The waiting continues.
Georgia sophomore inside linebacker Natrez Patrick remains sidelined by a shoulder injury that the 6-foot-3, 238-pounder from Atlanta sustained during the 27-24 victory at Kentucky on Nov. 5. Patrick was vying with fellow sophomore inside linebacker Roquan Smith for the team lead in tackles before the setback, which forced him to miss the wins over Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette and the loss to Georgia Tech.
"He has improved, and he's closer and closer to getting cleared," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said this week in a news conference. "It's day-by-day for us. It's an injury that's tough, and it's a nerve injury, so it's one of those situations that we have to be really careful with.
"Natrez has been in good spirits, but it killed him not to be able to play in those games."
The Bulldogs held their third on-campus practice for the Liberty Bowl on Friday afternoon, working out for two hours.
Patrick led the Bulldogs with 10 tackles in the loss to Tennessee and with nine in the win at Missouri. Despite missing the past three games, he ranks second on the team with 55 tackles, and he has 4.5 lost-yardage stops, including one sack.
Wilson tabs Bulldogs
Georgia's desire to enhance its offensive line received another boost Friday when Isaiah Wilson committed to the Bulldogs. The gargantuan 6-7, 350-pounder from Brooklyn, N.Y., is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation's No. 32 overall prospect and the No. 7 tackle.
Wilson was thought to be favoring Michigan but picked the Bulldogs over the Wolverines and Alabama.
The Bulldogs recently signed four-star tackle D'Marcus Hayes (6-6, 320) of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and have landed commitments from the five-star Wilson, four-star tackle Andrew Thomas (6-5, 310) of Atlanta, four-star tackle D'Antne Demery (6-6, 319) of Brunswick, Ga., and four-star guard Netori Johnson (6-4, 348) of Ellenwood, Ga.
After signing Jacob Eason last February and currently holding a commitment from elite 2017 prospect Jake Fromm, the Bulldogs were hoping for a three-peat of standout quarterbacks but came up short in the race for Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence, a 6-6, 195-pounder from Cartersville High, announced late Thursday night on social media that he had committed to Clemson over Georgia.
"After a long and thoughtful process, I'm blessed to announce that I am committed to Clemson," Lawrence posted on Twitter. "Please respect my decision, and no interviews."
Lawrence is rated by 247Sports as the nation's top overall prospect in the 2018 class. Eason, who has started the last 11 games for the Bulldogs as they prepare to face TCU in Memphis on Dec. 30, was rated the No. 5 overall prospect last winter, while Fromm is the No. 41 overall prospect.
Clemson also snatched Deshaun Watson out of the Peach State in 2014, and the former standout from Gainesville has led the Tigers to consecutive appearances in college football's four-team playoff.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to practice in Athens through Wednesday before having four days off for Christmas and then reconvening in Memphis. Whether they will set foot in their soon-to-be-opened indoor facility is uncertain.
"I sure hope so," Smart said. "We're trying to get to where we can do some walk-throughs in there, but there are a lot of things going on. We can't practice in there, because they don't have everything completed."
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity this past summer set a January target for the opening.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.