ATHENS, Ga. -- Senior cornerback Sanders Commings has rejoined Georgia's veteran defense and is eager to play Saturday night when the No. 7 Bulldogs host Florida Atlantic.
Commings received a two-game suspension in February following a domestic violence arrest in January, when university police said he struck a woman with whom he had been living. He pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and simple battery and underwent anger management counseling in addition to performing 40 hours of community service.
"The biggest punishment was what I had to go through off the field -- what I put my family through and the university through," Commings said Tuesday. "Missing the games was probably the easiest part of the punishment."
Commings, a 6-foot-2, 216-pounder from Augusta, started all 14 games last season at cornerback or safety but is listed this week as a backup corner to sophomore Malcolm Mitchell, who made his debut in the secondary last Saturday at Missouri. Mitchell missed the opener against Buffalo with a sprained ankle.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said Commings is working at cornerback and safety.
"I think he's ready," Richt said. "He's in good condition, and he stayed focused. He worked hard, but you only get so much work once you get into the game-planning of the opponents. You have to rep the guys who are going to play, so he hasn't had a whole lot of reps.
"We'll see what kind of rust there is, but he'll get a lot of reps this week."
Saturday's game, which became a sellout Tuesday, will be televised by CSS with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Commings has 103 tackles and five interceptions in 42 career games. His arrest occurred several days after he and several defensive teammates announced they would be returning for their senior seasons.
"It's been a learning experience," Commings said. "I've learned a lot from it, and now I've just got to move forward. I've learned that I just need to put myself around people that bring the best out of me."
Junior outside linebacker Chase Vasser is returning from a two-game suspension stemming from a DUI arrest in May. Richt was asked if safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree would play this week for the first time, but he continued to decline revealing information regarding those two.
If Rambo is suspended for the first four games, which is what his high-school coach has claimed, the Bulldogs will not be a full strength on defense until the Sept. 29 showdown against visiting Tennessee.
"I think we're playing pretty good, and I think we can get better," Richt said. "We can certainly improve on both sides of the ball and special teams. To get two guys back at this point is good as well."
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.
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 ...