1, and we didn't do anything big. We went to the Capital One Bowl and had a good time, but I would rather be in Miami this year."
Georgia trails the quintet of LSU, Alabama, Southern California, Oklahoma and Oregon, and the Bulldogs are among seven SEC teams in the coaches' poll, joining the No. 1 Tigers and the No. 2 Crimson Tide as well as No. 9 South Carolina, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 23 Florida and No. 25 Auburn. This marks the first time the SEC has produced the top two teams in a preseason poll, and it's the first time for any league since the Big Eight tandem of Oklahoma and Nebraska topped the 1987 poll.
This is the 11th consecutive year Georgia will start a reason ranked in the USA Today poll, having begun 13th in '09, 21st in '10 and 22nd last year.
"The bottom line is that whoever won our league in the last six years has gotten to play for it," coach Mark Richt said. "Our goal is always to win the East, get to Atlanta and win the game."
Junior inside linebacker Chase Vasser will be suspended the first two games this season as the result of a DUI arrest in Atlanta on May 11.
According to the incident report obtained by the Athens Banner-Herald, Vasser was stopped by the Georgia State Patrol around 2:30 a.m. after an officer saw Vasser's pickup weaving in Buckhead. The officer pulled over the 6-foot-3, 227-pound junior from Gainesville, Ga., and gave him a sobriety test.
Vasser made three starts last year, making 16 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, and is listed as a starter on the preseason depth chart.
What they're wearing
Here are some Georgia freshmen of interest and their jersey numbers:
Tailback Todd Gurley (3), tailback Keith Marshall (4), place-kicker Marshall Morgan (13), linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons (25), punter Collin Barber (32), linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) and offensive tackle John Theus (71).
Marshall enrolled in January as a 195-pounder but now is listed at 6-1 and 216 pounds. The 6-5, 207-pound Harvey-Clemons is listed as a linebacker but worked out Thursday with the defensive backs.
A quick decision
The Bulldogs did not dabble long in considering transfer players from Penn State.
Richt was asked at a Bulldog Club meeting in Atlanta on July 23 if he would be interested in looking into pursuing Nittany Lions players, and he said yes. Four days later, however, Richt announced that Georgia would not go after any Penn State players.
"As a staff, we looked at their two-deep roster, and we were thinking of guys who might be a possibility," Richt said. "As it turned out, when we looked a little deeper, we didn't feel like there was anybody that fit just right."
Odds and ends
The Bulldogs are scheduled to have two days of two-a-day practices: Tuesday and next Saturday. ... Richt: "This may be the first practice since I've been at Georgia where no one was in a green jersey." ... Georgia's "Picture Day" for fans will be Aug. 18.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...