ATHENS — The No. 10-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (1-0) conducted a two-hour practice in full pads Wednesday as they prepared for their SEC opener against Vanderbilt (0-1) Saturday in Nashville.
“It rained for a little while, and then it got hot, pretty typical for this time of the year,” coach Mark Richt said. “We practiced on the field turf because we’ve gotten a lot of rain and we will playing on a synthetic surface this week.”
Here’s the latest news and notes:
- Reggie Davis was named special teams captain this week largely based on his kick returns in the opener. But he said Isaiah McKenzie (hamstring) was “fine this week” and back to returning kicks and punts in practice and should be available to on Saturday. “Isaiah, he’s really, really good at it,” Davis said. “I love watching the kid do punt returns. Whoever they put back there can do the job.”
- It looks like starting fullback Christian Payne will be able to play this week. The 6-foot-1, 232-pound sophomore cracked his fibula in the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage of the preseason, but has been practicing all this week. “He’s been practicing and, as of right now, we’re bringing him,” Richt said. Senior Quayvon Hicks is slated to start this week.
- Linebacker Reggie Carter is also slated to return after sitting out the opener with a shoulder injury. “I think we’re planning on bringing him at this point. How much he’ll get in I don’t know,” Richt said of the sophomore from Snellville.
- Fellow inside linebacker Tim Kimbrough is also slated to play despite practicing this week with a club cast on one hand.
- Collin Barber has continued to kick off in practice this week, but he didn’t know whether him or Marshall Morgan would handle the duty on Saturday. Barber handled six of the Bulldogs’ eight kickoffs in the opener due to Morgan having a strained groin. Four of those kickoffs were touchbacks. “They haven’t said anything to me or Marshall,” Barber said. “I guess we’ll find out game day.”