UGA safety Matthews: I feel like I can play better

The gag order on Tray Matthews was lifted on Wednesday.

The freshman starting free safety from Newnan was made available to speak to reporters for the first time since shortly after signing day in February.

“They don’t want me doing too much, just trying to stay focused,” Matthews said.

There may not have been talk from Matthews, but there was plenty about him in the spring when he made big hits and locked down a starting job.

His services to play were doubt in the lead-up to the opener against Clemson after sustaining a pulled hamstring in the preseason. He also dealt with a shoulder injury and missed much of the August practices.

“Getting hurt when he got hurt was tough,” Richt said. “It was a lot of time he missed.”

Matthews turned out to be ready to start even if he wasn’t quite at full health.

“I feel like I can play better, but I’m still learning,” Matthews said. “My game, I’m not playing as fast as I can but I’m just getting better and better every game. I’m just expecting big things from myself.”

Matthews is fourth on the team in tackles with 12.

He said he was “hesitant about my leg” heading into the Clemson game.

“I ain’t going to lie about that, my hamstring,” Matthews said. “For the most part, I was pretty straight.”

He tried to run down Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, diving near the goal line on a 77-yard catch and run touchdown.

“I actually got the hair and the collar,” Matthews said.

Matthews said he gets texts from former Georgia safeties Thomas Davis and Sean Jones offering a critique.

“They said my time is going to come,” Matthews said, “to show the world.”

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