ATLANTA — Mark Richt was still struggling to place perspective on Georgia’s long list of season-ending injuries one day after announcing backup linebacker Akeem Hebron suffered a fracture dislocation of the left ankle at the end of Tuesday’s practice.
Hebron is the eighth player to suffer a season-ending injury for No. 9 Georgia, which plays at No. 11 LSU on Saturday.
“I wouldn’t even know how to compare it to another year,” Richt said Thursday.
“As far as season-ending injuries, I can’t remember a time it’s been this bad.”
Georgia’s list of eight players to suffer season-ending injuries includes: offensive guard Chris Little (foot), offensive tackles Trinton Sturdivant (knee) and Vince Vance (knee), linebackers Charles White (Achilles) and Marcus Washington (shoulder), defensive tackle Jeff Owens (knee), receiver Tony Wilson (ankle) and Hebron.
“Eight? Is that what it is?” Richt asked. “I was wondering if somebody kept count.
“When they happened you tend to say ‘All right, I want to grieve for this young man because it is sad for him that his season ended.’ And then you immediately say ‘Who’s next? Who’s going to fill that role and play well?’ That’s the mind-set I’ve always had instead of saying ‘Woe is me’ and all that. If you have that mind-set, it doesn’t do any good.”
Little to transfer
Richt announced Thursday that Little plans to transfer.
Little, a redshirt freshman, suffered a broken left foot in August, ending his hopes of playing before the season began.
Richt said he has released the 6-foot-6, 350-pound Little from his scholarship so he can transfer to any school.
“It’s just a situation of wanting to get a fresh start, I think,” Richt said. “I talked to him and his father about it. We’ll help him find a place if he needs help, but I think he’s got that ball rolling right now.”
Little was rated by Rivals.com and Scout.com as the top high school offensive line prospect as a senior at Twiggs County (Ga.) High School. He was redshirted in 2007 and was listed as Georgia’s third-string left guard on the preseason depth chart.
“He just felt like it was time to move on and it wasn’t working out as well as he wanted it to,” Richt said.
Little’s decision to transfer will open a scholarship for Georgia’s 2009 recruiting class, according to Richt.
Keep it down
Richt said he scheduled practice earlier than normal on Thursday because “a large group” of players had an accounting exam at 6 p.m. The earlier start kept Georgia from holding its practice at Sanford Stadium, where Richt likes to have his crowd noise play over the speakers before road games at noisy stadium.
Richt said by not holding the early practice at the stadium he was holding true to an agreement he reached in his first season as coach in 2001.
“The first time we went to the stadium to do crowd noise, we cranked up the noise somewhere around 4 o’clock,” Richt said. “When you blast it, it can disturb people in class. I didn’t think about that but I got a very nice memo from somebody saying it would be nice if you can wait until after 5.”
Richt said he agreed to the request.