Things are heating up in the race to replace Paul Oliver in Georgia's starting secondary.
Sophomore Asher Allen began preseason camp holding onto a first-team cornerback spot, but senior Thomas Flowers has overtaken him.
At least for now.
Allen drew notice earlier in the week as a defender who was making plays and, while he has been consistent, Flowers has the early edge.
"Thomas is just doing a good job," defensive coordinator Willie Martinez said. "He's just been consistent and showing real good leadership coming off of his injury. Experience shows. You can see it early on in camp."
The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Flowers played just one game last season after serving a two-game suspension before a foot injury knocked him out for the season.
"Him coming back full-time from the injury, you can see where experience can help you," Martinez said. "He sees things a lot quicker than the younger guys and reacts quicker because he's seen it more and made plays. It's good to have him back there."
Bryan Evans is the other starting corner, but has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Sophomore Prince Miller has replaced him in the lineup.
Knox cleared by NCAA
The NCAA Clearinghouse has certified freshman safety John Knox from Statesboro, making it official that all 23 of Georgia's signees qualified this season.
"I think it's great," coach Mark Richt said. "You hope that that happens but there's a reason why it's the first time in a long time because it's not an exact science. You do the very best you can to find guys who can play and guys that can handle the academics and guys you believe are good people."
Knox reported for preseason practice on Wednesday after receiving the needed score on the Georgia High School graduation test.
He must undergo a mandatory five-day acclimation period before he can join his teammates in practicing with full contact next week.
Weston trying to crack starting lineup again
Kade Weston is battling to regain the starting defensive tackle job he held for six games last year.
Weston lost his spot with the first team after he and starting defensive tackle Jeff Owens went for a spring break trip to Miami.
Defensive line coach Rodney Garner wasn't pleased with the condition that Weston was in when the redshirt sophomore returned. By the end of spring practice, sophomore Geno Atkins had moved into Weston's first-team spot .
"Wherever he went, he ate and enjoyed his break," Garner said. "He came back, and he was too heavy, not quick."
Weston is carrying 316 pounds on his 6-foot-5 frame now.
"Yeah, going away for spring break I put on a couple of pounds, but I didn't battle too well at the end of spring practice," said Weston, who would like to play at about 310.
Owens has all but locked up a starting spot, but Weston and Atkins are competing for the other spot along with junior college transfer Corvey Irvin, Tripp Taylor and Ricardo Crawford.
"(Garner) mentioned to us that we're all competing for the job," Weston said.
Boling a factor on offensive line
With Chester Adams held out of practice because of a sprained ankle, freshman Clint Boling moved up to the first-team right offensive tackle spot.
"He's competing for a starting job," Richt said. "He's got ability, and he's pretty sharp. He's picking it up the best he can. We're so thin, true freshmen are making hay."
Freshman Trinton Sturdivant is holding down the left tackle position, and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said coaches are pleased with Boling.
"Clint's going to have to be ready to play today," Bobo said. "Is he ready? No. He's a freshman, but he's all we've got."
Hot weather could force night scrimmage
Georgia practiced again under record hot weather conditions. It was 104 degrees early in Friday's practice.
Georgia may push back its scrimmage at Sanford Stadium to tonight because of the heat.
"It's pretty brutal out there," Richt said. "It showed today. It was a tough day. We had some guys sucking it up, but it's rough out there. It's as hot as I can remember."
Matthew Stafford, a Texan, is used to the heat.
"I think last year in Texas, we had something like 36 straight days of 100 (degree temperatures)," Stafford said.
This and that
Buford grad Mikey Henderson (hip) and tight end Tripp Chandler (rib) and Adams aren't expected to return before Monday. Defensive end Brandon Wood (lower back) missed Friday's practice. ... Georgia will hold a special teams scrimmage this morning. ... Garner was pleased to share the news that Crawford and Irvin made the university's Dean's List.