Watts Dantzler was hoping to have an impact this year as a sophomore on Georgia's offensive line.
Playing just 30 of 403 snaps at the midway point of the season was not what he had in mind. The 6-foot-7, 320-pounder from Dalton High School suffered a high-ankle sprain in the opener against Buffalo, and his only action since occurred in the fourth quarter of the Vanderbilt game.
"It's been tough and something difficult to go through," Dantzler said. "I had never been hurt for more than a week or so, but I've prayed a lot and gone through rehab and I'm ready to go now."
The Bulldogs practiced in full pads for two hours Wednesday, with junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones missing his second consecutive workout with a sprained ankle. Georgia will hold a shorter practice today before having the weekend off.
Dantzler began preseason camp as the starting right tackle but lost that spot to touted freshman John Theus. He was considered the "sixth man" on Georgia's front entering the Buffalo game, but his injury and the emergence of junior-college transfer Mark Beard has Dantzler facing a tougher climb toward playing time.
In the 48-3 rout of the Commodores, a game in which he admits he was nowhere close to full strength, Dantzler played at left guard.
"I would have thought by now that I would have played a little more, but that's life," he said. "It really takes a long time for high-ankle sprains to heal, but I've practiced the last couple of weeks and have done every rep. I wouldn't say I'm 100 percent, but linemen don't have to play at 100 percent.
"We can play beat up, and this open date comes at a good time for me."
Redshirting was never discussed, said Dantzler, who plans to spend Friday watching Dalton "beat up on" Northwest
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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