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Friday, August 29, 2008

Dawgs to Watch No. 1: Uga VII

Forget A.J. Green. There is another more highly touted freshman Georgia fans are anxious to see Saturday.

And never mind Cordy Glenn, despite his rise from unheralded freshman to starting right guard. Another fresh face will likely earn a lot more TV time when Georgia kicks off its season.

In fact, not since quarterback Matthew Stafford arrived in Athens have fans been quite this interested in getting their first peek at a brand new Bulldog.

Oddly enough, it's Stafford who is among the most excited to get a look at Georgia's newest mascot, Uga VII.

"I know Stafford is very interested in getting a picture with Uga VII since that's his jersey number," head coach Mark Richt said.

When long-serving mascot Uga VI who holds the record for the most wins presided over of any of the English bulldogs died suddenly in June, the search for the newest mascot began. The secrecy will come to an end Saturday, when Uga VII makes his first appearance on the sideline, a moment that might be the only thing to overshadow the excitement surrounding the No. 1 team in the country.

"You'd like to measure the decibels when they do introduce him," Richt said, "because I'm sure the crowd will go crazy."

For his part, however, Richt hasn't been given any inside information on the new dog. No pregame meetings have been arranged, and he wasn't consulted in any way during the selection process.

That's OK with Richt, he said. He said he had enough on his mind getting ready for the season. Still, he said, it might be nice to get a sneak peek before the rest of the world meets the new mascot.

"I've not heard any word that I would be involved in that at all," Richt said. "It would be hurtful if I didn't get to meet him before everybody else, but I'm sure it will be an exciting time."

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