Special to the Journal
ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia football team took a break from practice on Friday and spent an hour in the diving well at Gabrielsen Natatorium inside the Ramsey Center.
After a full scrimmage on Wednesday and a situational scrimmage on Thursday, the Bulldogs were able to work on their techniques from the 10-meter platform on Friday. The leap from the tower has become something of a rite of passage for the Bulldogs’ newcomers, and those who can’t swim well have teammates willing to paddle out and help them to the side.
“It’s awesome, and it’s something we always look forward to,” receiver Tavarres King said. “It’s nice to get a break like that. We’ve been banging on each other for a couple of weeks now, and it was good to get a day where we could relax and enjoy each other and have fun.”
“We had fun today,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “It was a team-building day and we made a lot of memories.”
Richt told the Bulldogs shortly before what was scheduled to be a “physical, fundamental day.” He said the pool day is most effective when the Bulldogs don’t know it’s coming.
“It was a good day to do it,” Richt said. “We try to do it on a day that they know is going to be tough and they say, `Here we go again.’ Getting out of a day like that gets them excited.”
Richt set the tone for the outing as he made his traditional backflip off the tower, which is 33 feet high.
“The older you get, the higher it gets,” Richt said. “If you land wrong, something is going to get hurt. I see our guys land awkwardly and if that was me, I would have dislocated my shoulder. Thankfully I hit it pretty good.”
Friday’s injury report included receiver Michael Bennett (left quadriceps contusion), guard Hunter Long (foot fracture) and tight end Jay Rome (hamstring strain). Richt said he expects Rome back at practice on Monday.
The Bulldogs will return to the Woodruff Practice Fields on Saturday morning.
Georgia will play host to Buffalo in its season opener Sept. 1 at 12:21 p.m., and it will be televised live by the SEC Network.
Tickets to the home football games against Buffalo and Florida Atlantic (Sept. 15) are on sale to the general public and can be purchased online at http://gado.gs/4a or by calling the UGA Athletic Association ticket office at 1-877-542-1231.