Published Saturday, December 28, 2013 AT 12:53 PM / Updated at 4:03 PM
Gator Bowl: Georgia Practice Report, Dec. 28
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Georgia’s defense is keenly aware of Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah.

Several Bulldog defenders had warm praise for the Husker junior, who ran for 1,568 yards in 12 games this year.

“Abdullah, man, he’s good,” defensive lineman Garrison Smith said. “He’s hard runner and he’s built like a little rock. It’s going to be a great challenge going up against him, because that guy right there is a competitor and a very talented running back. He’s good. He’s real good.”

Bulldog linebacker Amarlo Herrera compared Abdullah to Heisman finalist and Auburn running back Tre Mason. Abdullah, Herrera said, is a “little bit better to me.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt said his team has tackled for two straight days in practice in part to work on bringing down a back like Abdullah, who can squeeze through arm tackles.

“Watching his film, I told these guys yesterday, you can’t knock down a good back, you have to tackle him,” Richt said. “You got wrap him up, you’ve got to tackle. That’s why we were tackling yesterday and tackling again today – to get the sensation of wrapping a guy up and getting him on the ground.”

More notes from Georgia camp:

>> Wide receiver Chris Conley — who caught the clinching, 87-yard touchdown pass in last year’s Capital One Bowl — hurt his ankle in practice Friday, Richt said. He missed practice Saturday. Richt has not ruled out Conley for the game.

“We’re hopeful he’ll be able to come around,” Richt said. “Chris is very, very tough. He can play through a little pain. If he’s 80/85 percent, I think he can play and play pretty well.”

>> Smith suffered an ankle injury in the last regular season game against Georgia Tech. To show he was healthy Saturday, he did a shuffle dance for reporters.

>> Georgia doesn’t seem too worried about preparing for Nebraska’s two quarterbacks, even through redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong and fifth-year Omaha Westside senior Ron Kellogg III have decidedly different skillsets. In fact, Herrera compared the two to one dual-threat quarterback.

“It’s just like all the dual-threat quarterbacks we play, they just have two,” Herrera said. “You have to know what the one is good at and what the other is good at. And then you make them do what they’re not good at.”

>> Funny moment with junior Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson, whose big season — 128 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks — had him considering early entry to the NFL Draft. At the beginning of his interview Saturday, he said he hadn’t decided what he was going to do. By the end, he’d changed his tune.

“I’m leaning more toward staying,” Wilson said. “I’m probably coming back. Yeah, I’m coming back. I’m coming back.”

“Thanks for making it easy,” quipped a Georgia beat reporter.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.