There are still more than five months until Georgia opens its football season.
That‚Äôs plenty of time for more offseason angst for Bulldogs fans.
Already this calendar year, Georgia coach Mark Richt has booted three players off the team and two of his top cornerbacks could be missing due to suspensions at the start of the season.
Then came word this week that defensive standouts Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree, two of six players on the cover of Georgia‚Äôs spring media guide, are the latest to face suspension.
Rambo, a safety, tied for second in the nation last season in interceptions per game and had eight on the year. He said last week that he was aiming to lead the nation this season.
He will be suspended for the first four games of the season for failing a drug test unless he successfully wins an appeal, his coach at Seminole County High School said Thursday.
Ogletree, who also is facing a suspension according to Dawgpost.com, was Georgia‚Äôs leading tackler in the final seven games of the season with 52 after the inside linebacker returned from a broken foot.
Both Rambo and Ogletree practiced with the first-team defense Thursday. Afterwards, Georgia handed out a statement to reporters from Richt right before his post-practice news conference that stated: ‚ÄúThere is a process we follow regarding team guidelines and policies. I cannot make any comment until that process has run its course.‚Äù
Asked if he‚Äôs getting tired of having to address off-field issues, Richt said: ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt like distractions, that‚Äôs for sure.‚Äù
Georgia had to make do with a makeshift tailback position last season when Isaiah Crowell, Carlton Thomas and Ken Malcome were suspended one game for reportedly failing a drug test.
Now, it‚Äôs the secondary that could be missing three starters, with only Shawn Williams available. It also lost two reserve cornerbacks that were dismissed following a theft in a campus dorm room and another, Jordan Love, transferred to Towson.
Cornerback Sanders Commings is suspended two games after his arrest in a domestic violence incident. Another corner, Branden Smith, is facing a suspension of at least a game on a marijuana possession charge.
‚ÄúRemember everything happens for a reason,‚Äù Smith tweeted Thursday morning. ‚ÄúNo need to stress, and hard times never last forever.‚Äù
George Foster, a former NFL offensive lineman who played at Georgia from 1999-2002 had a different perspective.
‚ÄúWhats goin on with our UGA football players?,‚Äù he posted on his Twitter account. ‚ÄúIntelligence nor street smarts seem to be present in them these days. u gotta have 1.‚Äù
Even a player who has recently left the program has made news for the wrong reason. Tight end Orson Charles, was arrested on a DUI charge earlier this month days after he worked out for NFL scouts at Georgia‚Äôs Pro Day.
Georgia players haven‚Äôt been shy about their goals to not only get to Atlanta again this season for the Southeastern Conference championship game, but to win the title and make it to Miami for the BCS title game.
The SEC opener at Missouri on Sept. 8 looks more daunting if Georgia‚Äôs secondary is forced to rely heavily on unproven talent.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôve got a big-time receiver that we‚Äôve got to find a way to slow down,‚Äù Rambo said last week of freshman Dorial Green-Beckham. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôve got a nice quarterback, too.‚Äù