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With or without power after Irma, UGA players remain in ‘grind mode’ in a new game week

Georgia inside linebacker Reggie Carter (45) against Notre Dame on Saturday in South Bend, Indiana. (Perry McIntyre/UGA)

ATHENS — Reggie Carter arrived back to the home he shares with cornerback Aaron Davis off Macon Highway after Georgia’s practice on Monday night to find out that the tropical storm that hit the area had impacted him.

 

“I didn’t have power last night, still don’t have power,” the senior inside linebacker said Tuesday morning during an interview at the Butts-Mehre building. “By the time I got home (from practice), I thought I was going to be able to play video games and watch film. I had no Wi-Fi, no nothing. Just my phone and I had to hold onto that. … I had to save the juice to wake me up this morning.”

Georgia had a big 20-19 road win at Notre Dame on Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana. Bulldog fans filled up nearly half of Notre Dame Stadium, but many returned to a state waiting for Hurricane Irma to move up through Florida into Georgia.

Georgia’s roster includes 94 players who hail from the state and 13 from Florida where Hurricane Irma arrived as a Category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds, according to USA Today, which reported six deaths in Florida and three in Georgia due to the storm.

Starting offensive left tackle Isaiah Wynn, who is from St. Petersburg, Fla., said his family there still was without power on Tuesday, but said they weathered the storm well.

“Thankfully,” he said. “They’re good.”

The University of Georgia and Clarke County schools were closed Tuesday for the second straight day.

There were no reports of the storm affecting the Butts-Mehre building, which houses the football program and athletic department offices. Georgia canceled its regular Monday news conference with head coach Kirby Smart.

Homes in the surrounding region were affected by downed trees and power lines.

Walton EMC still had 26,000 power outages in its 10-county service territory, it posted on its Twitter account on Tuesday morning. Georgia power still had 800,000 customers without power statewide.

The Five Points neighborhood where Smart and his family live experienced power outages still on Tuesday morning.

Wynn said the house he shares with tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel and two other teammates didn’t lose power.

Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter said players got to the facility on Monday before the strongest part of the storm hit the area to begin a new game week with FCS program Samford coming to Sanford Stadium this Saturday.

“We got a chance to stay up here for the worst part I feel like,” he said. “Then went home.”

Reggie Carter said players who may have had trouble traveling to or from their dorm or off campus home were able to get a van to pick them up.

“It hasn’t slowed down anything,” he said.

And it didn’t affect the team’s practice on Monday.

“We got that beautiful indoor (facility), so thank God for that,” Reggie Carter said of the team’s new $30.2 million indoor practice facility.

Said Lorenzo Carter: “It’s business as usual. We had a chance to get a good Monday practice in and today’s going to be a regular Tuesday practice (on) game week. There really wasn’t really a big impact. It’s just a little bit more time to focus on football.”

Vols and Gators

Elsewhere in the SEC, the league announced Tuesday that Florida’s home game against Tennessee will go on as scheduled Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

“The University of Florida has been diligent in assessing the impact of Hurricane Irma on the Gainesville community and has made a thoughtful decision in moving forward with the game,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said. “We appreciate the communication, coordination and cooperation among the many agencies and groups necessary to produce a game in a safe environment. Our prayers remain with the people of Florida as well as Texas as they recover from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.”

Wynn said that players arrived earlier than normal for meetings on Monday because school was canceled.

“We didn’t get a lot of rest.” he said. “We were up here yesterday and today we came up here early. We’re still in that constant grind mode whether we had class or we didn’t.”

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