Cornelius Washington up to defensive end for UGA

Cornelius Washington up to defensive end for UGA

April 13th, 2012 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

Cornelius Washington's last game with the Georgia Bulldogs was as a starting linebacker against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl.

In Saturday's G-Day contest, Washington will be a defensive end in coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 system. Grantham moved the 6-foot-4, 269-pound senior from Hephzibah, Ga. to the line before spring practice.

"Spring is a time to kind of toy with things and see what all guys can play, but it looks like it's starting to work out pretty well," Washington said after Thursday's practice. "It's an adjustment, but I've played the five-technique in the nickel package, and I've played with my hand down in certain situations. So it's nothing new for me to be engaged with linemen."

Washington played 12 games at outside linebacker last season, including six starts, and had 17 tackles and five sacks. One of his stronger games was the SEC championship loss to LSU, when he had a 6-yard sack of Jordan Jefferson and two quarterback pressures.

He was moved to end along with sophomore Ray Drew, giving the Bulldogs a stout quartet headed by Abry Jones and Garrison Smith. Perhaps benefiting most from Washington's move is junior Chase Vasser, currently the first-team outside linebacker opposite All-American Jarvis Jones.

"One guy who's just been showing up every day in my opinion is Cornelius Washington," coach Mark Richt said recently. "He's really physical at the point and pretty dominant against the run. He's certainly doing a good job rushing the passer as well as always, but we're really seeing a lot of good things from him."

Busy, busy Bowman

Redshirt freshman cornerback Devin Bowman will be among the busiest players at G-Day. Richt said the 6-foot, 175-pound former Ridgeland High standout will play as the nickel [fifth defensive back] on both teams.

"Wow, I haven't heard that," Bowman said Thursday. "I guess that sounds like a good thing to me. I'm happy now. It just gives me more reps just to get better."

Vintage Spurrier

Georgia and South Carolina will not meet until October due to the SEC schedule put in place with Texas A&M and Missouri joining the league. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier was asked by ESPN.com's Chris Low what he thought about the game moving from the second week of the season.

"I don't know," Spurrier said. "I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended."

When told Spurrier's comment, Richt laughed and said, "That's funny. That sounds like Steve."

Odds and ends

The Bulldogs held a "spirited" one-hour practice, according to Richt, and will have a light workout today in advance of Saturday's G-Day game. ... Freshman tailback Keith Marshall, freshman quarterback Faton Bauta, sophomore cornerback Malcolm Mitchell and senior safety Shawn Williams will miss G-Day due to injuries. ... Georgia has yet to confirm suspensions for senior safety Bacarri Rambo and junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree, and Richt gave no updates Thursday.