Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The University of Georgia's Kyle Karempelis (33) a Wesleyan School graduate outruns Reggie Carter (45) a South Gwinnett graduate during the G-Day spring football game at Sanford Stadium in Athens Saturday. Karempelis ran for 89 yards on the day.
ATHENS -- Kyle Karempelis had a strong day for the Black team in Georgia's annual spring game Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
The Wesleyan grad rushed for 89 yards on 13 carries and had three receptions for 35 yards, amassing the highest total yards on any side.
While running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall get most of the press, Karempelis showed he has a lot to offer.
"There's a lot to be pleased with the way Kyle ran the ball," head coach Mark Richt said.Just as talentedOne thing defensive end Ray Drew stressed is that the defense is still in good hands despite the loss of a lot of guys from last year's team.
"There's a lot of talent on the defense," he said. "It's just last year they were behind guys like Jarvis Jones, John Jenkins and Alec Ogletree so they didn't get in the spotlight a lot. A lot of people don't see what goes on at practice and how good a lot of this year's guys are. They'll get their chance now."
Drew encouraged others to underestimate the Bulldog defense because of all of the starters lost, but that they will be able to get the job done.
"We're confident in our abilities," he said. "We feel like we can have a great year on defense."
Secondary starters not set
Richt stressed that while multiple players had a great spring in the secondary, the starting lineup is far from nailed down.
"We have some (non-early enrolled) guys who are going to come in here and compete for a spot," he said. "While it's great to see what the guys here have done, the starters are far from set."
As expected, Josh Harvey-Clemons was dominant at safety, putting good hits on opponents.
"Right now he has the body of a safety," Richt said. "But, we want to get him into some of our nickle packages where he's a secondary/linebacker hybrid guy. We believe he can succeed in that role as well."
In a surprising stat, the backup running backs rushed for more yards than the starters. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined for 31 yards and weren't even the leading rushers on the Red team. That honor went to early-enrollee J.J. Green, who had 27 yards on eight carries.
In addition to Karempelis' team-high 89 yards on the ground, the Black team also got 33 yards from quarterback Hutson Mason. In total, the Black team rushed for 137 yards, compared to 23 for the Red team.
Reggie Carter (South Gwinnett) finished the game with seven tackles and an interception for the Red team, while Connor Norman (Peachtree Ridge) had four tackles and an interception for the Black team.