HOOVER, Ala. ‚Äî No, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said, he‚Äôs not scared of South Carolina stud defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Mark Richt, on the other hand, would understand if he was.
‚ÄúI‚Äôd be scared of him if I was in the game, this guy was coming after me,‚Äù said the Georgia coach, a former Miami quarterback. ‚ÄúI think [Clowney‚Äôs] having fun. I‚Äôm sure he said it, you know, while he was smiling and grinning. I think we need to let guys have some fun once in a while and not make a big deal about it.‚Äù
Two days after Clowney said Murray, Clemson‚Äôs Tajh Boyd and Arkansas‚Äô Tyler Wilson were scared going up against the dominant lineman, Murray knew the question was coming when he arrived with the Georgia contingent for SEC Media Days.
‚ÄúMy response? ‚ÄòHere we go,‚Äô‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs just get it knocked away. I think the word fear was misused for respect. Definitely a lot of respect for him. He‚Äôs definitely one of, if not the best, player in the country, an unbelievable player, a very talented player, a guy that you really do have to game plan for and set a plan for him. Definitely not scared, but definitely respect him greatly with what he‚Äôs able to do on the field.‚Äù
Murray, who took a beating and kept on ticking (eventually) after going up against Auburn‚Äôs Nick Fairley in 2010, said he ‚Äúenjoys getting hits. I‚Äôm not scared of getting hit by anyone by all means. I‚Äôm not worried about who says what or this and that.‚Äù
Murray said Clowney‚Äôs comments ‚Äúwere all over Twitter,‚Äù so he learned of them quickly.
‚ÄúIt pretty much blew up and people tweeted at me, ‚ÄòDid you hear what Clowney said? Did you hear what Clowney said? Did you hear what Clowney said?‚Äô Whatever. ‚Ä¶ If I‚Äôm worried about what‚Äôs going on in front of me I‚Äôm not doing my job.‚Äù
Zach Mettenberger is looking forward to finally playing a game at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 28.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to be great,‚Äù said the LSU quarterback who starred at Oconee County High and was dismissed from the Bulldogs in the spring of his freshman year. ‚ÄúAs a kid growing up as a Georgia fan and with my mom working there, I always dreamed of playing between the hedges. Now I actually get that opportunity, just wearing purple and gold. The dream has changed a little bit, but I still get to live it.‚Äù
Mettenberger, whose mother, Tammy, is an administrative assistant in the Georgia football offices, made his second straight appearance at SEC Media Days.
He said he didn‚Äôt expect his hometown roots to matter on game day.
‚ÄúThey‚Äôre going to cheer for me. They‚Äôre going to be like, ‚ÄòYeah! Go Zach! Are you kidding?‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre going to want to boo the crap out of me. I might get a freaking brick thrown at me. It‚Äôs just going to be like anywhere else when we go on the road. I‚Äôm anticipating for the worst for sure, but it‚Äôs still going to be fun going back there.‚Äù
Murray figures that either Mettenberger or Murray would have decided to transfer to get playing time if Mettenberger wasn‚Äôt booted off the team.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know anybody else that had to go back and play the team that they got kicked off of,‚Äù said Mettenberger, who plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.
He‚Äôs now in his second years as LSU starter while Murray is in his fourth season as Georgia‚Äôs starter.
‚ÄúWe pushed each other on an off the field, which made it a lot of fun,‚Äù Murray said.
Singing praises of Gurley and Marshall
Georgia has had its share of attrition in recent years at tailback, but Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are viewed as a breath of fresh air.
Richt called them ‚Äúposter boys for collegiate athletics. They are tremendously talented guys, obviously. They‚Äôre handsome kids. They‚Äôre smart. They have tremendous character and leadership abilities.‚Äù
And both sophomores are on the preseason All-SEC team.
Gurley‚Äôs on the first-team and Marshall on the second. Both also were named Wednesday to the watch list for the Doak Walker Award for nation‚Äôs top tailback.
Kicker Marshall‚Äôs punishments still TBD
The question of who will be Georgia‚Äôs kicker early in the season remains unanswered.
Richt didn‚Äôt have an answer on the punishment coming for sophomore Marshall Morgan, arrested June 29 for boating under the influence on Lake Sinclair.
‚ÄúYou know what? I don‚Äôt know, to be honest with you, with the placekicking,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs probably going to be closer to a gameday decision on what‚Äôs going to happen.‚Äù
A UGA Athletic Association comprehensive action plan committee has yet to meet to discuss Morgan‚Äôs punishment since a BUI specifically doesn‚Äôt fall under athletic policies.
‚ÄúA lot of vacation between [athletic director Greg McGarity] and me and other people,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúJust really haven‚Äôt been able to hook up on that.‚Äù
Backup senior offensive lineman Austin Long‚Äôs status with the team for this season ‚Äúis kind of undetermined,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúHe is going through some academic stuff right now.‚Äù Long appeared in two games last season. ‚Ä¶ Richt said again he would support a league-wide drug testing policy. Georgia has one of the conference‚Äôs most stringent policies. ‚ÄúI think that would be a good thing for the league to be in synch in that regard,‚Äù he said. ‚ÄúBut I‚Äôve got not problem with how we do things at Georgia. I like it, quite frankly, because I care very much about our players and I want them to be safe.‚Äù ‚Ä¶ The SEC said that a total of 1,239 credentials were issued for SEC Media