Former Georgia quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who was dismissed from the team in April by coach Mark Richt, plans to be back in the Southeastern Conference next month.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder has committed to LSU and is on schedule to be an early enrollee. Mettenberger played this season at Butler County (Kan.) Community College, completing 176 of 299 passes (58.9 percent) for 2,678 yards, with 32 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
LSU is 10-2 and headed to the Cotton Bowl, but the Tigers have been inconsistent at quarterback with juniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
“The opportunity is there,” Mettenberger told Scout.com. “I’ll have a few seasons to play once I get there, but I’d like to start seeing the field right away. I am going to come in and compete for the starting job, just like I would have somewhere else.”
Mettenberger was the No. 11 pro-style quarterback nationally in the 2009 signing class out of Watkinsville, Ga., and he enrolled early along with current Bulldogs starter Aaron Murray. Each was redshirted last season, and Mettenberger’s second spring in Athens got off to a turbulent start when he was arrested outside a bar near Valdosta and charged with underage consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and two counts of possessing false identification.
Richt suspended the 18-year-old for the Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette, and he left open the possibility of a harsher penalty should he learn more information about the incident. At the G-Day spring game, Mettenberger completed 6 of 10 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns for the second-team offense against the second-team defense.
Two weeks after G-Day, Richt learned more about the charges and abruptly dismissed Mettenberger.
Mettenberger led Butler County to an 11-1 record and had offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M as well as LSU. He told Scout.com that he committed to Tigers coach Les Miles at their game against Ole Miss but kept it secret in order not to distract his Butler County teammates.
“Les is a guy who is very blue collar like most of America, which I love,” Mettenberger said. “Baton Rouge just felt like home, and that was the biggest thing for me throughout this whole recruitment process. I wanted to be somewhere that I could relax and enjoy myself.”
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...