published Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Kwame Geathers rooted at nose for UGA

Georgia redshirt sophomore noseguard Kwame Geathers was the defensive MVP this spring and continues to hold the starting job over junior college transfer Jonathan Jenkins. University of Georgia photo.
Georgia redshirt sophomore noseguard Kwame Geathers was the defensive MVP this spring and continues to hold the starting job over junior college transfer Jonathan Jenkins. University of Georgia photo.
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Georgia redshirt sophomore noseguard Kwame Geathers was expected to be challenged this month by junior college transfer Jonathan Jenkins as well as practice his share at defensive end.

Neither scenario has transpired to this point.

Geathers, a 6-foot-6, 350-pounder who emerged from obscurity this spring to earn defensive MVP of the 15 workouts, is continuing to hold off the 6-4, 345-pound Jenkins, who arrived this summer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Jenkins failed to make it through the first practice in Athens because of heat-related issues, and he has been hampered by a hamstring injury in recent days.

"I think Kwame is further along, just because he understands it a little bit better," Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said Monday night. "I would say he's probably in better condition, too."

Geathers hasn't received the same amount of attention he did this spring, and he's fine with that. His goal is simply being "stout in the middle on every down."

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said before camp started that the addition of Jenkins could allow Geathers to work at nose and end. That may still happen, but Geathers is prepping for a lot of time across from the center.

"I don't know what the coaches have planned for me later on, but I haven't practiced much at end," he said Monday. "It really hasn't been much at all."

Geathers, who played in just eight games last season and totaled seven tackles, said he would prefer nose to end simply because of familiarity.

Although the Bulldogs have entered preparation mode for Boise State, Geathers is from South Carolina and wants to win this season's second game more than any other. He has two older brothers who played in the SEC -- Robert at Georgia and Clifton at South Carolina.

So how will Clifton approach the Sept. 10 matchup in Athens?

"He'll find a way to give me a hard time about the Gamecocks, but I don't pay any attention to him," Geathers said. "He gave me a little grief after they won last year. He would call me and say 'Go, Gamecocks!'

"I think he'll probably root for me and root for the Gamecocks."

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours in full pads practice Monday, and they will work out in shorts today before holding a simulated game Wednesday. ... Junior receiver Marlon Brown tweaked his ankle late in Saturday's practice and was unable to go Monday, but the injury is not thought to be serious. ... Redshirt sophomore Dallas Lee is working at backup center and as a backup at both guard spots, and Richt considers him the sixth lineman. ... Former tailback Caleb King, who was ruled academically ineligible in July, was not selected in Monday's NFL supplemental draft but signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent. ... Kent Turene, a linebacker in Georgia's 2011 signing class who failed to get through the NCAA clearinghouse, is scheduled to attend a prep school near Charlotte.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.

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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