published Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Georgia ‘spirited’ in pads practice

The Georgia Bulldogs held their fourth spring football practice Saturday and their first in full pads, with coach Mark Richt describing the workout as “spirited.”

Saturday also was Junior Day in Athens, and one of the junior prospects in attendance gave a sampling of just how spirited things were. Ben Boulware, a linebacker prospect in the 2013 signing class from Anderson, S.C., posted the following on his Twitter account:

“Alec Ogletree bodyslams Isaiah Crowell. Then continuously punches his face into the ground.”

Richt wasn’t available after the practice, but the skirmish between the junior linebacker and sophomore tailback was verified by Bulldogs players. Such encounters are not uncommon once the amount of hitting drastically increases.

Under NCAA rules, the fourth spring practice is the first time teams can wear full pads.

“It was the first day in full pads and the first time we have been able to tackle, hit below the waist and play some real football,” Richt said in a practice report. “I thought the guys competed very hard today, and I saw some good things happening out there. The defense won the day again, but it wasn’t a shutout like the last time, which tells me the offense is improving and making progress.

“We are going to continue to work hard and get better every day.”

In Saturday’s noncontact portion that was open to the media, Austin Long was lining up at first-team right tackle. Former Dalton High standout Watts Dantzler occupied that spot earlier in the week.

Georgia will return to practice Tuesday for the first of three workouts this week. Spring practice will culminate for the Bulldogs on April 14, when the G-Day game takes place at 3 p.m. in Sanford Stadium.

O’NEAL COMMITS

Georgia picked up its ninth commitment for the 2013 signing class and its third from a Rivals.com top 100 prospect Saturday when linebacker Johnny O’Neal gave Bulldogs coaches a nonbinding pledge. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder from Dublin, Ga., is the No. 3 inside linebacker prospect nationally and the No. 88 prospect overall.

According to Rivals.com, O’Neal had early scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and Tennessee.

about David Paschall...

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 ...

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